Jarvis Johnson, a sophomore point guard from Minneapolis DeLaSalle, landed a scholarship from Minnesota Monday night after a strong weekend with Howard Pulley in California. Johnson has eight scholarship offers to date. Johnson helped lead the Islanders to its second Class AAA state title as they finished 30-1 and were undefeated against in-state schools.
Jarvis is not the only state champion in the Johnson family. His older sister, Tyseanna Johnson, led DeLaSalle to another girls’ state basketball title. She signed with Iowa State last fall.
Gopher Hole caught up with Jarvis Johnson this Tuesday at Howard Pulley’s practice to learn the latest on his recruitment.
Gopher Hole: You received an offer from the Gophers Monday? What happened?
Jarvis Johnson: Coach called me and my Mom. We had a talk. They said that I played well. He was looking for some guards and he got me.
Gopher Hole: Have you really had a chance to talk to him before that?
Jarvis Johnson: No, not really. We had a visit, but it was like a team visit.
Gopher Hole: Are you planning on going down to the University of Minnesota soon?
Jarvis Johnson: Yes. I think that we are going to go down there sometimes this week to see a workout.
Gopher Hole: How many offers are you up to right now? I think the last time I talked to you, you had six offers? You picked up Minnesota and Penn State this past week.
Jarvis Johnson: Eight.
Gopher Hole: What other schools are you hearing from besides the ones that have offered?
Jarvis Johnson: Gonzaga, Michigan State, Purdue. Marquette was at the school today and they will watch this weekend.
Gopher Hole: How pleased are you with how your recruitment is going right now?
Jarvis Johnson: Good. It feels good.
Gopher Hole: Is there a certain school that you would love to hear from that you haven’t heard from yet?
Jarvis Johnson: Not right now. I am pretty sure everyone is watching, so I am just waiting.
Gopher Hole: What did you think when Minnesota offered you?
Jarvis Johnson: Finally. That was the first thought. Finally. I had been waiting awhile. Happy.
Gopher Hole: Was it a little bit frustrating that you maybe had not heard as much from them in the past under the old staff?
Jarvis Johnson: It is not a big deal. I guess it happens. A new coaching staff and they like me. I am OK with that.
Gopher Hole: How about this past weekend? I know that you lost a couple of close games. How do you think this past weekend went team-wise?
Jarvis Johnson: Good. We are going to bounce back. We just have to learn to play together. It was our first tournament. We’ll be good.
Gopher Hole: Do you think that it was a little bit tough to have such a good event for your first week? In the past, you might have played in a couple of tune-up events. Did it make it a little bit more of an adjustment having the EYBL event being your first tournament?
Jarvis Johnson: Yes, for sure. Last year, at this time, we weren’t playing the best competition, but this time, the game is much faster and the kids that are playing are much bigger, so it is fun and it is competitive.
Gopher Hole: How much do you think that playing against that type of competition right from the start is going to help you team-wise and individually?
Jarvis Johnson: It is going to help a lot, actually. Learning from the guys on my team, like Tyus and Reid. They know so much about the game. Picking up little things like that and bringing it back to DeLaSalle.
Gopher Hole: How much do you think it helps having (DeLaSalle teammates) Reid (Travis), James (Lawson) and Sacar (Anim) on the team? The last couple of games in California, Howard Pulley started four DeLaSalle players.
Jarvis Johnson: A lot. Chemistry, so we can see each other’s faults right now and get back to DeLaSalle and work on them.
Gopher Hole: Your sister is going to Iowa State and you two had talked about playing at the same school. Is that something that you still talk about a lot or are you still open to other schools?
Jarvis Johnson: I’m not sure yet. We haven’t really talked about it, but I am sure that something will pop up.
Gopher Hole: What would it mean to play for the homestate school?
Jarvis Johnson: A lot. Especially being close to home.
Gopher Hole: Your parents and the rest of your family I see at every one of your games. It would have to be special to have them be at all your college games?
Jarvis Johnson: Yes. It would be fun.
Gopher Hole: I know that it is far away, being only a sophomore, but have you even thought about when you might try to decide on a college?
Jarvis Johnson: Not yet.
Gopher Hole: What things are you really working on now to continue to improve yourself as a player?
Jarvis Johnson: I would say my shot right now because that is a big thing that colleges look for is your shot. Staying in shape is a big thing.
Gopher Hole: With Howard Pulley, you have two good ballhandlers in yourself and Tyus Jones. Is it ever a little bit tough because you both want to showcase your skills?
Jarvis Johnson: Not really. We play off each other, so sometimes he brings the ball up and sometimes I do. That is about it. We play off each other.