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Virginia guard commits to IU

Indiana broke a string of misses on the recruiting trail Friday, with senior guard Robert Johnson committing to the Hoosiers.

Johnson, a 6-foot-3 combo guard out of Benedictine (Va.) School, chose IU over North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia. After two decommitments in the 2014 class, Johnson is the lone pledge for coach Tom Crean.

Johnson is the second player in as many years to come to IU from the Boo Williams AAU program. Williams is the uncle of current Hoosiers guard Troy Williams, who signed with the team in 2013.

This commitment comes at a key time for the Hoosiers, and it also comes from a nationally recognized player. Johnson averaged 20.2 points during the Nike-sponsored Elite Youth Basketball League’s Peach Jam tournament, one of the premier AAU summer-circuit competitions. He also participated in the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp in June in Charlottesville, Va.

Crean and his staff dealt with decommitments from two in-state prospects and a slew of disappointments in the 2014 class before Johnson’s pledge Friday. Indianapolis Arsenal Tech forward Trey Lyles, a top-10 prospect, backed off his commitment to IU in August 2012, and former Bishop Luers star James Blackmon Jr. reopened his recruitment in August. Blackmon, now at Marion, is still considering IU.

The Hoosiers made the final cut for nine players in this class before those prospects committed elsewhere. Including the two decommitments, IU had missed on 13 players the staff invested considerable time in during this recruiting cycle before Johnson bucked the trend.

Now, attention turns to small forward Devin Robinson, a friend of Johnson’s and also a Virginia native. The 6-8 swingman is a top-10 player at his position.

The Hoosiers are also pursuing 6-9 center Goodluck Okonoboh, who took an official visit to Bloomington and is considered the best shot blocker in his class.

Point guard Lourawls Nairn, a three-star recruit, and Dante Exum, an Australia native who could also go to the NBA thanks to international rules, are also being pursued by Indiana.

smorrison@jg.net

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