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Five-star Johnny Juzang taking his time with the recruiting process

RANKINGS: 2019 Rivals150 | 2020 Rivals150 | 2019 Team Rankings

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Johnny Juzang (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Attention and offers have not been difficult to come by for Johnny Juzang as some of the nation’s best have continued to pursue. A five-star small forward prospect within the 2020 class, Juzang discussed what all that he brings to the floor, the schools involved and where he could be off to next.

“I think what I have always done and has come naturally for me is scoring the basketball,” he said. “Now, I think, the biggest thing that I have been working on and improved upon is leadership, making everyone around me better, and not just on the court, but communication and stuff like that, I think have gotten better at and I have taken a lot of pride in.”

Kentucky, UCLA, USC and Virginia sit among the group that are heavily in the mix for Juzang, while Kansas and Marquette have continued to keep tabs.

IN HIS OWN WORDS

Kansas: “I took an unofficial visit there after last season in the spring. Crazy environment and the energy is ridiculous there. Really good coach and I like the coaching staff a lot. I have been talking to them a lot and I was impressed with their strength and conditioning program.”

Kentucky: “I may take an unofficial visit there in the spring. I like how they are up front about what they do. At the end of the day, I want to play in the pros and they have the platform for it and they are upfront about it. It is a place you can come in and if that is your goal, they can help you do that, as long as you are willing to put the work in and fight for your spot. They have the blueprint if you want to do that.”

Marquette: “I think it is a great place and they want for me to come in and kind of replace their point guard (Markus Howard) and be like that lead, primary guard. It would be a good opportunity to have the ball in my hands and showcase what I can do. It is an interesting spot.”

UCLA: “They have always been a program that I have liked. Definitely, I think a lot of it, it was the coaching staff; they were the ones talking to me and building that relationship with me and had always been around practices and games but with everything going on now, it is difficult to start talking about a decision but we will see after the season because I am still not close to making one. We will see what the new coaching staff is like but it is still a good program so I have to kind of wait.”

USC: “They have a good program and in a good conference. I haven’t been to a practice so I can’t say too much but they have a good selling point with where they are being in LA.”

Villanova: “Great program. I think, just now, everybody respects the program but it is about building the relationship with them and see where they are with things. I have talked to Jay Wright a few times and we will see where the relationship goes.”

Virginia: “I liked the visit a lot. They have a great program over there and the coaching staff is incredible. I really enjoyed it. As far as comparisons, it has been some of the guys that he has coached like Klay Thompson and Joe Harris. Those are the main ones but they are selling it as the place that I can come in, play right away and he (Tony Bennett) is big on, if you come there, you will get a lot better and with development and being pushed every day.”

RIVALS' REACTION

Juzang spoke further on the recruiting process.

“You see some schools come into the works but I am getting a better feel for it as we get further into the process and who is real with it,” he said. “For me, I am a big guy on relationships but also my gut feel and I feel like, if I go and visit a place and I really, really like it, it could be whenever if I get that instinct and I whenever I get a really strong feel for a place. Who know, it could be next week or later on.”

The five-star junior discussed where he is likely off to next.

“I have visited Virginia officially and Kansas unofficially and I might visit Kentucky,” he said. “They have been talking to me a lot and they really want to get me out there. I don’t have anything else planned but I am pretty open with visiting a few others.”

A commitment does not seem near as as Juzang is likely to take a few more visits before coming to such a decision. In the meantime, expect for some of the nation’s best to prioritize further and value Juzang most for his defensive versatility and scoring prowess.