KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- Shelbyville native Keon Johnson is the first Tennessee Volunteer off of the board in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Keon Johnson-New York Knicks (1st round, pick 21)
In his lone season in orange and white, Johnson averaged 11.3 points per game and 12.1 points per game in conference play as the second-leading scorer for the Vols. Johnson played in all 27 games, making 17 starts as a freshman. A member of the SEC All-Freshman Team Johnson led the team in field goals attempted and made, shooting .449 overall and improved his accuracy in SEC play. The 6′ 5″ versatile guard led the team in scoring six times last season including scoring a career-high 27 points against Kentucky in the Vols’ 82-71 victory at Rupp Arena. A physical defender, Johnson led Tennessee in both charges (11) and floor burns/diving efforts (14).
Johnson was then traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jaden Springer-Philadelphia 76ers (1st round, pick 28)
In his one and only season in orange and white, Springer led the Vols in scoring averaging 12.5 points per game and 12.7 points per game in SEC play. The Charlotte, North Carolina native scored 20 points in six games for Tennessee this past season, including a career-high 30 points in Tennessee’s victory over Georgia on February 2. A member of the SEC All-Freshman Team, Springer also led UT from beyond the perimeter, shooting .435 from three-point range, and from the charity stripe (81 free throws). During conference play, the 6’4” shooting guard ranked seventh in the league in assists and tenth assists to turnover ratio (1.1).
Thursday’s draft marks just the second time in program history two Tennessee Volunteers were drafted in the first round, the last time was in 1977.
UT head coach Rick Barnes has now produced 17 first-rounders during his career as a head coach and 29 total NBA Draft picks.