USC Receives Signed Letters Of Intent From Diarra And Johnson

May 8, 2007

LOS ANGELES - The USC basketball program has received signed National Letters of Intent from forward Mamadou Diarra and guard Angelo Johnson from Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif., Trojans' head coach Tim Floyd announced today (May 8).

'Mamadou has unlimited potential,' said Floyd. 'He has the ability to shoot from the perimeter and post-up, which is rare for a 6-11 guy. We always like big guys who can run and we didn't see another big guy in the country with his ability to run and jump. Our league is getting bigger and bigger. His size gives us a better opportunity to match up with the size we are seeing in the conference.

'Also, we are really excited to have Angelo Johnson as part of our program.' continued Floyd. 'Since I first got here I've talked about playing multiple point guards and Angelo is a pure point guard which gives us that opportunity. His quickness and decision making will really help us. We struggled at times staying between smaller point guards and the basket. He has the ability to do that.'

Diarra, a 6-11, 235-pound forward, averaged 8.1 points and 6.4 rebounds last season for Stoneridge, after leading them in scoring in 2005-06 with an 11.1 average, and was rated the No. 65 prospect in the country by Rivals.com. Diarra was also listed as the No. 15 power forward and No. 3 prospect from California by Rivals.com. He was rated as the No. 40 prospect on CNN/SI's rankings of 2007 recruits and was ranked the No. 7 prospect among fifth-year players by Hoopscooponline.com. Diarra was born in Bamako, Mali.

'Mamadou was the best all-around big man in the country this year from a prep school,' said Stoneridge head coach Babacar Sy. 'He was recruited by every major school in the nation. His size and athleticism will be a great asset for the Trojans. His potential is unlimited and he is thrilled to continue his development under coach Floyd.'

Johnson, a lightning-quick 5-10, 180-pound point guard, led Stoneridge in scoring (13.7) and assists (4.1) during the 2006-07 season. During the 2005-06 season, Johnson prepped at Marietta Convent Christian in Georgia and averaged 19.2 points and 6.3 assists per game for one of the country's elite prep school teams. He was ranked the No. 9 prospect among fifth-year players by Hoopscooponline.com. Johnson was born in Minneapolis, Minn.

'Angelo was our floor general and a great team leader,' added Sy. 'He is a true point guard who makes everone around him better. There is no quicker point guard in the country than Angelo. USC fans will love watching him play.'

Diarra and Johnson join USC's 2007 recruiting class of O.J. Mayo, DaVon Jefferson, Leonard Washington and Marcus Simmons, already ranked as the No. 2 recruiting class by Rivals.com and by Hoopscooponline.com.

'Angelo is a tough, hard-nosed competitor,' said recruiting expert Clark Francis. 'He has the ability to get to the basket. He has a strong upper body and knows how to play. He is a winner and is really the pure point guard USC has been looking for. Angelo is a great catch for USC. He has a great understanding of the game and knows how to run a team.

'Mamadou has great natural instincts to get to the basket and score. In big game situations, I've really seen him come through and be a dominating player. He has pro potential. It may take him a little time to develop, but he could be a guy who takes a quantum leap within a year or two.'

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