Vols freshman Johnson declares for NBA draft
Tennessee freshman Keon Johnson will enter the 2021 NBA draft and forgo his remaining school eligibility by hiring an agent, he introduced Wednesday.Johnson, the No. 6 prospect within the ESPN 100, was named to the SEC’s all-rookie crew after averaging 11.Three factors, 3.5 rebounds and a pair of.5 assists in 25 minutes per recreation.”Since our season ended, I’ve spent loads of time pondering, praying and consulting my household and coaches, and I’ve determined to enter the 2021 NBA draft with illustration,” Johnson posted on Twitter. “I’m endlessly grateful to God for blessing me with abilities, surrounding me with a stable help system and positioning me to take this subsequent massive step.”45 signing off🌶 #vfl #govols pic.twitter.com/doXbROplqT— Keon Johnson (@iamkeonjohnson) April 7, 2021 “The NBA has at all times been my aim, however I by no means anticipated it to return this quickly,” Johnson advised ESPN. “I actually do not care what quantity I get drafted at. I simply wish to go someplace I slot in that group. The place I can preserve growing and discover my area of interest.”A late bloomer who grew up as a shortstop on the baseball area, Johnson did not emerge as a top-shelf prospect till the spring and summer season previous to his senior 12 months of highschool. Robust outings along with his AAU crew, EAB Tennessee, earned him an invitation to USA Basketball, the place he established himself as a five-star caliber recruit and potential NBA lottery decide.After lacking most of his senior 12 months of highschool with a knee harm, Johnson began his freshman season slowly at Tennessee, coming off the bench for 10 of the primary 11 video games and enjoying simply 13 minutes in his debut. He improved dramatically because the 12 months moved on, scoring 27 factors in a win at Kentucky in February and averaging 17 factors per recreation in his closing 5 contests.”As soon as I get snug and right into a groove I perceive the completely different expectations which are given,” Johnson stated. “Not beginning or not enjoying as a lot early within the season did not hassle me as a result of I knew I wanted to develop so I took that upon myself to make that change.”Johnson is taken into account one of many quickest and most explosive gamers within the school recreation by way of his capacity to speed up from a standstill and get off his ft for dunks and blocks. Because the season progressed, he began flashing actual upside as a ball-handler in decide and roll conditions. His capacity to play at completely different speeds, and use or reject a ball-screen, mixed along with his measurement, physique management, fluidity and creativity as a passer, counsel important room for development long-term. Defensively, he proved capable of keep in entrance of guards and wings along with his bodily instruments and aggressive model of play.”I believe NBA groups see a defensive-minded guard who can rating in any respect three ranges,” Johnson stated. “I really feel like my 3-point shot goes to enhance and preserve me on the courtroom within the NBA, together with my versatility on the offensive finish.”The NBA introduced final week that the draft will probably be carried out July 29, and has scheduled its draft mix for June 21, that includes aggressive 5-on-5 motion “topic to public well being situations.”Jonathan Givony is an NBA Draft knowledgeable and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a non-public scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and Worldwide groups.