Saturday, July 30, 2011 | 1 a.m.
More UNLV Recruiting News
- A football commitment 2,000 miles away should give UNLV fans hope with Muhammad (7-27-2011)
- Bum ankle leads to sour ending to AAU season for Shabazz Muhammad (7-27-2011)
- A Day in the Life: On the recruiting trail with UNLV coach Dave Rice (7-26-2011)
- Former UNLV commit Nigel Williams-Goss not in a rush to decide again (7-23-2011)
- Emerging Canadian big man Matt Willms likes what he sees in Las Vegas and UNLV (7-23-2011)
- UNLV target Katin Reinhardt impresses, soaks in local attention at Fab 48 (7-22-2011)
- Rebel basketball fans mark their territory, cheer for recruit Shabazz Muhammad (7-22-2011)
- As his star grows, Gorman’s Shabazz Muhammad focuses on avoiding hype (7-22-2011)
- Older brother gets the buzz, but Rashad Muhammad’s profile is rising (7-22-2011)
- Baltimore PG Daquan Cook becomes UNLV’s first 2012 hoops commit (7-21-2011)
- Father helps Gorman’s Ben Carter stay focused as a player rather than a recruit (7-20-2011)
- As July AAU season kicks off, a closer look at UNLV’s top 2012 recruiting targets (7-5-2011)
- UNLV receives first commitment for class of 2013 from 6-foot-8 Christian Wood (7-1-2011)
For Dave Rice and his UNLV men's basketball staff, the July evaluating period was mostly about just being seen in the stands by their previously identified top targets in the 2012 recruiting class.
Now comes the actual recruiting.
Expect the staff to host a slew of visitors over the coming few months, both for official and unofficial trips. One of the first to come and check out the campus will be Demarquise Johnson.
A 6-foot-5 wing who goes by "Que," Johnson told the Sun on Friday night that he plans on heading up to Las Vegas on either Monday or Tuesday with his father to meet with the staff.
He said that, right now, he's also considering Missouri, Washington and Washington State and is in no rush to come to a decision.
Johnson is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 20 small forward and No. 102 overall prospect in the 2012 senior crop, but both of those numbers could be due for a significant bump following a stellar finish to the AAU season. His team — Team Eleate — wrapped up its summer schedule on Thursday at the Best of Summer event in Anaheim, Calif. Last weekend, he was in Las Vegas participating in the Fab 48.
UNLV associate head coach Justin Hutson was with Rice in Anaheim to watch Johnson close out the AAU season, and he's been the lead recruiter on Johnson since coming to UNLV in early April. Johnson said Hutson began recruiting him while still at San Diego State.
Hutson was noted for helping SDSU land star forward Kawhi Leonard in the 2009 class. He also drove Leonard to improve immensely over his two seasons with the Aztecs and helped him become a lottery pick in last month's NBA draft.
"We're different players, but as far as (Leonard) getting to the NBA, that's where I'm trying to get to," Johnson said.
Johnson added that he likes what he's heard so far from Dave Rice regarding UNLV's implementing of an uptempo style of play starting this season, mirroring how his BYU teams played.
He also said he's not turned off by the fact that UNLV is also heavily recruiting Shabazz Muhammad, who is not just regarded as the top wing in the 2012 class but also as one of its premier overall recruits.
"I could play with anybody," he said.
He showed that off last weekend in Las Vegas. Johnson scored big in a couple of Team Eleate's games but didn't need to play selfish to do so and never forced the issue on offense. He has a smooth, natural-looking stroke from the outside and can also finish at the rim with his explosive athletic ability.
Originally from Pontiac, Mich., Johnson lives with his uncle outside of Los Angeles. He'll wrap up his prep career this season at Westwind Prep Academy in Phoenix.
UNLV still holds four vacant scholarships for the 2012 class, with the lone current commit being Baltimore point guard Daquan Cook.
For more UNLV basketball recruiting updates as they come, stay tuned to lasvegassun.com/rebels.