Duke rookie and projected lottery pick Jalen Johnson is selecting from the remainder of the season and will pronounce for the NBA draft, as per the school.
Johnson, the No. 13 prospect in the ESPN 100 last season, has had an up-and-down season with the Blue Devils. He opened his career with 19 points, 19 rebounds and 5 assists against Coppin State however endured a foot injury a couple of weeks later and missed three games. In the wake of getting back to the beginning lineup, Johnson has fallen off the bench for the past three games. He played a consolidated 23 minutes the previous two games, scoring only three points in eight minutes against NC State this previous end of the week.
“I appreciate everything about my time at Duke,” Johnson said in a Duke news release Monday night. “Coach (Mike Krzyzewski), my teammates and the program have been nothing but supportive throughout this season, especially during the rehab of my foot injury. My family, coach and I have made the decision that I should not play the remainder of this season so I can be 100 percent healthy in preparation for the NBA Draft.”
In 13 games, Johnson found the middle value of 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
“This was not easy but we feel it’s best for my future,” Johnson said. “I have nothing but love for the brotherhood and thank my teammates and everyone associated with the program. Duke will always have a special place in my heart and will always be a part of me.”
Johnson hasn’t played a total season since his lesser year of secondary school. As a senior, he left IMG Academy without playing a game prior to getting ready for nine games at Nicolet High School (Wisconsin).
“While we are encouraged by what we are seeing medically, for Jalen’s future, we believe this decision is in his best interest,” Krzyzewski said in the release. “We are ultimately careful with every one of our players and will continue to support Jalen as he progresses toward his goal of playing professional basketball.”
ESPN has Johnson positioned No. 6 in its NBA draft rankings, the No. 1 little forward in the class.