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Pack in the Pros

Where Are They Now? Markell Johnson

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I’m not sure if NC State fans are aware just how good Markell Johnson was for the Pack.

Johnson played point guard for all four years at NC State after being brought in by Mark Gottfried for the 2016 season. However, no one really paid much attention to the pick-up because that season Gottfried also brought in the top rated PG in the country, Dennis Smith Jr.

Markell was no slouch, though. He was the 58th best player in his class, and #10 ranked PG, and while he didn’t get too much run his freshman season, it was obvious that he had more true PG skills than the much more celebrated Dennis Smith Jr.

Johnson had a tight handle, was slippery with his ability change speeds on a dime, and could score on all 3 level. Johnson’s biggest skill, though, was his vision. Johnson was an elite passer, and a guy who could get everyone around him involved.

He was so good at it, that he left Raleigh as the #3 player all-time for career assists with 603. Only Wolfpack legends Chris Corchiani and Sidney Lowe have more.

1) Chris Corchiani, 1988-91 – 1,038
2) Sidney Lowe, 1980-83 – 762
3) Markell Johnson, 2016-2020 – 603

Johnson’s career, however, came to an abrupt end when COVID canceled the NCAA postseason just minutes before State was set to take the floor against #10 Duke (a team they had beaten by 22 earlier in the season, behind an elite 28pt, 9 rebound, 4 assist performance by Johnson)  in the ACC Tournament.

That was the last NC State fans saw of Markell Johnson.

So where is he now?

Johnson didn’t get an NBA look and opted against playing in the G-League. Instead, he headed to overseason to play for Besiktas S.J. in Turkey in 2020-21.

There he got 21 minutes per game, scored 7, and dished out almost 5 assists per game, but struggled to shoot from long range. The loss of his shot was something that had started his senior season at NC State. After shooting over 40% his first two seasons, he struggled with his form and shot just 27% in his final season. This carried over to Turkey where he shot just 24%.

After that season, Johnson headed to Lithuania last year to play for Peino Zvaigzdes, where he had a great season. Johnson scored 12 points and dished out 4 assists per game. He averaged 26 minutes and finally found his shot, hitting 42% of his 3s.

With his shot back, Johnson has a high ceiling as a point guard. A guy that can score 12 to 15 points per game and average around 5 assists per game is going to be extremely marketable and will have a lot of options when looking for his next opportunity.

That brings us to this season.

It appears that Johnson was all set to head to Germany to play for MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg, but had to be replaced at the last minute because of failed physicals.

There isn’t any news out there on why he failed the physical or what his next steps are. We’ll be reaching out to Markell to see if he can give us an update, but we’d assume that unless it’s something serious, we’ll see him land somewhere overseas at some point soon.

 

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Pack in the Pros

Carlos Rodon Finishes 6th in 2022 National League Cy Young Award Voting

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Earlier this week, the 2022 Cy Young Winners were announced, and former NC State All-American Pitcher Carlos Rodon came in 6th in the National League voting.

Sandy Alcantara, MIA: 30 (first-place votes) – 210 points
Max Fried, ATL: 10 (2nd), 7 (3rd), 5 (4th), 1 (5th) – 72 points
Julio Urías, LAD: 7 (2nd), 9 (3rd), 5 (4th), 1 (5th) – 66 points
Aaron Nola, PHI: 5 (2nd), 6 (3rd), 4 (4th), 2 (5th) – 48 points
Zac Gallen, ARI: 3 (2nd), 5 (3rd), 6 (4th), 6 (5th) – 45 points
Carlos Rodón, SF: 3 (2nd), 1 (3rd), 4 (4th), 7 (5th) – 30 points
Corbin Burnes, MIL: 1 (2nd), 2 (3rd), 1 (4th), 8 (5th) – 20 points
Yu Darvish, SD: 3 (4th), 1 (5th) – 7 points
Edwin Díaz, NYM: 1 (2nd), 2 (5th) – 6 points
Kyle Wright, ATL: 1 (4th), 1 (5th) – 3 points
Logan Webb, SF: 1 (4th) – 2 points
Ryan Helsley, STL: 1 (5th) – 1 point (MLB)

Rodon finished the 2022 season with a 14-8 record, a 2.88 ERA, 237 strikeouts (179 innings) and a WHIP of 1.03. In the National League, he ranked 6th in ERA, 2nd in K’s, 9th in WHIP and 9th in Wins.

In 2021, Rodon finished 5th in the Cy Young Award voting for the American League.

Rodon is now a Free Agent, and is set to become a very wealthy man after the past two seasons he’s put together.

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Pack in the Pros

Trea Turner Wins First Silver Slugger Award

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Former NC State All-American Shortstop recently won the National League Silver Slugger Award for the Shortstop position, the first of his career.

Among Shortstops, Turner led the MLB in hits (194) while coming 2nd in Batting Average (.298), doubles (39) and RBI’s (100).

Turner also earned his 2nd All-Star appearance in 2022.

The Dodgers recently issued a Qualifying Offer to Turner, who is now a Free Agent, and as expected he declined it.

Turner is about to make boat loads of money.

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Pack in the Pros

Pack Pros: NFL Week 10 Report

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This past weekend was the 10th week of the 2022 NFL season. Below is a breakdown of how the former NC State players on NFL rosters did.

Wide Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling had 3 receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs’ 27-17 win over the Jags.

Punter AJ Cole averaged an insane 58.8 yards per punt (5 punts) in the Raiders’ 20-25 loss to the Colts.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett was 22 of 35 for 212 yards with a touchdown in the Browns’ 17-39 loss to the Dolphins. He also rushed the ball 7 times for 40 yards.

Defensive Tackle Justin Jones had 3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 1 QB Hit in the Bears’ 30-31 loss to the Lions.

 

Linebacker Bradley Chubb had 3 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 3 QB Hits in the Dolphins 39-17 win over the Browns.

Quarterback Russell Wilson was 21 of 42 for 286 yards and a touchdown (1 interception) in the Broncos’ 10-17 loss to the Titans.

Running Back Nyheim Hines had 1 reception for 9 yards, and returned 3 punts for an average of 8.3 yards per return in the Bills’ 30-33 loss to the Vikings.

Defensive Tackle Kentavius Street had 3 tackles in the Saints’ 10-20 loss to the Steelers.

Defensive End James Smith-Williams had 2 tackles in the Commanders’ 32-21 win over the Eagles.

Cornerback Nick McCloud had 1 tackle in the Giants’ 24-16 win over the Texans.

Punter Trenton Gill averaged 43 yards per punt on 3 punts in Chicago’s 30-31 loss to Detroit.

Guard Joe Thuney (Chiefs), Center Garrett Bradbury (Vikings) and Tackle Ikem Ekownu (Panthers) played 100% of the snaps for their teams.

BYE

Linebacker Germaine Pratt (Bengals)

Defensive Tackle BJ Hill (Bengals)

Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers (Pats)

Running Back Zonovan Knight (Jets)

INJURY

Juston Burris (Panthers) – Concussion

 

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Dereon Seabron Shines in G-League Debut

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Former NC State All-ACC Guard Dereon Seabron made his debut in the NBA G-League on Sunday night for the Birmingham Squadron, the G-League Affiliate Team of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Seabron didn’t start, but you wouldn’t know it from his stats. In 32 minutes of play, Seabron had 24 points (10-16), 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.

 

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Despite Seabron’s performance, Birmingham lost to Lakeland 122-130.

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