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Tag:JaJuan Johnson
Posted on: January 20, 2011 1:33 am
Edited on: January 20, 2011 7:26 am

Purdue's Johnson now in POY race

Every player who flirts with the NBA Draft before returning for his senior season claims three things:
  1. He loves school.
  2. He loves his teammates.
  3. He wants to improve his stock.
I'm genuinely convinced there's a handbook somewhere called "How to properly withdraw from the NBA Draft" -- Mississippi State's Dee Bost has never owned this handbook, by the way -- and that prospects simply highlight sentences from that publication and repeat them when necessary. It's always the same stuff. Help my stock. Raise my stock. Increase my stock. Whatever. But the truth is that most borderline first-round picks who return to school raise their stock very little, if at all, because borderline pros usually remain borderline pros in this sport.

Purdue's JaJuan Johnson might be the exception, though.

At the very least, he looks like it.

"JaJuan is very confident," Purdue coach Matt Painter told reporters late Wednesday after Johnson made an 18-footer to give the Boilermakers a 63-62 win over Penn State. "I would say that's his last step in his development. He's skilled. He's athletic. He can run. He's coachable. He's fun to be around. He's unselfish. [And] now he's confident."

I saw this firsthand over the weekend when I attended Purdue-West Virginia, and I was blown away by how Johnson's game has changed. The 6-foot-10 forward was taking and making jumpers, and he seemed comfortable and confident the entire time. He finished with 27 points points and six rebounds in that narrow loss, then backed it with a 25-point effort against Penn State late Wednesday that lifted his scoring average to 20.5 points per game while further legitimizing him as a serious National Player of the Year candidate.

So how much has Johnson raised his NBA stock this season?

Honestly, I'm not sure.

But he's raised his profile tremendously, already.

And that was always gonna be the first step in this process.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 2, 2010 12:51 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 12:55 pm

Duke teammates highlight 10-man USA Select Team

Duke teammates Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler headline a group of 10 college basketball players selected to train with the 2010 USA Men’s World Championship Team finalists next week in New York, USA basketball announced Monday.

The full college roster includes:
  • JaJuan Johnson (Purdue)
  • Jon Leuer (Wisconsin)
  • Shelvin Mack (Butler)
  • Kyle Singler (Duke)
  • Chris Singleton (Florida State)
  • Nolan Smith (Duke)
  • Trey Thompkins (Georgia)
  • Mike Tisdale (Illinois)
  • Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
  • Chris Wright (Dayton)
"One of the great developments of our Las Vegas camp was the USA Select Team which consisted of juniors and seniors out of the college ranks that we brought in to scrimmage against the USA National Team," said USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. "[Washington coach] Lorenzo Romar and [Villanova coach] Jay Wright did a terrific job of coaching the select players in Las Vegas. It worked so well we’ve decided to bring to New York a smaller group of players from that Select Team to do the same thing. They were very valuable to us and it’s a great experience for them."

The college players will arrive in New York Aug. 9 and train Aug. 10-13.
Posted on: May 8, 2010 1:36 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2010 4:48 pm

Johnson, like Moore, withdraws from NBA Draft

Purdue's JaJuan Johnson has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and plans to return to school along with teammate E'Twaun Moore, which should ensure the Boilermakers are the Big Ten favorite and a preseason top three team.

"We're obviously happy to have two players of the caliber of E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson returning to our team," said Purdue coach Matt Painter. "Their dedication, leadership and work ethic are key components of our team, and we're looking forward to helping them develop as both people and basketball players over the next year."

Johnson averaged 15.5 points and 7.1 rebounds this season.

He was not expected to go in the first round had he remained in the draft.
Posted on: April 14, 2010 10:14 am
Edited on: April 14, 2010 10:15 am

Purdue's Moore joining teammate Johnson in draft

Purdue's E'Twaun Moore, as expected , will make himself available for the NBA Draft just like teammate JaJuan Johnson, the school confirmed Wednesday morning. Neither player is expected to immediately hire an agent.

"There are a lot of positives that can come out of the information gathering that takes place this time of year," said Purdue coach Matt Painter. "Both JaJuan and E’Twaun have our full support as they start the process of finding out where they stand in the eyes of NBA personnel."

Purdue should be a consensus top five team if Moore and Johnson withdraw by the May 8 deadline.

If not, the Boilermakers could slip out of the preseason Top 25.
Posted on: April 12, 2010 2:58 pm

Purdue's Johnson in draft. Moore next?

Purdue's JaJuan Johnson will declare for the NBA Draft without hiring an agent, a source confirmed to on Monday. A separate source said classmate and teammate E'Twaun Moore could join Johnson this week, though another source cautioned that Moore "still hadn't made up his mind."

An official announcement on bother players is expected later this week.

This is devastating news for Purdue on the surface. But it should be noted that both Johnson and Moore are juniors who have never before entered the draft, meaning there is no downside to doing this as long as they keep their amateur status intact. They could simply withdraw by the May 8 deadline and return for their senior seasons. Unless they get some sort of guarantee from an NBA team, that's likely what they'll do, the source said.

Johnson and Moore led Purdue to the Sweet 16 this season.

Their return would likely ensure a preseason top five ranking.
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