Duke star forward Jalen Johnson opts out remainder of 2020-21 season

by:Jack Pilgrim02/15/21
Duke v Louisville
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
[caption id="attachment_338850" align="alignnone" width="2560"] (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)[/caption] You hear that sound? The one fading off in the distance? Yeah, that's Duke basketball's postseason hopes and dreams floating away. Following the team's 8-8 start to the season and 6-6 mark to open conference play, Duke freshman forward Jalen Johnson has opted out of the remainder of the 2020-21 season. Jacob Polacheck of ZagsBlog was the first to break the news. “He cleaned out his locker this morning,” a source told Polacheck. https://twitter.com/JacobPolacheck/status/1361457505369489416?s=20 The 6-foot-9, 220-pound freshman averaged 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals in 21.4 minutes per contest. According to Stadium's Jeff Goodman, there were off-court issues early in the season that ultimately led to his departure with just six games remaining in the regular season. https://twitter.com/GoodmanHoops/status/1361460686086356994?s=20 Johnson, a consensus top-15 recruit in the class of 2020, originally chose Duke over Arizona, Kentucky and Wisconsin, among nearly 30 total offers. At one point the five-star prospect told reporters that UK was his "dream school growing up," watching the likes of John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis as a kid. “I really like Kentucky a lot, that’s been my dream school growing up,” Johnson said. “I liked watching John Wall when he was there, and that’s kind of when it started. I just had more interest from there throughout the years. "... From a player standpoint, I think it’s John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Anthony Davis. Just seeing how successful they are in the NBA, I think that’s a huge factor for recruits. … Calipari’s player development, it’s like no other. Seeing how he’s turned players into future Hall of Famers, it’s crazy.” Instead, the former Kentucky target chose the Blue Devils, playing just 13 total games before ending his college basketball career. You hate to see it.

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