I expressed a level of skepticism about Ken Bone's 2012 recruiting class this week, saying that I wasn't all that impressed with the three verbals he had landed in the past couple of weeks. It was a solid class, but it would really come down to who that fourth commit would be. And it had to be an impact player for me to get really excited.
Well, I might just attempt a backflip now: According to Josh Gershon of Scout.com, coveted wing Demarquise "Que" Johnson has decided on WSU. DETAILS
At 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, the Westwind Prep (Ariz.) product is an explosive scorer. He's precisely the kind of guy Bone wants to build an offensive attack around. Some will probably want to compare him to Klay Thompson, but their games are a bit different. Johnson's a little shorter and probably isn't as good of a shooter as Thompson, but he'll be better at getting to the basket than Klay was initially. Per ESPN's scouting report last May:
Johnson has that quintessential frame for the 2 or the 3 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.
Beyond the fact that Johnson is a good basketball player, consider this: The Cougars beat out Washington, Gonzaga and UNLV for him. This wasn't a case where those other schools sort of wanted him; three perennially top 25 schools really wanted him ... and he picked WSU. We've been waiting for Bone to win a recruiting battle for someone of consequence, and he just did.
Recruiting -- especially basketball -- can take on a sort of momentum, and this bodes very well for the future. Recruits and coaches talk. A lot.
I'll still be holding my breath a little bit, since Johnson 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, allows me to relax and let go of a bit of my anxiety.
Johnson joins 6-10 center Richard Peters, 6-6 forward Richard Longrus and 6-7 wing Brett Boese in the 2012 recruiting class. If you also throw in the fact that Kansas transfer Royce Woolridge becomes eligible next season, the future is looking bright for Cougar basketball.
EDIT: Click on the jump for a little video of Johnson in action.
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