NC State men’s basketball junior guard Markell Johnson will submit his name for consideration in the 2019 NBA Draft. He will go through the evaluation process while retaining his NCAA eligibility for a potential return to NC State.
“I fully support Markell going through this evaluation process and gathering additional information,” said NC State head coach Kevin Keatts. “Given the rules and options available to him, Markell is taking advantage of resources to ultimately make the most informed decision.”
Johnson finished second on NC State in scoring in 2018-19, averaging 12.6 points per game while also leading the Wolfpack with 4.2 assists per contest. The Cleveland native hit 42.2 percent on three-point accuracy for the season and was second on the squad with 68 three-pointers made.
Johnson scored a career-high 27 in the Wolfpack’s win over eventual Final Four squad Auburn, hitting 9-of-15 shots from the floor while making 5-of-8 three-pointers. He delivered a season-high 10 assists in the Wolfpack’s lone matchup with Duke this season at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
He had six 20-point games on the year. Over the past three seasons Johnson has played in 89 games with 57 starts.
Under current rules, student-athletes may declare for the draft without losing eligibility, provided they withdraw by the deadline on May 29.
NC State Signee Jalen Lecque Goes Undrafted, Signs UDFA Deal with Suns
Point Guard Jalen Lecque, who was an NC State 2019 signee that opted for the NBA Draft instead of attending school in Raleigh in the Fall, didn’t hear his name called last night in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Despite going undrafted, the Phoenix Suns signed the athletic phenom to a 4-year Undrafted Free Agent Contract, with 2 years guaranteed.
Lecque was a 4-Star prospect out of Brewster Academy, ranked 40th nationally by Rivals and 247.
The high flyer committed to NC State back on October 2nd, submitted his paperwork for NBA eligibility on April 2nd, and fully declared for the Draft on May 29th.
This obviously didn’t go the way Lecque would have ultimately liked, but a guaranteed two-year contract gives reason for optimism.
I still stand on the premise that Lecque would have benefited from a year of college, and likely would have been a lottery pick next year.
NCAA to Move 3-Point Line Back to International Distance
When NC State played in the 2019 National Invitational Tournament, there were a variety of experimental rules put in place. One of those was moving the 3-Point line back 1 foot, 8 inches, which is the distance used by the FIBA (International Basketball Federation).
The NCAA considered the experiment successful, and recently approved a rule change to move the arch back to 22 feet and 1¾ inches. This rule will be implemented at the start of the 2019-20 season.
Senior Wolfpack Point Guard Markell Johnson had no problem shooting it from further back, hitting 9-17 (52.9%) in the Wolfpack’s 3 games in the NIT.
As a team, NC State shot 33.3% from the new standard, which was slightly under their season average of 35.3%.
NC State’s Torin Dorn Worked Out for the Hornets Yesterday
Former NC State Wing Torin Dorn worked out for the Charlotte Hornets yesterday.
Yesterday’s workout was technically Dorn’s first pre-draft team workout, but he did participate in an agent pro day in Phoenix two weeks ago. Dorn also played well in the Portsmouth Invitational at the end of April.
I would be shocked to see Dorn drafted, but workouts like these could help him get an invite to the NBA Summer League or get a G-League contract.
NC State Men’s Basketball to Host Wisconsin in Big Ten-ACC Challenge
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State men’s basketball team will host Wisconsin in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, the league announced on Thursday.
The game is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 4. Tip-time and broadcast information will be released later.
The match-up will be the fourth all-time between the two programs. Wisconsin has won all three previous meetings, including last season’s game in Madison, Wis., 79-75. Markell Johnson led the Pack with a then-career-high 21 points in defeat.
NC State returns six of its top-seven scorers from last season’s 24-12 team.
Wisconsin returns six of its top-eight scorers from last season’s 23-11 team.
Additional opponents and dates for the 2019-20 season will be announced at a later date.