- He loves school.
- He loves his teammates.
- He wants to improve his stock.
Purdue's JaJuan Johnson might be the exception, though.
At the very least, he looks like it.
"JaJuan is very confident," Purdue coach Matt Painter told reporters late Wednesday after Johnson made an 18-footer to give the Boilermakers a 63-62 win over Penn State. "I would say that's his last step in his development. He's skilled. He's athletic. He can run. He's coachable. He's fun to be around. He's unselfish. [And] now he's confident."
I saw this firsthand over the weekend when I attended Purdue-West Virginia, and I was blown away by how Johnson's game has changed. The 6-foot-10 forward was taking and making jumpers, and he seemed comfortable and confident the entire time. He finished with 27 points points and six rebounds in that narrow loss, then backed it with a 25-point effort against Penn State late Wednesday that lifted his scoring average to 20.5 points per game while further legitimizing him as a serious National Player of the Year candidate.
So how much has Johnson raised his NBA stock this season?
Honestly, I'm not sure.
But he's raised his profile tremendously, already.
And that was always gonna be the first step in this process.