THE LIST: Class of 2014 Rivals150
When you are the No. 3 player in the country, it is hard to avoid attention. Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei senior Stanley Johnson understands it comes with the territory, but he's not going to let the crush of attention and questions from people about where he will attend college rush him into a decision.
Over the last month, the 6-foot-7 small forward has made three visits. Two of them to Arizona (one official and one unofficial) and one to Kentucky. Johnson caught up with Rivals.com to break down his most recent visits and where he stands with his recruitment.
First, the five-star prospect discussed the visit to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness. BBM is a spectacle for the fans, but Johnson found other parts of the visit most important.
"All they talk about is Big Blue Madness and that stuff, but the best part for me was the practice and watching Coach Cal and seeing how the players react to him," Johnson said. "Seeing the meetings he has and that stuff on a daily basis was most important. I think the four or five other people on my visit would agree with me on that.
"The best thing is seeing how they are day-to-day, and I think they did a great job with that. So I had fun. Obviously Lexington is a lot different than California, but I had fun."
In addition to John Calipari and his immediate staff, Johnson was impressed by the other staff members put in place to support the basketball program.
"They have a great staff and you feel that genuine care for kids," said Johnson. "As a recruit you see that when you are around them and the team, so that was great."
Earlier this fall, Johnson was in Tucson, first for an unofficial visit and then again for a trip to Arizona's Red and Blue scrimmage. All told, Johnson has now been to Tucson for three visits, and he's getting a good feel for things.
"Arizona is a great a place and Coach Miller has been really good about recruiting me," said Johnson. "They have another good staff of great people, and they all know me because I've been around so much."
Johnson also paid close attention to the practices at Arizona and saw a little more at the scrimmage than he was able to see at the BBM event.
"I thought they did a good job with practice there," said Johnson. "(Miller) lets his guys play a little more. The scrimmage was more of a game, so the players played a bit harder, so I enjoyed that more than the Madness scrimmage because it was more serious.
"I think he would be a great coach and somebody that I could really trust. I like everybody around."
Of course, Johnson is also still considering Florida, USC and Oregon. He's working on re-scheduling a visit to Florida that had been set for the weekend of Nov. 8 and has talked to the Gators about possibly visiting the following weekend. He's also been on USC's campus and hopes to lock in a date for Oregon soon.
The good news for Johnson's other finalists is that he is in no rush to make a decision and has no real timetable set for making a decision. The visits he has taken so far have been helpful, but he still has questions he wants to ask and things he wants to think about.
"I'm not going to sign until the spring," said Johnson. "It just depends on making a decision. I still have a few question marks in my head, and my parents have put it all on me. It could happen soon, it could happen long. If I still have questions in my head going into the season, I'm just going to let it sit. I'm going to let it chill. I'm not going to let it affect my season or my team."
He's also come to terms with the fact that he will drive himself crazy trying to make the perfect decision, and he's instead focused on making the best decision because it is one he plans to stick with.
"I ask a lot of questions on my visits, don't get me wrong," said Johnson. "But you can't make a decision on emotion. To me, that would be the worst thing I could do is make a decision after a visit.
"There is no perfect decision. When I make this decision, I don't want to have any questions in my head or regrets or questions about anywhere else I could have gone. When I make a decision, I have to live with it my whole life."
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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