August 5, 2010

Tide makes cut for elite PG

Alabama head basketball coach Anthony Grant got his 2011 recruiting class off to a phenomenal start with early commitments from two of the nation's best prospects in Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper. Now Grant is looking to add yet another four-star prospect to the group with his recruitment of Lewisburg (TN) point guard Kedren Johnson. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound star recently cut his list down to four top schools, with the Crimson Tide making the cut.

"Right now, my top four are Alabama, Florida, Vanderbilt and Louisville," Johnson said. "There are things I really love about all four of those schools and it's not going to be an easy decision for me. I'm going to try to decide before my senior season starts so I won't have it hanging over me and distracting me from my play.

Johnson, the nation's No. 17 point guard prospect, said the relationship he's established with Grant and the Tide assistants has been key for Alabama so far.

"I've got a really good relationship with the coaches at Alabama. Coach Grant and his assistant coaches are all really great guys and they've done a good job of kind of showing me where they want to take the Alabama program and how I might fit into that plan."

Another major factor propelling the Tide into Johnson's top four is the elite point guard's relationship with Tide commitment Levi Randolph as well as the opportunity to play alongside Randolph in Grant's fast-paced style of play.

"When Levi committed, I knew I was going to be taking a closer look at Alabama. I've been playing with since we were in 7th grade and we're really close friends. I think Levi is one of the best players in the 2011 class and I also have seen enough to know that Rodney Cooper is a really great player too. Having both of those guys at Alabama is a big plus for them and it's something that I have to look at when I'm thinking about my decision."

"I also think as a player, I play best in a fast-paced style. I like playing up and down the floor and I feel like I make good decisions in the fast break. That's something Coach Grant is known for in terms of playing style so that's also a positive for Alabama."

The Rivals150 member said Grant has stressed to him the idea of the Crimson Tide's deep tradition in basketball and the idea that the right group of players could awaken a sleeping giant in the SEC.

"Alabama basketball has a great tradition. They have a really strong history in the SEC and you can really feel that the fans want it to be great again. There's a lot of desire at Alabama to take basketball to the next level and I think Coach Grant has already taken the first step towards getting back there."

Johnson is rated the nation's No. 79 overall prospect for the class of 2011.

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