With the news that Wes Johnson will indeed depart upstate New York and ply his trade in the NBA next season, SB Nation's Syracuse blog, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, rreflects on Johnson's impactful, albeit brief, career for the Orange:
Wes Johnson came to us with a modicum of hype. Unknown as a recruit, he had built up a good reputation at Iowa State before deciding to transfer. Cyclone fans were kicking themselves over losing Wes as they knew full well of his potential: ("
What were Syracuse fans expecting of Wes before this season? Boeheim had already hinted that Johnson might be good enough to go pro after one year, but we were skeptical. I think we knew he'd be good. But no one can say they thought he's be this good. Big East Player of the Year. 1st-Team All-American. 3rd in voting for the Wooden Award. A superstar.
Yes, we can sit here and debate all day just how valuable Wes was when it mattered most and the fact that he disappeared late against Butler will be a part of his legacy. But it will be a small part. Besides, that's the NBA's job now. More likely, we'll remember being No. 1 in March for the first time ever. We'll remember winning the Big East crown when we were picked to finish sixth in the conference. We'll remember the Villanova win, the Georgetown wins and all the other 30+ wins SU accumulated this season. Being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament after starting the season a 7- or 8-seed in many people's eye. Feeling like, on any given day, this team could have beaten any other team in the nation.