BREAKING: Vols basketball freshman Keon Johnson announces NBA plans

The Tennessee standout has made his intentions public.

It’s official: Keon Johnson is going pro. 

While rumors swirled that the freshman might stay for another season on Rocky Top, his Twitter announcement on Wednesday confirms that he’ll join Jaden Springer in the 2021 NBA Draft. 

The former 5-star freshman issued a statement with his announcement, thanking Tennessee’s fans, coaches and basketball staff.

Although he was only at Tennessee for one season, Johnson racked up a career’s worth of accolades. He was named to the 2021 SEC All-Freshman team, and he also earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for February 8, 2021.

Here are a few other notable statistics, courtesy of 

  • SEC All-Freshman Team selection appeared in all 27 games and led the Volunteers in field goals made (111) and attempted (247).
  • Started 17 games and was the first Vol off the bench nine times.
  • Was Tennessee's second-leading scorer overall (11.3 ppg) and in SEC play (12.1 ppg).

Johnson’s short stint at Tennessee was about more than stats, though. The Shelbyville, TN, native also became famous for several crowd-igniting, rim-rocking slams. You can view a few of those plays below. 

As far as his draft stock, Johnson has plenty of upside, and he’s been compared to a “smaller Jaylen Brown.” Below, you can find his full scouting report, courtesy of the NBA Draft Room:

Keon Johnson is a next level athlete who’s stock is trending up and he’s looking like a potential one and done or two year player for Tennessee. He doesn’t get a ton of touches for a loaded Tennessee team but he’s got a ton of natural ability and all the tools NBA teams look for.

He needs some time to refine his ball-handling, shooting and play-making skills but his elite athleticism and rock solid frame give him a nice NBA ceiling. At this point he drives the ball mostly to the right but he does so effectively and with a lot of success.

In some ways he plays like a young Ron Artest, being physical in the paint, rebounding the heck out the ball and also initiating the offense as a point forward. Another player Johnson reminds me of is Jaylen Brown, with his physical driving style and high end athleticism. It’s too early to say if he’ll be as good as those two players but the tools are there.