The San Diego State Aztecs stunned the college basketball world with a run to the National Championship Game as a 5-seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
The Aztecs’ magical run ended with a 76-59 loss to the Connecticut. In that game, Keshad Johnson led San Diego State in scoring with 14 points in 22 minutes played.
Well, on Wednesday, Johnson announced that he’s entering the 2023 NBA Draft, but while maintaining his college eligibility. That’s a pretty normal move by college basketball players that are uncertain about their chances to get drafted at this point of the process and want to maintain their ability to return to school in the coming weeks. If nothing else, it’s a good opportunity to see where they measure up against other pro prospects and get valuable feedback from the scouting community.
So, that part of Johnson’s announcement isn’t very surprising. What *is* surprising is that Johnson added that he’s also entering the NCAA transfer portal.
— Keshad johnson aka “Showtime” (@kj_showtime0) April 13, 2023
One way or another, Johnson isn’t returning to San Diego State for the 2023-24 college basketball season.
San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher released a statement acknowledging the news:
“We can’t thank Keshad enough for everything he has done for our program in the last four years and wish him nothing but the best as he moves into this next phase of his career,” Dutcher said. “He has grown into a leader both on and off the court and is the quintessential example of a student-athlete, excelling in the classroom as well as on the court. He is an Aztec for life and will always occupy a huge presence on The Mesa.”
The 6’7″, 225-pound senior is set to graduate in May. He averaged 7.7 points (while shooting 53.2% from the field) and 5.0 rebounds for San Diego State in the 2022-23 season.
Earlier in the week, San Diego State guard Lamont Butler announced that he’s entering the draft while maintaining his eligibility to return to the Aztecs, and former USC guard Reese Waters transferred to San Diego State. It’s been an eventful week for an Aztecs squad that has hopes of another deep NCAA Tournament run next season.