Up until Saturday, Ken Bone’s 2012 recruiting class was a solid bunch of two star players. That all changed late Saturday morning when Demarquise Johnson became the Cougars’ fourth commitment of the 2012 class. Johnson is the type of player that can and will make an immediate impact in a Ken Bone system. He is considered by many to be one of the best players in this year’s class from the state of Arizona, and the Cougars beat out schools like Gonzaga, UNLV, and Washington to get him. At 6’5″ and 190 lbs, the Westwind Prep (AZ) product is an explosive scorer, precisely the kind of guy Bone wants to build an offensive attack around. While Johnson may receive comparisons to former Cougar Klay Thompson, do not expect him to light it up by any means as a jump shooter. He will however get to the basket faster than Thompson and will be more physical in the paint. The only fault in Johnson’s game that I can find is in his rebounding ability and willingness to go up against a 6’7″ guy for the ball, but that is certainly something he can work on by the time he is in a crimson uniform. ESPN had this to say on their scouting report of Johnson:
Johnson has that quintessential frame for the two or the three and the skills as well. He can stroke it from deep and he gets great lift and rotation on his shot. In addition, he has a terrific burst off the dribble and can slash his way to the basket exhibiting excellent body control. Johnson is one of the elite scoring guard prospects in the country. If he is willing to improve his all-around game (rebounding, defense, making others better) he should be an excellent Division I player.
In addition to Johnson, the Cougars have also gotten commitments from Richard Longrus, Brett Boese, and Richard Peters, who is also from Westwind. The trio are all small forwards, so it appears that Wazzu will have a big logjam at that position. The Cougars will also add Kansas transfer Royce Woolridge, a guard, to next year’s class. Recruiting, especially in basketball, can take on a sort of momentum, and since Washington State is still trying to get three-star small forward Jordan Tebbutt (Oak Hill Academy, VA) and three-star center Zach Banner (Lakes High, WA), this most recent committment is huge. Johnson, nor anyone else, can’t officially sign on the dotted line until the early signing period begins on Nov. 9. But the fact that his commitment came so late, and he has no more official visits, is a telling sign that he will stay a Coug.