Just a few weeks ago, we learned WSU redshirt junior guard Que Johnson would be exploring his options for the NBA Draft. His prospects for being selected looked thin at best though and our own Aaron Polevoi said this about Johnson's future with the team:
He attended prep school and then redshirted at WSU when he was only a partial academic qualifier, which means he would be turning 24 just before conference play next season. It wouldn't be a shock if Johnson -- degree in hand after four years in Pullman -- is simply ready to move on and try and start his professional career.
As it turns out, Johnson is ready to move on, just not to the professional ranks. Jon Rothstein reports Johnson intends get his degree and play his final year of college ball elsewhere. He's eligible to play for his new school right away since he will have graduated from WSU, presumably next month.
Johnson is coming off arguably his best season at WSU, averaging 11.3 points per game and knocking down over 40 percent of both his field goals and three-point attempts. But after coming to WSU from a prep school, he never seemed to reach his full potential. He was ruled a partial qualifier for the 2012-2013 season and struggled to score the following two seasons.
For Johnson though, this move presumably makes a lot of sense, even if, at 24, he'd be entering the NBA Draft in 2017 at a irregularly old age. WSU's prospects for next season are bleak and the chances of him getting much notice from any professional team while languishing on the Palouse are low. Johnson now at least has a chance to play for a competitive team that could get him a little notice for his post-college playing days.
So where does this leave WSU? We'd always had at least an inkling this would be Johnson's last year in Pullman, whether he decided to leave for the professional ranks or transfer so this shouldn't be unexpected. But Ernie Kent is now going to be leaning heavily on his four seniors, just two of which (Josh Hawkinson and Ike Iroegbu) have proven they can be depended on for much of anything resembling productivity. Kent also still has three spots left to fill for this fall and no fewer than four for the following season. Now would be a really good time for that recruiting prowess he talked about to finally come to fruition because things could go from worse to down right awful if it doesn't.