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College Basketball World Reacts To Jalen Johnson News

Duke forward Jalen Johnson shoots a lefty layup.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - JANUARY 23: Jalen Johnson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots the ball against the Louisville Cardinals at KFC YUM! Center on January 23, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Duke basketball's 2020-21 season took another hit on Monday, as Jalen Johnson confirmed that he will opt out for the remainder of the year.

The freshman forward arrived in Durham as a highly touted five-star prospect and a part of a star-studded Mike Krzyzewski recruiting class. He averaged 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on 52.3 percent shooting in 13 contests for the Blue Devils.

Johnson's relationship with Duke seemed to be on edge prior to the official announcement on Monday. Stadium’s Jeff Goodman went as far as to day that there were “off-court issues” between the two parties, which likely contributed to his departure from the program.

Krzyzewski benched Johnson in the Blue Devils' Tuesday loss to Notre Dame and he didn't play a single minute of the second half in Duke's victory over NC State last weekend.

The news of the departure set the college basketball world aflame, as Johnson's decision becomes just the latest debacle involving the perennial powerhouse this season. Media members and fans appeared split in their support of his choice to leave, but largely considered it to be a questionable move.

Johnson's move particularly stands out because of his departure from IMG Academy in high school. Many believe that the combination of the two conflicts could be a red flag for NBA front offices interested in the young forward in the draft. However, loyal Duke fans and those wishing to defend the freshman wished him the best. With quite a bit of money on the line in the upcoming NBA Draft, some college basketball fans respected Johnson's choice to protect his health.

Overall, the Johnson experiment at Duke will be considered a failed one. After coming into Durham with high expectations, he'll leave under questionable circumstances.

Duke will need to somewhat replace Johnson's production down the stretch. Krzyzewski's hopes at an NCAA Tournament berth seem to be moving further out of reach by the second and only took a bigger hit on Monday.