Over the years, Tony Johnson has built his Dallas Mustangs program into one of the top club basketball teams in the country. Having helped fill the rosters of college programs across the country over the past few years, Johnson was in Lawrence over the weekend for the Kansas Elite Camp. Of course, the Mustangs boss didn't travel alone as he brought along Dallas (Tex.) Lincoln teammates LeBryan Nash and Keaton Miles to participate in the camp.
According to Johnson, the rising juniors along with a third 2011 prospect -- point guard Dorrian Williams of Oklahoma City -- wanted to get a look at one of the schools that is starting to recruit them.
"The kids wanted to come and they wanted to see the campus," said Johnson. "They kind of want to see a lot of schools campuses."
>"They said that they had fun. They thought that they played well. I didn't really ask them much detail though."
Rather rushing through things, Johnson looked at it as more of an opportunity for all involved to get to know each other a little. Both Nash and Miles are just starting to take their recruitments more seriously while the Jayhawks have just started to get more involved.
"I don't think that they really approached them while they were up there," said Johnson of the KU staff. "They've just said that they want to recruit them and will be out to watch more and stuff."
Speaking more specifically, Johnson pointed to the relationship that he's developed with Kansas video coordinator Kyle Keller. While Keller's role is more of an administrative one on the Kansas staff, he was previously on the road at Oklahoma State where he recruited several of Johnson's players including Byron Eaton and Gary Flowers.
"I think Keller is a great guy," Johnson told Phog.Net. "I think that Bill Self is a great guy too. If it wasn't for them I probably wouldn't have brought those guys up there. Kyle's been recruiting our program since Byron and Gary. He's been involved with us for a long time."
Discussing his players, Johnson spoke about Nash first. Well known since before he even started high school, Nash has become one of the most highly ranked players in the class of 2011 for good reason.
"People like his size and his skill level" said Johnson of Nash. "He can play inside and out. He's 6-7, 220 and can handle the ball, pass, and rebound the ball. He does whatever."
In Miles, Johnson sees a lengthy and versatile wing who is really just coming into his own.
"With Keaton, he's got the athleticism," said Johnson. "He's got a ton of upside and with his length he can do a lot of things. Also, he can really shoot the ball."
Still, Johnson cautions that it's still very early in the process and it's always been the policy of him and others in his program to shield their players from attention until they are ready to handle it from the mental side of things.
"My thing is that I don't want the kids to stop focusing on being a basketball player," said Johnson. "I want them to focus on that and being a student. We don't want their heads to get big because they both know what can happen if they start thinking they've made it."
Soon, though, college coaches will be able to start calling his young players and they'll have to start developing lists and looking at things more seriously. When that happens, Johnson is going to find out with the rest of us whether his guys will be the type to take their time or make quick decisions.
"I really can't answer that," says Johnson when asked if either Miles or Nash had any kind of timeframe for making a decision. "I don't know if they are going to get burned out on all of the attention early or if it's going to happen late. With LeBryan we don't really let a lot of people talk to him yet so his only recruitment is really a lot of letters from a lot of schools."
"With Keaton, he's just starting to blow up and get a lot of love. He loves the attention now, so it really depends."