Stanley Johnson Should Stay At Arizona


While his teammates Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley are heading to the pros, Stanley Johnson’s future at Arizona remains up in the air.

According to a report from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, the freshman is ‘torn’ on whether he wants to enter the upcoming NBA Draft.

"“He’s really torn,” one source said. “He doesn’t want to go out like he did against Wisconsin. For five years in basketball, Stanley has always won his final game. He’s used to winning.”"

Fortunately for Johnson, he still has some time to make a decision. A player must declare at least 60 days prior to the draft, meaning that he has another couple of weeks to decide.

Johnson had a very solid freshman season with the Wildcats. Voted to the Pac 12’s first-team and named Freshman of the Year in the conference, Johnson averaged 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

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Despite having a very good regular season, Johnson didn’t play well during the NCAA Tournament, however. After scoring 22 points against Texas Southern, he only put up that amount in three games following that tourney opener.

Currently, Johnson is still going in the top 10 in all of the mocks that I’ve seen. has him going eighth overall to the Detroit Pistons while the others have him going right around that spot.

There’s no question that Johnson has a difficult decision to make. As of now, he’s a guaranteed lock to be a lottery pick in this coming draft in late June.

If he returns to Arizona for his sophomore season though, he could be one of the first guys off the board in the 2016 draft. That draft class just isn’t expected to be as strong as this one is going to be.

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Of course, there’s always a risk for a player when it comes to them returning to school for another year. Johnson could suffer a very serious injury, which could either hurt his draft stock or jeopardize his pro career altogether.

In most cases, I’ve been a fan of a kid returning to school for another year. Sure there’s a risk and I get some guys need the money right away, but another year of college ball can not only help develop a player’s game, but it can help them mature as a man as well.

The Daily Wildcat earlier this week posted a column discussing how Johnson should come back for his sophomore season. I found this to be the most telling part of the article.

"Would Johnson be an NBA lottery pick this upcoming draft? No doubt. Would he earn millions of dollars? Certainly. Most NBA mock drafts have him going in the top 10. But imagine the experience and growth he could gain from another year under Arizona coach Sean Miller."

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Add that to the fact that Johnson might want to finish off his collegiate career with a victory and I would say there’s a very good chance he’s back in Tucson come next season.

Wildcat fans everywhere are keeping their fingers crossed that ends up being the case. If Johnson does indeed return, the Wildcats should once again be favorites to get to the Final Four in Houston.

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