While the Kansas Jayhawks have seemingly crafted the best roster in college basketball ahead of the 2023-24 season, their roster took a step back with the loss of 2023 guard commit Chris Johnson, who was just granted his official NLI release, according to On3’s Joe Tipton.
Johnson asked for his release after the Jayhawks landed the likes of Towson transfer Nicolas Timberlake and Texas transfer Arterio Morris, who both should operate in a similar role that Johnson would have played in. After being officially granted his release from Kansas, Johnson becomes the top unsigned player remaining in the class of 2023.
Coming out of high school Johnson was graded as a four-star prospect by the 247Sports index as well as the 51st-ranked player in the nation, the 11th-ranked combo guard in the country, and the 3rd-ranked player in the state of Texas.
Director of scouting, Adam Finkelstein spoke on Johnson and his readiness for college hoops saying, “Johnson is a big guard with size and strength alike. He changes speeds, protects the ball at a high level going through the lane, and can score the ball in numerous ways inside the arc. He needs to keep progressing as a three-point threat with both inconsistent mechanics and a bit of a hardball. Defensively, he has tools that should eventually be able to translate at a high level, although he has yet to make that end of the floor a consistent priority. Overall, he is confident, and physical, and plays with an edge, that can be either a competitive advantage or a disadvantage depending on how it is impacting him.”
While requesting a release of commitment isn’t a common practice, Johnson recently saw another top name in the class request his NLI release earlier this offseason with five-star guard Ron Holland decommitting from Texas to go pro in the G-League. With Johnson officially reopening his recruitment, it’s a safe bet to assume that a frenzy of teams will be interested in the Texas native.