Basketball analysts are already turning the page to the 2021 NBA Draft following the completion of the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night.
One name that is catching the eye of those who cover the NBA Draft is Vols freshman guard Keon Johnson. 247Sports’ Eric Bossi has Johnson ranked as one of the 14 top projected draft picks for the 2021 draft. Bossi ranks the Tennessee native No. 13 overall.
“By the end of the year, the entire country is going to know all about Johnson,” Bossi wrote. “Tennessee is primed to compete for the Final Four and Johnson is about the most unknown elite prospect in the land.
“A humble, quite kid from Tennessee, Johnson was injured during his senior year or he would have been a McDonald’s All-American. Awesome defender, athletic finisher at the rim and an underrated playmaker for others off the dribble.”
Johnson signed with the Vols during the 2020 recruiting cycle as the No. 19 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He was considered the No. 4 shooting guard and the No. 2 overall player in the state of Tennessee.
Only two other SEC players joined Johnson on the list. Kentucky freshman shooting guard Brandon Boston Jr. is ranked No. 3, while fellow Kentucky freshman guard Terrence Clarke is ranked No. 7.
Johnson’s senior season was cut short when he suffered a knee injury in December of 2019, and he did not appear in the required number of games to qualify as a McDonald’s All-American. He won back-to-back Tennessee Division II-A “Mr. Basketball” awards as a sophomore and junior.
As a junior in 2018-19, Johnson led The Webb School to the TSSAA Div. II-A state semifinals and a 29-7 record while averaging 24.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.
During the summer of 2019, Johnson averaged 21.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and shot an impressive .490 from the field in seven games during the 2019 Adidas Gauntlet. He was also named MVP of USA Basketball’s annual summer mini-camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in July 2019, where he competed against many of the best high school basketball players from across the country.
Johnson was one of two five-star guards to sign with the Vols in the 2020 cycle. Jaden Springer signed as the No. 16 overall ranked player in the country.
Johnson and Springer will make their Tennessee debut next Wednesday on Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. ET when the 12th-ranked Vols take on Charlotte in their season-opener.