USC Announces 2009 Men's Basketball Recruiting Class

Nov. 20, 2008

The USC men's basketball program continued its upward path under head coach Tim Floyd with the announcement today (Nov. 20) that it has received signed national letters of intent (NLIs) from guard Noel Johnson of Fayetteville, Ga. and forward Derrick Williams of La Mirada, Calif.

'We have signed two players in the 2009 class and project to have as many as two more which we may use in the spring,' said USC men's basketball head coach Tim Floyd. 'Noel Johnson is a 6-7 guard from Atlanta, Ga. His father `Cheese Johnson' was a great player at Wichita State and played in the NBA with Golden State. We felt Noel Johnson was one of the most versatile and sound players fundamentally we have brought into the program. He not only has the ability to score as a shooter, slasher and poster, but has a great ability to get others involved. We are as excited with the signing of Noel as anybody we've brought into the program.'

Johnson, a 6-7, 180-pound guard/forward, is ranked by as the No. 38 player and the No. 7 small forward in the 2009 class and is an extremely athletic player with a tremendous shooting touch. As a junior at Fayette County HS, Johnson averaged 23.8 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Johnson's father Lynbert 'Cheese' Johnson was one of the most popular players in Witchita State history, playing there from 1976-79 and being inducted into the WSU Hall of Fame in 1986. Johnson's godfather is Xavier McDaniel, who put together a 14-year NBA career as the fourth overall selection in the 1985 NBA draft out of WSU.

'Derrick Williams is a guy our staff fell in love with this summer,' said Floyd. 'He has the ability to play out on the floor, but also to post. He has ability out to the three-point line, but also has a good mid-range game. Like Noel, he is a player we think we can plug into what we are doing immediately.'

Williams is a 6-8, 210-pound forward who averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds as a junior at La Mirada HS. He had eight games of 30 or more points, including a season-high 41 vs. Sylmar on Dec. 28, 2007, and 24 games with double-digits in rebounds. Williams was a named to the second team Best in the West by the Long Beach Press Telegram. In three games last season against teams with top-30 recruits, Williams poured in 39, 41 and 33 points.

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