After de-committing from Oregon last week, four-star NCAA Basketball prospect Dior Johnson has a new list of contenders. Who is after him now?
At one time, Dior Johnson was ranked as a five-star recruit in the 2022 NCAA Basketball recruiting class. But off the court, there’s been lots of talk concerning how many different high schools he has attended in the past few years, and he’s now de-committed from both Syracuse and now
The 6’4 point guard is a quality playmaker and there are several teams still needing an impact ball-handler on the roster for next season. And quickly, Johnson’s newest recruitment is down to a trio of programs.
Which of them is the best potential fit? Here’s a current outlook on each situation and how Johnson can impact it.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Although the Bulldogs have missed out on a few targets this offseason, they were able to land a few solid off-guards in Eric Reed Jr. (16.1 ppg at Southeast Missouri State), Jamel Horton (America East Defensive Player of the Year), and Oregon State transfer guard Dashawn Davis. Shakeel Moore is returning as well but none of these players are true point guards that can run an offense at a high level.
Johnson can come in from day one and start at point guard and get plenty of minutes. And the SEC has become the top conference when it comes to sending players to the NBA Draft so if the recruit has a big year, he can easily go pro. This is an option that is missing a lead guard and the pickup of Johnson could turn them into darkhorse NCAA Tournament contenders if the other transfers work out.
The Panthers have already landed a point guard this offseason in Colgate transfer Nelly Cummings, currently slated to start for them. But Johnson would be an upgrade on a roster that has undergone a complete change in the backcourt. The top-50 prospect can become the focal point of the offense on the perimeter and play for a former point guard in head coach Jeff Capel.
Something else that will help Johnson is the presence of center John Hugley, the best player overall among all three teams. He’ll make his life easier on the court and would be a great one-two punch on offense. But will he be enough to lead Pittsburgh out of the bottom of the ACC?
Washington State Cougars
With both Noah Williams and Michael Flowers now gone, the backcourt has become wide open for the Cougars. They did add transfer Justin Powell a week ago but he just came off a season of sitting on the bench at Tennessee. Johnson can come in and start immediately for the Pac-12 program and become the focal point of not only the backcourt but the team overall offensively.
The concern here would be that there isn’t much talent to work with at Washington State, which could hurt Johnson’s development. It’ll be hard to make the NCAA Tournament there after losing so much talent but the prospect would certainly have the keys to the offense.
At this point, there’s a visit reportedly set for Dior Johnson at Mississippi State this week but anyone who has followed the young man knows that anything can happen. And who knows, it may not be a guarantee that he’ll be on an NCAA Basketball roster on opening night in November. One thing’s for sure… it’s anything but a boring saga with this recruit.