Report: Johnson will return for senior season

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect Johnson’s comment.

Robert Johnson is expected to return to Indiana for his senior season, but the Hoosier guard says he hasn’t made a final decision.

Johnson tweeted Tuesday that he has not yet removed his name from the NBA Draft pool, responding to a report by Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports that indicated he had ended his flirtations with professional basketball.

“Still within the draft process,” Johnson tweeted. “Haven’t made a decision yet.”

The deadline for Johnson to make an official decision is May 24.

Many do expect Johnson to return to school. Should he do so, he would be Indiana’s leading returning scorer after the early departure of backcourt mate James Blackmon Jr.

Johnson averaged 12.8 points per game as a junior, and is 22 points shy of 1,000 for his career. The 6-foot-3 guard struggled at times during the 2016-17 season, pushing through a month-long slump in February that saw him average 9.8 points per contest.

With Blackmon gone, Johnson would take on an even larger role in IU’s offense next season.

“Rob also shot the ball particularly well this spring, and he’s in tremendous shape,” IU coach Archie Miller said this spring. “(He has a ) great character level.”

Johnson, along with Blackmon and forwards Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby, officially declared for early entry to the NBA Draft on April 11. In addition to Blackmon, Bryant and Anunoby have also hired agents and will not return to Indiana.

Johnson’s return would place IU at the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships for next season. He would lead a Hoosier backcourt that also returns Josh Newkirk, Devonte Green and Curtis Jones. Indiana will also welcome signee Al Durham to its backcourt this summer.

11 comments

  1. That is a positive. Plus I think D. Davis will be a dominant big man. Last year Davis seemed to be one player who had a good attitude and focused on his task at hand battling on the inside game. I think Davis and Johnson will thrive next year. Plus I always pretty much liked J. Morgan and think he will be really really good next year. Well, that is 3 who are going to do well in my opinion. Who else C. Harfman and F. McSwain are a possibilities and then will it get pretty thin or can a couple more players make solid contributions? I am sure I will like the way IU plays as a team and program much better. Injuries will need to be pretty much eliminated. Wouldn’t it be nice that Priller rose to the level as NBA prospect that you see playing in NBA wondering where this guy came from. Just a thought.

    1. Am really hopeful that Rob comes back. I liked Green even at Hoosier Hysteria. and yes, it would be nice to see Priller come around and show a lot of improvement this year.

    2. If Priller develops NBA level skills between now and the season opener Archie might get a job offer from the Vatican.

  2. Great news for IU. At this point, Rob does not have an NBA game. He isn’t quick enough to play the point, and doesn’t have great size to play the off-point position. He is a solid college player that should improve all aspects of his game under Archie’s tutelage. He is a proven commodity that will really need to be a scoring force as the other guards, Green, Newkirk and Jones all have significant shortcomings with their games. Perhaps, Rob becomes the leader for this IU team as it will need one.

  3. As mentioned, Rob doesn’t possess and NBA game…yet.

    Though he was inconsistent, I thought there were many nights when he was the best player IU put on the floor.

  4. Rob has been the most complete guard for IU during the last season. Now that he is out of James’ shadow, I expect him to be an All B1G player, great on offense, tenacious on defense, and a quiet leader of this team! Not sure what deficiencies Devonte has in his game. He led IU in 3-point % at 42+ as a freshman playing 4th behind James, Robert (each a starter from freshman year on) and Josh. I expect a big jump in overall play from him as a sophomore. Now that Josh can stop forcing Crean’s fast tempo mandate, I expect him to be vastly improved, with great change of pace, low TO’s, higher assists and solid shooting shooting. I also expect Curtis to really blossom. We know that he has the talent! DeRon and Juwan must learn to play hard without silly fouling. We need each showing their considerable talents on the floor for 28 minutes/game. But get ready to really like Justin Smith. That kid can ball it! I think that he will be a starter/25 minute player by the B1G season! This will be a fun team to root for all year long, and into March! Go Archie!

  5. U can cross match different players so to say he cant guard 2 guards is not accurate because he wouldn’t have to the houston rockets have pat beverly he’s the 2 but guards the 1 but you would know if you actually watched the nba game

  6. Father knows best! If you’re not sure you’re going to be drafted by now, you should come back to IU, get your degree, use another year in college to refine your game and get even more exposure. Barring injury, there’s no down-side to that plan.

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