The prize of Duke basketball's 2020 haul may not play his senior season at all, but does the story warrant worry?
Researching the murky situation involving Duke basketball signee Jalen Johnson yields two observations:
- A month ago, per Rivals' Corey Evans, the 6-foot-8, 215-pound Wisconsin native left IMG Academy (Fla.) — his third school in three years.
- Kentucky fans claim to hold inside knowledge about the reasons — i.e., rumors not worth mentioning.
Johnson committed to Mike Krzyzewski in July over Arizona, Wisconsin, and Kentucky — his "dream school" as a kid — and signed in November. The No. 6 prospect on the 247Sports 2020 Composite never suited up for IMG, seemingly at first due to his recovery from meniscus repair back in September.
One hint from Johnson regarding the move came via his tweet on Tuesday:
Regardless of why Johnson is no longer at IMG or what he plans to do between now and the fall, Evans sees no sense in Duke basketball fans reaching for the panic button just yet:
"I would not be alarmed. While he will likely not play the remainder of his high school season, it is not like the talent has been zapped out of him. This is a 6-foot-8, versatile and skilled forward who found the ideal fit at Duke, the type of prospect that Coach K has leaned heavily on in the past to reap great success."
Evans did, however, point out one concern:
"Might his development be a little stunted? Maybe, seeing that his fellow peers are getting greater in-game reps while he is not. At the end of the day, as long as Johnson enrolls at Duke, there is nothing to be worried about. He is a tremendous prospect that should lead a tremendous college career. He could be the go-to guy for the Blue Devils next season."
Duke's 2020 class currently sits No. 2 — behind Kentucky's — on the 247Sports Team Rankings and consists of six top 50 signees: Johnson, Paul VI Catholic (Va.) five-star point guard Jeremy Roach, Whitney Young (Ill.) five-star combo guard D.J. Steward, Trinity Episcopal (Va.) four-star power forward Henry Coleman, Huntington Prep (W.Va.) four-star power forward Jaemyn Brakefield, and IMG Academy (Fla.) four-star center Mark Williams (formerly Johnson's roommate).
ALSO READ: Ranking the six 2020 Duke signees
At the moment, no other Duke offers are on the table to 2020 recruits.