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Minus Wes = Plus Brandon?

Wes Johnson is now gone. Does that make the Dome more appealing for Knight?

Lauren Long/The Post-Standard

Posted: Mike Couzens

The Brandon Knight watch is currently at t-minus one day. The top rated point guard prospect in the nation will be making his college decision tomorrow at 4 p.m. on ESPNU.

He’s deciding between Syracuse, Kentucky, Florida, UConn and Kansas, and as documented here on The Fizz, Kentucky might have a slight edge over the rest of the pack. But now it seems Syracuse is pulling back as this race comes down to the wire.

In the least surprising announcement of 2010, Wes Johnson decided he was going to turn pro yesterday. He’s 23 years old, already had to sit out for a year and is going to get his degree. He would be crazy to do anything but take the money and run.

This changes the decision-making process for Brandon Knight. While it seemed the red carpet might have been rolled out for him at Kentucky, now the spotlight isn’t shining on anyone in particular in the Carrier Dome without Wes Johnson around.

Let’s face it, John Calipari has had tremendous success in recent years developing one and done guards with Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and now John Wall. But, Jim Boeheim has had similar numbers of guys jumping ship quickly too.

Donte Greene and Jonny Flynn have been the big names from Syracuse to head to the league after making their mark on the Hill. And now with Wes being the third of that recent group, B-Knight’s got to be thinking the Per’fesser is up to something.

Part of the college decision for Knight (and probably a big one) is finding a coach and a system that will allow him to get to the NBA as quickly as possible. Syracuse and Kentucky have similar systems that allow for a lot of on the fly decision making by the point guard, and without Wes, the two schools are almost identical.

Syracuse will now be without three starters from last year (Johnson, Onuaku, Rautins) to open up floor time for Knight, but will bring back two starters (Johnson and Triche) that can be great complements for him.

Rick Jackson had an especially insightful Tweet about who he entered college with (Scoop, Jonny, Donte, Sean Williams and Kristof) and that he’ll be the only senior next year since Scoop had to redshirt.

There’s lots of turnover in this program—and it’s certainly something that Orange fans have got to hope is appealing to Knight as he gets closer to that 4 p.m. deadline on Wednesday.

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