N.C. State will have its point guard back next season after all.
Markell Johnson has taken his name out of the NBA draft and has decided to return to school for his senior season.
The 6-1, 175-pound guard averaged 12.6 points and 4.2 assists per game last season. He was the Wolfpack’s most important player, particularly down the stretch of the 2018-19 season when he averaged 17.3 points per game over the final nine games.
“We certainly get much stronger as a program with his return and look forward to seeing him back on the court,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said in a statement released by the school.
With Johnson’s return, Keatts will have six of the top seven players from the regular rotation back from last year’s 24-12 NIT team.
Johnson wasn’t invited to the NBA combine but did work out for the Atlanta Hawks, the Charlotte Hornets and the Brooklyn Nets.
“I’m excited about what we have returning and ready to join my teammates to get N.C. State back to the NCAA tournament,” Johnson said in a statement released by the school.
Johnson’s return puts N.C. State’s roster at the NCAA scholarship limit. Recruit Jalen Lecque is expected to stay in the NBA draft. A fifth-year prep player from Teaneck, N.J. was invited to the combine and is a projected second-round pick.