Wesley Johnson Chose Syracuse

Wesley Johnson, a 6-foot-7, 195 pound swingman who announced his decision to leave Iowa State in May, will be on Syracuse's bench in the fall, albeit in street clothes.

Fallout: Orange signee James Southerland will return to Notre Dame Prep. Johnson's transfer destination was reported earlier by the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Wesley Johnson was Iowa State's second leading scorer in 2007-08 with 12.41 points per game despite battling injuries throughout the year. In 27 of ISU's 32 games, Johnson also averaged 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.9 steals. (Jiri Hubalek edged out Johnson with 14.44 ppg.)

He missed the first four games of the season because of a bruise to his left foot, and reinjured it in late January. Johnson had surgery for this stress fracture on April 30, 2008.

Johnson's departure from the Big 12 school had been unexpected, although the assistant coach who recruited Wesley had taken another job at Texas Christian the previous month.

ISU's May 19th press release stated:

    "Shocked would be the best way to describe my reaction," McDermott said of the phone call he received from a Johnson family member last Thursday night saying that Wesley was seeking a transfer. "I flew Saturday morning to his hometown (Corsicana, Texas) to talk, but his mind was made up."

Johnson was named to the Big 12's All-Freshman Team in 06-07. Second in scoring (12.3 ppg), Johnson led the Cyclones with 7.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game as a rookie at the power forward (#4) slot. He was a shooting guard last season.

Iowa State gave Johnson a release to talk with eight schools: Arkansas, Connecticut, Marquette, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova and West Virginia.

Syracuse, which released its CoSIDA report earlier this month, has indicated that Johnson is a part of the upstate New York team. This has had an effect on Floral Park, N.Y.'s James Southerland.

Southerland, a 6-foot-7, 200 pound combo forward who signed with the Orange this past November, will be taking an extra, post-grad year at Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts. For Mike Sullivan's latest report, please click here.

Johnson had originally signed with Louisiana-Monroe out of Corsicana High School in Texas. A coaching change at the Sun Belt program sent Johnson to prep schools in 2005-06, first The Patterson School in North Carolina and then Eldon Academy in Michigan.

    Note: Neither is on the NCAA's prohibited prep schools list.

Top programs had missed Johnson. a least partially due to his travels. Iowa State came in via assistant coach, and Teaneck, N.J. native, Jean Prioleau. He was an assistant at Wichita State when he first recruited Johnson. He moved to Marquette in 2005-06 and then was hired by Iowa State's first year head coach Greg McDermott. Prioleau has moved on again. In April, he accepted the assistant coach offer from TCU, joining another first year head coach, Jim Christian.


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