Wes Johnson is going pro. You know it. I know it. Despite his comments about not thinking about it, he knows it. When he finally does make that announcement a few days or weeks after the season is over, it won't be any kind of shocking revelation. But of course, we can all dream. And until he actually says he's leaving, he's going to get asked about it.
Sorry Wes, that's the rules. And now that Wes has played what we all assume to be his final game in the Dome, the questions are coming full-force. So, Wes, are you leaving?
"Nah," Johnson said when asked.
A minute-long moment of awkward stalling ensued. Members of the media badgered the star forward. One reporter suggested that this was the same answer they'd heard from Carmelo Anthony and Jonny Flynn in year's past.
Johnson just sat with his back to his locker and laughed.
"It's not," he reassured a few minutes later. "It's a wonderful feeling playing for this crowd. I saw the 34,000 come out for (Villanova), and with all the fans giving me that support, who wants to leave?"
Very kind, Wesley. You're a nice guy. I get why you have to say that, lest one of the reporters takes one of your quotes and makes a story out of it.
While Wes continues to be a mainstay on NBA mock draft boards, the rationalization has begun by some. I mean, Wes isn't putting up the numbers he was in December, right? His hand injury set him back...maybe he does need another year of fine-tuning...
Johnson, 22, is projected to be a top-10 NBA pick in several mock drafts (DraftExpress has him going 8th overall to the Pistons and NBADraft.net lists him as the No. 3 pick), even though he has struggled since injuring his right hand during the game against UConn on February 10.
Earlier this season, former Orange star Derrick Coleman pointed out a potential weakness in Johnson's game. "Love him. He’s explosive, or he can be. He’s got a great upside to him. One thing, though. I would like to see Wes take that ball out there on the perimeter and drive it to the basket," "Coleman said.
It sounds like a decent theory to get behind until you realize too many players have already bolted for the NBA with far-worse deficiencies in their arsenal. Enjoy the good times ahead over the next month (and then-some). The less expectations you put on Wes beyond that, the more you'll appreciate his time here.