Go Utes!
Go Utes!

Nov. 18, 1997

Utah Signs Three Players

Tyson Johnston, a 6-11 1/2, 227 pound center from Steamboat Springs, Colorado has signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Utah and play basketball. The announcement was made today by Utah Head Basketball coach Rick Majerus.

Last year, as a junior for Steamboat Springs High School, Johnston averaged 16.2 points per game with a high game of 29 points. He shot 60.3 percent from the field last season. He led the State of Colorado in both rebounds per game (12.3) and blocked shots per game (7.1). He had a high game of 22 rebounds and had two games where he blocked 12 shots and three games where he had 11 blocks.

He was named first team all-state, league MVP and first team all-league. He has also been nominated for the McDonald's All-American team this season. He led Steamboat to a 17-3 record last year and the league championship.

Majerus is excited about Johnston joining the program. "Tyson Johnston has got a chance to be a terrific player," says Majerus." "He could raise his game to elite status by the time he leaves here. His hands are outstanding and he has been extraordinarily well-coached. He is fluid, with excellent bounce. He is athletic and I think he is going to be a terrific player for us. We're excited about his coming here. Best of all he has a 1,000 SAT score, he is a very bright student and an extremely nice young man with a wonderful future ahead of him. I think he will be one of the premier centers in this league and perhaps have a chance to make a national impact because his work ethic is outstanding."

Steamboat Springs coach Kelly Meek feels Johnston is going to fit into the Utah program well. "He is tremendously unselfish, a total team guy," explained Meek. "He is going to have to pick up his intensity level to compete at the college level." According to Meek, Johnston is very athletic and has been timed at 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Ben Heusser, a 6-0, point guard from Preston, Idaho has signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Utah and play basketball. The announcement was made today by Utah Head Basketball coach Rick Majerus.

Heusser averaged 13.8 points last year as a junior for Preston High School. He had a high game of 29 points against Logan High School. He shot 76 percent from the free throw line and had an assist to turnover ratio of 4.5 assists to just 1.9 turnovers per game. He was named the Idaho winner of Wendy's High School Heisman award for the 1997-98 school year.

He was named a first team All-State selection as a junior, first team all-conference. He also has been nominated to play in the McDonald's High School All-American game.

Majerus is pleased to sign Heusser. "Heusser gives us kind of a three state parlay," explained the Ute coach. "He is the best player in the State of Idaho. I liken him to Jimmy Soto. He is a fiery competitor and athletic. He is a lefthander which presents some problems for the opposition. I think he has the capability of being a superb defender. I think he will be a heady point guard. He understands pace and tempo and I think he is going to have a chance to come in and play some as a freshman. We are very fortunate because it is difficult to find point guards in this day and age. He is kind of one of our obscure specials. He is a honor student and someone who will be a pleasure to coach."

Preston High School Basketball Coach Coy Pratt says of Heusser, "Ben is really an unselfish player. He has a great attitude and a great feel for the game. He is like another coach on the floor and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Besides being a really good player, he is also a really good kid. Heusser is an excellent student, is on the honor roll, and carries a 3.8 GPA.

Brad Crockett, a 6-6 forward from Viewmont High School in Bountiful, Utah, has signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Utah and play basketball. The announcement was made today Utah Head Basketball coach Rick Majerus.

Crockett averaged 15.0 points and 10.0 rebounds for the Vikings during the 1996-97 season. He was selected to the all-region team. He was also named the all-tournament team at a summer camp in Colorado Springs.

Majerus is looking forward to having Crockett join the Utes. "Brad Crockett is a M'Kay McGrath or a Craig Rydalch or any number of other players we have had like that," said Majerus. "He is extremely tough.

You can underscore Crockett with the word intensity. Once again we have signed the best player in the State of Utah. Every year, since I've been here starting with our first recruiting class with Jimmy Soto, our commitment has been to get the best player in the Utah. Crockett is the best player in the State of Utah. He plays in an outstanding program for a very good coach. I like his work ethic. He is bright and focused and could be a superb perimeter defender. I think he will be a defensive stopper in the ilk of (Ben) Caton. I expect fully well by his junior and senior year he will be the best defender in this league. My expectations are heightened even more by the fact he is a good shooter. We are very pleased to have him. He is also a true scholar-athlete who will graduate near the top of his class with honors."

"He is a legitimate player," said Viewmont High coach Brad Christensen. "He had a great junior year for us and a great summer playing on some all-star teams."

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