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100 Things Cyclone Fans Should Forget Before They Die: Wesley Johnson

Jimmy Butler as well.

Iowa State’s Wesley Johnson answers questions at media day, Monday, Oct. 29, 2007, in Ames, Iowa.

As a lightly recruited 6’7” small forward out of Corsicana, TX, not many realized what Wesley Johnson was capable of. However, once in a Cyclone uniform, Johnson woke everybody up to just how talented he was. As a freshman, he averaged 12.3 points and 7.9 rebounds and earned freshman All-American honors, and posted double-doubles against Mizzou and Texas A&M.

Even though he missed 5 games as a sophomore due to injury, Johnson still averaged 12.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game and earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors. Following the season Johnson decided to transfer, eventually ending up at Syracuse under Jim Boeheim.

After sitting out one season, all he managed to do was lead Syracuse in scoring, and be named Big East Player of the Year and a First Team All-American.

After the season, Johnson declared for the NBA Draft, and was taken 4th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Though he never became a star in the league, he has staked out a career as a decent role player with the Lakers and Clippers franchises.

Obviously, having a player this talented transfer out of the program is unfortunate, but what is most frustrating is the missed potential in the next couple seasons. A junior or senior Wesley Johnson paired up with Craig Brackins and Diante Garrett could have made a for a solid, NCAA Tournament-caliber team.

A possible silver lining is that his decision to transfer may have gotten the ball rolling on Greg McDermott leaving for Creighton and Fred Hoiberg coming to Ames to bring us this golden era of Cyclone basketball.