Dior Johnson, a 5-star point guard ranked third overall on 247Sports' list of the best class of 2022 men's basketball prospects, has decommitted from Syracuse University.
Johnson announced the decision on Tuesday afternoon:
The 6'3" point guard had committed to the Orange on Feb. 7:
247Sports lists Johnson as having 16 offers, including from Memphis and LSU.
Per Matthew Gutierrez of The Athletic, Johnson was Syracuse's highest-ranked recruit since NBA star and NCAA champion Carmelo Anthony.
Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard wrote on Tuesday that Johnson and Syracuse "mutually agreed" to part ways.
Waters ran down the reported series of events leading to that decision, beginning with Johnson's transfer to Oak Hill Academy, a move that Syracuse coaches supported:
"Johnson suffered a stress reaction in his foot in early September. He had his foot placed in a boot. Initially, Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said Johnson would be sidelined for about three weeks, but would return in time for the Warriors' season-opener on Oct. 27.
"But Johnson abruptly left Oak Hill to return to his mother’s home in California. He made the decision without the knowledge of the SU coaches.
"Johnson recently enrolled at Corona (Calif.) Centennial High School.
"It now appears that Johnson and the Syracuse coaching staff, including head coach Jim Boeheim and assistant Gerry McNamara, were both ready to move on."
Waters also noted that Johnson could decide to play in the G-League until he is eligible for the NBA draft or go overseas for a year a la 2020 first-round NBA draft prospects LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton.
On that front, a pair of scouts told Gutierrez back in February that it was "unlikely" Johnson would play college ball.
"Even if the [one-and-done rule] isn’t passed until 2023 or later, two veteran scouts said, his skill level may be so high by 2022 that it’s 'unlikely' he plays at the college level," Gutierrez wrote.
"His commitment is so early, they said, that a lot could change in the interim."
Regardless of what Johnson decides, whatever team that lands him will be getting a talented player with NBA potential.
Josh Gershon of 247Sports gave this July 19 scouting report on Johnson:
"Good size and length to go with sturdy frame that should carry plenty of strength. Impressive skill set given athletic ability. Has handle and vision to play on the ball, while he is an efficient enough shooter/scorer to play off it. Will be able to guard the one and two at next level. Talent-wise he is a no-brainer elite prospect at this stage. Bounced around several high schools before sophomore year. Finding stability will be key, but has continued to progress regardless. Projects as high major priority recruit."
Forward Emoni Bates, who has committed to Michigan State, tops the Class of 2022 list ahead of Johnson. Big man Jalen Duren, who is uncommitted, sits second.