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July 11, 2011

Tulsa eyes NY guard

6-foot-3 shooting guard Melvin Johnson is going through quite a change off the court, but on the court, he continues to improve. The 3-star prospect in New York's 2012 class reportedly has an early offer from Tulsa and was a standout at the Hoop Group Elite in Pennsylvania this past weekend.

Johnson's high school, Rice, shut down on June 31st, so he will find a new prep home for his senior season. He has also reportedly switched AAU teams, going from the New York Gauchos to the Long Island Lightning.

None of this change has stopped college coaches from finding the Bronx native. According to Zach Braziller in this New York Post article, Johnson currently has scholarship offers from Tulsa, Hofstra, Towson, Fairfield, Siena, TCU and others.

A number of coaches were on hand at the first session of the Hoop Group Elite, held at Albright College in Pennsylvania. Johnson put on a display, scoring in many different ways and even playing some point guard. His performance earned him MVP honors for the session.

"Melvin could always shoot, but what he's done is diversify his game," talent evaluator Tom Konchalski told the Post. "He's become a more complete player."

An All-Manhattan selection as a junior, Johnson will likely take his talents to St. Benedict's, where former Rice teammate Dayshon Smith is headed.

Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Eric Bossi watched Johnson at the Hoop Group Elite over the weekend and recently provided an evaluation.

"Playing Robin to Omar Calhoun's Batman with the Gauchos earlier this spring, we loved the 6-foot-2 off guard's ability to knock home jumpers off the catch or bounce," said Bossi. "He was doing it again at Hoop Group and earned overall camp MVP honors along with a spot in the top All-Star game.

"His high school, Rice, has shut down so he'll head across the river to New Jersey and St. Benedict's in Newark for his senior season. He should be a priority for top level mid-majors, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see some high majors in need of a knock down shooter start taking looks."

Look for Tulsa to be in a tough recruiting battle for Johnson, as Seton Hall, Rutgers, Xavier, Miami and Temple are also showing interest.



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