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April 13, 2010
Johnson: I'm undecided; banquet report
JaJuan Johnson said he has not yet decided what he'll do.Despite several reports now indicating that he's elected to enter his name to be considered for this summer's NBA draft, Boilermaker senior-to-be
He has three options: 1) declare for the draft and hire an agent, thus foresaking his final season of eligibility at Purdue; 2) declare for the draft without hiring an agent, thus preserving the option to return through the NCAA's May 8 withdrawal deadline; or 3) do nothing at all and return to the Boilermakers for his fourth and final season of eligibility.
"I'm still just taking in all the information," said Johnson, after Purdue's postseason banquet Tuesday night. "I haven't made any final decision yet, either way. That's where I'm at right now. I've talked to a lot of people, my coaches, my teammates ... just taking in all the information and going from there."
Johnson said he didn't yet know that if he did declare for the draft whether he'd hire an agent or not.
"I understand the consequences of whether I did or if I didn't," Johnson said. "I just haven't made a final decision. I'll go from there."
One thing is certain: Johnson's in no hurry to leave, he said.
"It's definitely (difficult)," Johnson said. "It's a dream of yours. When you grow up, you dream about playing at the next level. I love Purdue, love my teammates, love my coaches, everybody really who's here. That's what makes the situation difficult."
Listen to what else Johnson said about the NBA.
Teammate E'Twaun Moore - who, by the way, was named the Boilermakers' Team MVP Monday after leading Purdue in scoring for the third consecutive year - said he's thought about it but didn't know what he'd do, indicating no plans, though, to declare.
Should Johnson return to the Boilermakers, it will give Purdue all three of its star juniors - Johnson, Moore and Robbie Hummel - back for their final seasons and probably make it a top-five sort of team in the preseason.
"We hope he does what's best for him and his family," point guard Lewis Jackson said. "Whatever he does, we're going to support him. We'd love to see him back here next year, though.
"You can go both ways. We know if he comes back next year we can have a great team, great expectations. ... But then again, if he has a chance to leave, we all dream about going to the NBA and playing. If he can further his career, great. It would be bittersweet if he left, but it'd be great to see him here."
The roster Purdue played with this past season produced three different team most valuable players in as many years, as Moore followed Keaton Grant and Johnson, respectively, the prior two seasons.
"Earlier (in the night), I told JaJuan that probably three or four guys could have won MVP," Moore said. "It's a great thing to have. At first, I thought we'd have a co-MVP, that there'd be two of us."
The team votes on the award. Moore politely declined to disclose his vote but said he split his ballot.
"That might be against the rules," Moore joked. "I might have broken them. That's all right."
Jackson, propped up on crutches Tuesday night, expects to be sidelined upwards of eight weeks after undergoing surgery to remove the hardware put in his foot after it was first surgically repaired early in the season.
"I'm praying that this is the last time I'll be out that long," Jackson said, "so I can keep my rhythm this time."
Outgoing senior Mark Wohlford will move to Washington, D.C., to attend law school at George Mason.
Monday night, the former walk-on with the cumulative 4.0 GPA was honored with the program's Ray Eddy "Mr. Hustle" Award and the Lambert Award for academics.
Chris Kramer won two more effort-related team honors Monday night, taking home his fourth "Play Hard" award and second consecutive Courage Award.
"I don't even know," Kramer joked when asked how many plaques he has now. "I get like two a banquet, so eight maybe. Maybe more. I think I got three the one year."
Kramer said the plaques are stored in his Huntington home.
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