Arizona Wildcats guard Nick Johnson will forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft, the junior announced Tuesday.
“It’s been a great experience at Arizona,” he said at a press conference. “I’ve chosen to put my name in this year’s draft.”
Johnson led the Wildcats in scoring as a junior with 16.3 points per game, shooting 43 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range. The 6-foot-2 guard was a key player for the UA, which spent eight weeks ranked No. 1 in the country and reached the Elite Eight before losing in overtime to Wisconsin.
“Nick embodies all of the qualities you want in a player,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “He’s extremely unselfish, plays both ends of the floor and always thinks about winning first. He’s made a meteoric improvement across the board in his time at Arizona, and that stems from his unbelievable attitude and his desire to be a great player. After receiving the feedback from the NBA, Nick, his family and our staff came together and we think it’s appropriate that he moves on to the next level. When you’re a first-team All-American, it speaks volumes to your talent. He leaves Arizona with my complete support, and I have no doubt that he’s going to be successful at the next level.”
Johnson is a likely second-round selection, widely regarded as a tweener between a point guard and shooting guard. Johnson is known for his athleticism, though it remains to be seen if he has the skillset for an NBA point guard.
The Wildcats and head coach Sean Miller return guards T.J. McConnell, Gabe York and Elliott Pitts along with forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and center Kaleb Tarczewski — while also adding freshmen Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Stanley Johnson — a projected top-10 pick in next year’s draft.