xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Lake Clifton's Durand Johnson talks recruiting

Like everyone else in Baltimore, Lake Clifton forward Durand Johnson has been snowed in the past several days.

Lake Clifton's Durand Johnson talks recruiting

"I'm just hanging around and doing some pushups," Johnson said Wednesday. "I can't do anything [on the court]. ... It's killing me."

Advertisement

Soon enough, the snow and ice will melt away and Johnson will return to the court with the No. 6 Lakers -- one of the hottest teams in the area.

The defending Class 3A state champions lost the bulk of their production to graduation last year. But by adding Johnson -- a transfer from Parkville -- and former DeMatha point guard Josh Selby, the No. 4 senior in the country according to Rivals.com, the Lakers expected great results immediately. Those expectations fell short.

Advertisement

"I thought things were going to be different," Johnson said. "I just thought we were going to have it easy and teams were just going to give us stuff. But right off the bat, we lost our first game. Before you know it, we lost three games. We saw that guys [weren't] giving it to us, so we have to earn and take what we want. Teams aren't going to lay down for us. Coach [Herman] "Tree" [Harried] told us that everybody that plays us, it's like a championship game for them. Now we know how to deal with it and take over games and win."Lake Clifton is now 12-3 on the season and poised to make another run at the Baltimore City championship. Johnson is averaging "about 17 or 18" points per game, while Selby has quickly emerged as the most dangerous player in the area.

"We're both two different styles of players," Johnson said. "He's more of a [scoring point] guard and I'm used to playing with a [pass-first] point guard. Me and him have to talk and stay on each other and talk about how we're going to get the job done. We just play off each other. When he drives to the lane, I need to get myself open and make some shots. So we're coming together as one."

Johnson hasn't paid much attention to recruiting during the season. He has taken one visit to Pittsburgh, but plans to do most of his traveling during the summer. His top five schools, at the moment, are Pitt, UConn, Florida State, Georgetown and Marquette. All but the Huskies have offered, said Johnson, who has kept tabs on all schools under consideration.

"I've been watching a lot of college games and seeing where I can fit in and be an impact player," Johnson said. "I didn't know [how I would fit in at] Georgetown, but I like them a lot. I normally see a Florida State or UConn in the picture. But I have to put Georgetown in the top two or three. Georgetown, Pitt and UConn are at the top right now."

Georgetown hasn't sent any coaches to Lake Clifton just yet. But Johnson likes what he has seen out of the Hoyas this year.

"They play with a lot of enthusiasm," Johnson said. "They also told me they buy into defense a lot. I take a lot of pride in defense also. They just get after it. On offense, they come off screens and get their shots. Greg Monroe, Austin Freeman, Chris Wright [are all playing well]. Their style of play just fits me."

Johnson will suit up for Cecil Kirk during AAU play this summer, and then spend a post-grad year at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. For now, his primary concern is continuing to gel with his teammates and preparing for a run at the state title.

"Just being around each other, being in practice every day and staying in school all day [has helped our chemistry]," Johnson said. "We're always together, so that just builds chemistry off the court and on the court. ... Now we're rolling."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement