Johnny is one of the most electrifying players I've seen all spring and summer. He is super athletic with cat-like quickness and is a crafty ball handler. His speed in the open floor and first step blow by ability is absolutely jaw dropping. His body control and ability to make plays around the rim as well as find teammates with passes while playing at such a frantic pace is what makes him special. It's amazing that even at the breakneck speed with which he can push the ball he actually has great vision and makes quick reads and great decisions. He is fearless attacking the basket off the dribble and seems to find the slightest bit of space in defenses to slice through. His ability to contort his body and finish from all angles around the basket with both hands is ridiculous. Johnny is a high IQ floor general and an excellent passer, particularly on the move. He can pick a defense apart setting up teammates for easy scores using his great vision, and creativity. His tremendous scoring instincts and combination of quickness and explosiveness not withstanding he is a true floor general capable of running a team and distributing the basketball. He can play at varying speeds and has that extra gear which allows him to turn the corner and explode by defenders in the open court. He is very comfortable handling the ball and breaking down defenders even while maintaining such an exhaustive tempo. Once he beats a defender and gets downhill he can finish possessions either scoring or getting the ball to an open teammate improving his team's offensive efficiency. His ability to change directions in mid stride and stay quick is impressive. In isolation situations, he is almost impossible to stop because of his great first step as well as the variety of moves that he can use off the dribble to include inside out dribble combinations he pulls off at full speed, quick crossovers and between the legs dribble moves often preceded by a hesitation move, some quick stutter step activity using shallow strides or wide strides to gain lateral separation. He can stop on a dime, break you down then explode to the rim. He can also launch effortlessly into a pull up jumper getting excellent elevation and score the pull up jumper at an efficient rate. Johnny has good instincts and because he consistently gets into the lane, he is very good at finding teammates when drawing help defenders. He also has the range to knock down the three point jumper either off the dribble or on a catch and shoot. He demonstrates the ability to be productive from beyond the arc but seems to thrive in the midrange and often gets the looks he wants inside the two point area. Defensively he very well-rounded as well. He moves his feet well, has excellent defensive mechanics and quick footwork. He always keeps good positioning to recover when helping out. In addition to his solid fundamentals, he has quick hands and good anticipation skills. Johnny is an exceptional talent and has a bright basketball future. I watched him just after returning from a foot injury and he was really fast, healthy he is a blur! One of the most dynamic playmakers in Virginia's 2020 class!
Prince George HS Coach Travis Carr on Johnny Soto: When Johnny got to Prince George last April via New York, a special type of student-athlete entered our school and basketball program. In my 15 years of coaching at PG, I have never met someone like Johnny. He immediately joined us for spring workouts, and amazed me what he could do on the court. But I was more impressed with how he spoke to me, what he knew about the game. He was the most mature sophomore that I had EVER met. I knew I had a special kid, and he was going to be a key cog in our program for the next 3 years. He didn't immediately have an impact at the beginning of last year, only because we had a 3-year starting point guard in Tevin Tucker in front him. But Johnny got his time to see the court because he did all the right things during practice and in the classroom. We got closer as coach/player throughout the year. He's the type that would stop by my classroom every day just to talk about anything. We struggled some with his playing time and role, but I told him to be patient. His big moment came on senior night when we had to have a win to secure our regional playoff berth. He hit the game-tying shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime vs Matoaca. We ended up winning the game. Its funny how things play out, we eventually lost to the state champs Varina, in the regional quarterfinals. We had Varina on the brink in the final two minutes. During the 4th quarter of that intense playoff game, there were four of our seniors and Johnny Soto on the floor. His presence on the floor late in that game meant he was ready for the big stage and still two huge seasons to come!
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