(Photo of David Johnson: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville men's basketball sophomore guard David Johnson has declared for the NBA Draft and will forego his remaining collegiate eligibility, he announced Wednesday.
"To the city of Louisville, the love, support, and encouragement you've given has been imperative to my growth as "The Hometown Kid!" I thank you all from every word you've shared and everything you've done, I will always hold dear to my heart while showing appreciation to you," Johnson said in a release by the University. "It has been a dream of mine to play in the NBA since I could remember and now it's time to take the next step to get there.
"DJ is a terrific player and incredible representative of the University of Louisville. I'm going to miss coaching him, but I'm happy as heck for him and his family. He's a first-round talent and a first-class kid, and he'll always be a Cardinal," head coach Chris Mack added.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound guard was the Cardinals' second-leading scorer behind Carlik Jones during the 2020-21 season, averaging 12.6 points over 19 games. He also chipped in with 5.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 41.1% from the field and 38.6% on three-point attempts, earning honorable mention All-ACC honors.
Heading into this past season, the Louisville native was regarded to be a borderline NBA Lottery pick, and played like one to begin the season. Over his first nine games, the Trinity alum averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 48.0% from the floor and 45.7% from long range.
But his performance in the second half of the season left many to wonder if he would leave early for the NBA or come back for another season. Johnson averaged 10.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists to 2.8 turnovers over his final ten games, while shooting 35.5% from the field and 33.3% on threes.
Johnson burst onto the scene during the second half of his freshman campaign last season. In the final 15 games, Johnson averaged 8.9 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals while shooting 49.5% from the field. He had scored 37 points for his first 12 games of the season before totaling 132 in the last 14 games.
Louisville opened up the 2020-21 season at 9-1 and were ranked as high as the No. 16 team in the nation, but went 4-6 in the second half of the season to finish 13-7 and miss the NCAA Tournament.
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