Wesley Johnson plans to transfer this year

Matt Gubbels

Wesley Johnson, the second-leading scorer for the ISU men’s basketball team the last two seasons, has informed coach Greg McDermott he intends to transfer.

According to a press release, McDermott received a phone call from a family member of Johnson’s saying Johnson was planning to transfer.

“‘Shocked’ would be the best way to describe my reaction,” McDermott said. “I flew Saturday morning to his hometown [in Corsicana, Texas] to talk, but his mind was made up.”

According to the press release, Johnson packed up all of his personal belongings at his apartment last week but made no contact with members of the coaching staff or teammates before departing for home May 10.

McDermott said he was disappointed in the way he learned of the news, but said Iowa State men’s basketball is more than one individual.

“It’s a setback for our team,” McDermott said in the press release. “I wish Wesley well, but my energies will be directed to the players committed to Cyclone Basketball.”

Johnson missed five games last season and had surgery on a stress fracture in his left foot on April 30.

“The surgery went well and Wesley was focused on doing the things he needed to do for full recovery,” McDermott said.

Johnson was lightly recruited after one of his prep schools closed. He was a member of McDermott’s first recruiting class and played both guard and forward in his time with the Cyclones.

Johnson averaged 12.4 points per game last season and 12.3 points per game his freshman season, making the Big 12’s All-Freshman Team. Johnson also led the Cyclones in rebounding and blocked shots during his freshman season with 7.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

With Johnson transferring and Jiri Hubalek and Rahshon Clark graduating, only one of the team’s top four scorers, freshman Craig Brackins, will return to Iowa State. Johnson is the sixth player to transfer during McDermott’s two years at Iowa State.

“He certainly was a great fit for our program during his healthy freshman season and there’s no doubt the injury this year affected him a great deal physically,” McDermott said in the press release. “During our visit in Texas, I outlined all of Wesley’s options and the challenges of a mid-career transfer. A transfer is a lot more complicated than just switching schools. I want Wesley to fully understand how a transfer can impact his development for a professional career.”

Johnson did not share his future plans with McDermott during their meeting.

The athletic department declined to comment further on the matter until Wednesday, when McDermott will be available to the media. Johnson, despite multiple attempts, was unavailable for comment.