Coveted high school basketball star Stanley Johnson is set to announce which university he will attend on Friday, but his No. 1 choice, Arizona, according to sources, would clearly be the best fit.
The Los Angeles Times' Diane Pucin reports that the Arizona Wildcats are considered a "heavy favorite" to land Johnson this fall, per multiple sources close to the teenager's recruitment. Once you consider the options, though, it's easy to see why Johnson would pick Arizona.
While the senior has apparently narrowed his list of choices down to three programs; Arizona, Kentucky and USC, Arizona clearly provides the best of both worlds for the Santa Ana, Calif. native. The Wildcats have a much brighter immediate future in the Pac-12 than Andy Enfield's USC Trojans and Tucson isn't nearly as far from home as Lexington is.
At Arizona, Johnson would have the opportunity to play for a national championship contender while also remaining somewhat close to home out West.
The 6'6", 220-pound shooting guard from Santa Ana Mater Dei High School is the top-rated shooting guard in the Class of 2014 and sixth-best overall player coming out next spring, according to 247Sports.com.
The Arizona Wildcats certainly don't boast the wealth of individual talent that John Calipari's Wildcats do, but have landed a handful of program-changing recruits in recent years. Not to mention they rank sixth in the country.
Which school makes the most sense for Stanley Johnson?
Plus, with so much talent already on display at Kentucky, Johnson could struggle to earn playing time and his desired amount of exposure.
With top-flight players like Craig Victor and Parker Jackson-Cartwright having already committed to Sean Miller's program, Johnson would strengthen the incoming recruiting class and provide himself with an opportunity to perhaps play for an NCAA championship as a freshman before ultimately making the jump to the NBA.
Johnson would be less than an hour from home if he opted to attend USC, but would have fewer opportunities to showcase himself and a very small shot at a title.
Johnson's final decision will obviously reflect which factors are the most important to him. But it's clear that Arizona would allow him to experience the best of both worlds during what's expected to be a brief college basketball career.
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