NBA Draft Process Valuable Experience For Robert Johnson

Stu Jackson, Staff Writer
The Hoosier

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Jordan Wells / TheHoosier.com

For IU senior guard Robert Johnson, the NBA Draft process was a learning experience but a valuable one at that.

The Richmond, Virginia, native ultimately decided to return to school but knows exactly what he needs to work on in his final season as a Hoosier in order to reach the next level.

"I got a lot of good feedback as to what I need to work on, things I need to show going forward," Johnson said. "So I think it's just good to have those things in mind as you try to progress."

Alongside former IU standouts James Blackmon Jr., OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant, Johnson officially declared for the draft on April 11.

None of the mock drafts published from analysts such as DraftExpress.com or ESPN's Chad Ford between then and the days leading up to the May 24 deadline projected him to get chosen in this summer's draft, nor did they include him in their Top 100 prospect rankings.

He officially announced his decision to return for his senior season on May 22.

"Well, a couple things that they talked about was they wanted to see if I could play point guard at a high level, have the ability to run a team, and just be more consistent throughout the year," Johnson said of the feedback he received from scouts.

With his return, Johnson gives Indiana just one of its top four scorers from a season ago; more specifically a player who averaged 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 29.4 minutes per game last season. As a his junior, he started in 32 of the 34 games he played in and finished just 22 points shy of 1,000 points for his IU career.

His return also gives Indiana another vocal presence which the locker room lacked last year. Johnson has received praise from new Indiana head coach Archie Miller for how he set the tone at the beginning of summer workouts.

Miller said Johnson growing from his current situation will be critical to the Hoosiers' success this upcoming season.

"Rob's a guy that's going to have to step out of his comfort zone a little bit," Miller said. "He's done a better job this summer than he did in the early spring. He's really, really worked hard and shown people how it's done. But he's talking more."

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