After several weeks of testing the NBA Draft waters, NC State point guard Markell Johnson will return to Raleigh for this senior season. Johnson announced his decision late Friday afternoon. On Twitter, NC State Coach Kevin Keatts expressed his excitement.
— NC State Men's Bball (@PackMensBball) May 24, 2019
Johnson wasn’t invited to participate in the draft combine or the G League Elite Camp, which was a key signal for his stock as a prospect. That said, his decision to return is espeically large for the Pack as signee Jalen Lecque continues to rise as an NBA prospect.
In his second season as a full-time starter, Johnson erupted in the 2018-19 campaign: 12.6 points (42.2 3P%, 60.3 eFG%) and 4.2 assists per game. He also posted an impressive assist rate of 29.7 percent.
It wasn’t just the boxscore stats that jumped, though; Johnson became a better all-around player, and one of the most efficient scorers in the ACC. There’s no question who the offense will run through at NC State next season as Johnson morphed into an excellent late-clock shot-maker, too.
A dynamite pick-and-roll player, Johnson returns to NC State with a solid roster around him, including rim-running center DJ Funderburk. Those two, plus State’s complement of shooters and slashers, should form as solid ACC squad for Keatts.