Jalen Johnson Withdraws from Duke After Opting out of 2020-21 Season

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIFebruary 26, 2021

Duke's Jalen Johnson (1) shoots against Pittsburgh during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Duke freshman Jalen Johnson has withdrawn from the university a week after opting out of the remainder of the 2020-21 season, according to Steve Wiseman of the News & Observer.

Johnson announced his intention to declare for the NBA draft on Feb. 15 after averaging 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 13 games under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. If the Blue Devils (11-8, 9-6 ACC) make the NCAA tournament this year, Johnson's departure could make a deep run tougher. 

As of Thursday, Duke's roster no longer listed the power forward.

Per Wiseman:

"[Withdrawing] ahead of the school’s March 24 deadline for undergraduates allowed Johnson to leave school with a W, or withdrawn, on his academic record rather than an F. That means Johnson, having completed his course work in the fall semester, is leaving Duke in good academic standing and will not hurt the program’s Academic Progress Rate score with the NCAA.

"... As is the case with all players, Johnson will continue to have access to Duke’s medical staff, both physical and behavioral health services, until he signs with an agent."

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman has Johnson pegged as a lottery pick this summer and is the No. 10 pick in his latest mock draft: "At 6'9", 220 pounds, Johnson has a standout physical profile for finishing, rebounding and defending. But it's the ability to handle the ball at his size that sets him apart and creates enticing playmaking-4 potential."

The freshman seems destined to become the latest one-and-done NBA star to have played for Krzyzewski. If so, he'll become one of the few not to play a full season at Duke before declaring for the draft. 

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