Loyola men’s basketball coach Porter Moser secured his second commitment from the 2021 high school class. A week after Aurora high schooler Ben Schwieger announced his commitment to the Ramblers, Chicago native Tyler “Ty” Johnson took to Twitter July 23 — also his 17th birthday — to declare he will be joining the maroon and gold.
Johnson attends DePaul College Prep — located roughly 20 minutes from Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus. He said it was narrowed down to either Loyola or Colorado State University, but he said he ultimately chose Loyola since it’s close to his family and friends and also has a good coaching staff.
“As I really thought about it, staying home and putting on for my city, having everybody come back to watch is just like a big deal,” Johnson said. A lot of people can’t get a chance to do that. … It’s the best choice you could possibly make.”
After entering high school at 5-foot-7, Johnson said he’s grown steadily to his current 6-foot-3 frame. He said his longer body and wingspan gives him an advantage at the guard position, allowing him to finish at the rim and rack up steals on the defensive end.
During his junior year, Johnson scored 22 points per game while leading his high school to a 26-6 record. He also contributed four rebounds, three assists and 2.5 steals per contest.
Johnson is only ranked two stars out of five, according to Verbal Commits. But he’s ranked as the area’s eighth-best prospect, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ City/Suburban Hoops Report. Johnson also earned second team honors on the 2020 Chicago Sun-Times’ All-City high school basketball list. Of the 20 players named to the All-City list, Johnson was one of just three non-seniors to receive the honor.
“That’s just a big recognition,” Johnson said. “I know a lot of people [wouldn’t] be able to do that. And for me to get a chance to do that, I just feel like a lot of people in the city are seeing what I can. But they really haven’t because I still have a lot to prove and a lot to show. But to get a lot of recognition like that is a blessing.”
During his upcoming senior season at DePaul Prep, Johnson said he’s going to spend a lot of time in the weight room as well as working on shooting consistency and contributing on offense without the ball. As for what he’ll bring to Loyola, Johnson said he’ll bring leadership as well as the ability to score the ball and the length to be disruptive on defense.
Some recent key Loyola men’s basketball players have come out of Chicago, including senior guard Lucas Williamson, sophomore guard Marquise Kennedy and 2016 Loyola alum Milton Doyle.
Johnson said he’s talked to Kennedy and Williamson often throughout the recruiting process about Loyola and what it’s like to play in their home city. Johnson said he played against Kennedy in high school and has a good relationship with Williamson.
“They’ve been telling me what it is and what it’s not at Loyola, what I should expect and what I should bring to the table coming here,” Johnson said. “I just feel like they welcomed me with open arms.”
Coaches and players aren’t able to comment on a recruit until they sign their National Letter of Intent, according to NCAA rules.
Johnson said he believes he and Schwieger had the “best breakout seasons for any juniors in the city and the state.” As for his future fit with the fellow 2021 commit, Johnson has high expectations for the two.
“We’re trying to come in and be one of the best backcourts that probably [ever] happened at Loyola with Marquise, also,” Johnson said. “We’re just trying to build a better relationship with each other and understand each other’s games. After that, I feel like we’ll be good once we start playing with each other.”