August 10, 2008

Flashes on verge of landing hoops star(s)

In the world of recruiting, one-stop shopping isn't only rare, but it's very ideal. For Kent State, one-stop shopping in the cutthroat world of college basketball recruiting is a sign that new head coach Geno Ford is doing something right.

Rising senior Robert Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound small forward from Bedford High School in Ohio, is leaning towards Kent State, and is the teammate of another high-profile Kent State target Randal Holt. Johnson, a hybrid forward-guard is likely to commit to the Golden Flashes some time in August. He is a highly regarded prospect in the Cleveland area, and would certainly be a large feather in Ford's brand new, fresh out of the box, cap.

Johnson averaged 15 points during his junior year, and managed to garner a lot of attention from surrounding schools, such as Cleveland State, Toledo and Akron. Johnson said he enjoyed the Kent State coaches, and was impressed by Ford. Johnson said Kent State's style of basketball fits his game the best, but confessed it is the coaches that have him leaning toward the Flashes.

"I'll be coming down to Kent in the next few weeks with my family, " Johnson said, adding that the trip would likely mean a commitment.

Johnson first visited the campus at Kent State's Elite Camp earlier this summer and said he not only met the coaches, but also some of the players. At this point, Johnson seems to be 100-percent committed to Kent State, but has yet to make it official.

The news of Johnson's choice means that Holt could follow him. With a large hole that needs to be filled when seniors Jordan Mincy and Al Fisher leave, point guard has been the primary target for the Flashes this summer. D.J. Cooper of Chicago and Ja'Rob McCallum are being recruited hard, but Holt now seems like an obvious possibility. The 6-foot-1 guard would also provide Kent State with another Ohio player on the roster, let alone somewhat of a local Northeast Ohio player.

And now Kent State has an in. Johnson said he was already trying to convince his teammate to give Kent State a try. Currently, according to Johnson, Holt is considering the Flashes and another Mid-American Conference school.

"Right now, it's Kent State and Ohio," Johnson said. "I'm trying to get him to like Kent because that's where I think I'm going."

If Johnson's persuasive abilities prevail, then there is no discussion of what position Holt would play. For Johnson, it's a different issue. At 6-foot-6, he could possibly play four positions, and that doesn't seem to bother him at all.

"I can play guard or forward, but I'm going to do what the coaches tell me to do and just try to help the team" Johnson said.

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