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Duke’s Jalen Johnson opts out remainder of freshman season

According to a report from college basketball insider Jeff Goodman, Jalen Johnson will opt out of the remaining portion of his freshman season at Duke. Johnson will presumably use this as an opportunity to prepare for the 2021 NBA Draft. He projects as a lottery pick and has a very good chance to go inside the top 10.

Johnson, a freshman forward, appeared in only 13 games this season, making eight starts. The 6-foot-9, 220-pounder averaged 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks. Johnson played only eight minutes on Saturday against NC State — his final game in a Duke uniform.

During his time at Duke, Johnson had some uneven moments; after a scintillating 19-point and 19-rebound debut against Coppin State, Johnson struggled some. A foot injury cost Johnson several games. After his return, Johnson had moments of triumph; he was brilliant at times against Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Clemson. However, those moments were short-lived.

There were persistent murmurs that the relationship between Duke and Johnson was often on uneven footing, which seems to have played a role in Johnson’s up-and-down playing time/role and this final decision.

 

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