Jalen Johnson taking notes on one of the Duke basketball greats

Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Incoming Duke basketball freshman Jalen Johnson has been studying and taking notes from one of the best to come through the Blue Devil program, Jayson Tatum.

Selfishly, I wish I had written this article prior to Jalen Johnson‘s recent tweet where he referred to a highlight package of Jayson Tatum during his time at Duke.

The incoming Blue Devil said he’s “taking notes” on one of the most recent stars to come through the doors of Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Upon Johnson’s commitment to Duke and in watching some of his high school games, highlight tapes, and examining his measures, only one comparison came into my head, and that’s Jayson Tatum.

Jalen Johnson, listed at 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, compares to the NBA All-Star Jayson Tatum at 6-foot-8, 204 pounds.


The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native can be described as a “big guard” who has the ability to ball handle, get to the basket off the dribble, and shoot the 3-point ball if needed, although not an extreme strong suit at this point in his development.

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Prior to being the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Tatum was named to the All-ACC team and the All-Freshman Team after averaging 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game on 45.2 percent shooting from the field and 34.2 percent from 3-point range.

Much like his NBA comparison, Johnson can play one through four, and if Duke ever needed to play an extreme small-ball lineup, the Nicolet High School star could get some minutes at the center position.

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Blue Devil fans should be giddy to get the 2020-21 season underway as Jalen Johnson is more motivated than ever considering where he has been ranked in the final individual high school rankings and his motivation to win Duke a sixth National Championship.

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Although the Duke basketball program will most likely not have a selection inside the NBA Draft Lottery in 2020, it should be a slam dunk for Johnson to crack the Top-14 in the 2021 NBA Draft after a sensational freshman season as a Blue Devil.