2012 wing Demarquise Johnson to take unofficial visit to UNLV early next week

Talented scorer from Pontiac, Mich., is also considering Missouri, Washington and Washington State

Click to enlarge photo

Westwind Prep's Demarquise Johnson.

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.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 11 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy.

  1. If we land Shabazz we have final four implications written all over us. Go Rebels!!

  2. Johnson sounds like he's pretty down to earth. Ihope he enjoys his visit.

  3. this might sounds strange, but from what ive seen i like him more than Shabbaz

  4. I love his game, he isn't only talented but also very unselfish. He would fit in with whoever we have on the team. I can imagine him and Bryce Jones running the floor at the same time. It would be hard to guard them, both able to create for themself and others, two truly talented scores.

    Hope you have an amazing visit Demarquise, would love to see you playing at the Thomas&Mack in Rebel red.

  5. yellow, that's an interesting take. I will say this ... If UNLV can land Demarquise, it certainly takes away a decent amount of the pressure to land Bazz, IMO, because he gives you at least one highly-skilled wing scorer in that class.

  6. My heart is torn, cause I would like to see Mizzou, my alma mater, land Que, however going to UNLV, my hometown team, would work too. I agree with yellowsub264, I think it is pretty much a consensus that Shabazz will be a one and done.. Que might last 2-3 years depending on his progression. That being said, I still say pull out all the stops to land Shabazz, he can have a similar impact as say Grandma-ma (Larry Johnson). If all the chips land right, we could have a Fab 5- type class if we land Shabazz.

    Perhaps if we land Reinhardt, Willms, Carter, and Que/Shabazz to go with Que, and add Wood and Walker in 2013, OMG, it really will be a flashback to the Tark era.. minus the NCAA headaches hopefully.

  7. To be honest, I don't what Shabazz, with all the hype and him being a possible one and done I just don't know if it's a good fit? I'd rather get a solid group who stick around @ least till their junior year and make some deep tourney runs. Go Rebs!

  8. Don't be silly, will still want Bazz, who knows if Bazz or Que or any of the recruits coming in will adjust perfectly to the college game. Just like we found out with Anthony Marshall, the cream will rise to the top. AM played so well to the point Kruger could not keep him on the bench. But initially he struggled coming out of the gates.

  9. We need to land a few of these guys soon or we'll lose them. Shabazz is a program changer even if we only get him for a year. Recruits should understand that with the Mendenhall center coming along, they will have an opportunity to own this city and practice at one of the best facilities in the country. Rebel basketball is the only unifying sport in this city. Check it out, commit to UNLV, and be part of history!!!


  10. that guy is cute. what a pretty face too.

  11. I just renewed my season tickets online. Maybe I should upgrade my scholarship level before all of the front runners start jumping on board after Rice puts together an awesome recruitting class and potentially as a Sweet 16 season. :)