Karron Johnson Still Not Playing At Midland

Karron Johnson, who was considered one of the best junior college basketball players in the nation when he signed with Oklahoma State in November, has returned to Midland (Texas) College for the spring semester. But the 6-8 forward has yet to rejoin Midland's top-20 junior college basketball program after being suspended indefinitely, a member of the Midland coaching staff said earlier this week.

Johnson was averaging 9.1 points and 6.4 rebounds before being suspended by Midland head coach Russ Hodge. The 21-year-old Midland sophomore was reportedly upset with his lack of playing time when he was suspended in November.

Johnson has not spoken to the media since his suspension. James Black, a mentor/friend from North Carolina, wrote recently in a text to GoPokes.com that, "Karron is not taking any calls right now."

But Midland assistant coach Jamaal Greene confirmed earlier this week that Johnson is back at the school and enrolled for the spring semester. He continues to keep in touch with the NJCAA Preseason Player of the Year despite not seeing him each day at practice.

"We text a lot. There's still communication on a regular basis. I wouldn't say we talk on the phone a lot but we text a lot. He's trying to finish up strong and I definitely think he's going to do so," said Greene.

But as far as Johnson's status with the basketball team, "it's still the same. There's nothing new to share," said Greene.

Johnson must graduate from Midland to be eligible to compete at Oklahoma State for the 2011-12 basketball season.

"He did have a solid fall semester," Greene said. "We're still doing our best to try to help him achieve that goal (of playing at Oklahoma State). He definitely wants to continue in that direction."

Greene said that while Johnson is not practicing with the team he is allowed to use the school's facilities, and has been doing so. "He's definitely working out on his own. We're not going to turn him away or anything like that. If there's an opportunity to help him, we're going to help him," he said.

But it doesn't appear that Johnson will be suiting up again this season for the 18th-ranked Chaps, 15-2 entering Thursday night's showdown with No. 8 Howard College.

"That's something our head coach, Coach Hodge, will decide and the direction he wants the program to go in. Honestly, whatever it is, whether he's here (playing basketball) or not, I like Karron. He's a good kid," said Greene.

"We wish him the best in whatever endeavors he decides ... whether he's playing in a Midland uniform or wherever it takes him. But he's not a bad kid at all. At times there is some immaturity but that's something with a lot of these young kids. They have maturity issues. But is he a bad kid? No."

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