Apr 12, 2010, 5:31 PM EDT
Wesley Johnson, who was the poster boy for a Syracuse team that was expected to have a down year and ended up with a top seed in the NCAA Tournament, has declared himself for the NBA draft.
It was expected as it was for Devin Ebanks of West Virginia and Dominique Jones of South Florida. All three declared today.
Johnson — at 6’7″ and 200 pounds — has the build and athleticism to play the three in the NBA. He flashed that in the NCAA tournament, putting up 31 and 14 against Gonzaga.
He can shoot with range (41 percent from the college three this season) and is athletic enough to drive or fill the lanes on the break. At Syracuse he operated a lot from in close and shot well from the midrange, plus he can put it on the floor. And he has a quick release, which will translate well to the next level. He’s not a guy that is going to create opportunities and take over games that way, but as a shooter and third option he can have a lot of success to start with.
Johnson is set to go in the lottery, almost certainly in the top 10.
Today’s other two declarees are likely going late in the first or early in the second round.
Devin Ebanks has flashed moments this season of his potential, he looked great as a point forward for a while. But at 6’9″ and 205 he is considered thin. Also, he missed the start of the season suspended by the team, then there were rumors of a fight with a teammate later. That may have teams cautious. But there is potential.
Dominique Jones can score, he averaged 21 a game for South Florida. He’s a slashing two guard who can get to the rim and finish. But, he has a questionable outside shot (31 percent from three this season) and there are doubts he is athletic enough for the Association. But he has an NBA body and will get a look from somebody. Everybody will take a chance on a scorer.
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