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December 6, 2012
Five-star small forward Stanley Johnson finds himself in a new role as a junior.
The 6-foot-6 class of 2014 star at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei is now a go-to guy on his team. After playing alongside talented upperclassmen during his first two years of high school, Johnson knows that it's time to step up his game.
His mindset is real simple.
"Just to be as aggressive as possible," Johnson told Rivals.com. "I know a lot of teams are going to try and double- and triple-team me.
"I've got to make more jump shots and just show all the facets of my game and score from everywhere on the court and play good defensively."
A good athlete who won a gold medal with USA Basketball's 17 and under team over the summer, Johnson is a crafty scorer. He makes some jump shots, has game in the post and doesn't miss many opportunities to attack.
Johnson took some visits during the fall and discussed them.
About his visit to see the Wildcats, Johnson had a good review.
"It went great, it was the red and blue game so their campus and gym was packed," he said. "I talked to the coaches a lot and it was just a great visit overall."
As for the the locals, it doesn't sound like Johnson feels either has been in position to put their best foot forward just yet.
"They're both struggling right now," said Johnson. "They talk to me a lot. I don't think they have the pieces right now to show me what they can do.
"(Pauley) was great. It was great. I just need to see them get some wins in the Pauley now."
Johnson also mentions Kentucky, Syracuse and Colorado among the others that are coming after him. He'll make his decision early, but not too early and is looking to have a top five or so by at least the Peach Jam in July.
"I'm looking to cut it down at the end of the season," he said. "I'd like to get it down to five."