Penn State Basketball

Penn State men’s basketball: Johnson suspended indefinitely

Penn State guard John Johnson has been suspended indefinitely, the program announced Monday.
Penn State guard John Johnson has been suspended indefinitely, the program announced Monday. CDT photo

Penn State guard John Johnson has been suspended due to “conduct inconsistent with team standards and values,” the program announced Monday.

“John Johnson’s been suspended,” coach Patrick Chambers said Monday at the Bryce Jordan Center. “(He’s) still part of the program. He’s not with the team as far as basketball activities right now. I don’t have a timetable.”

“That’s as much information as I can give you,” Chambers added.

Johnson is fifth on the team in scoring with 7.4 points per game while averaging 20.6 minutes this season. The senior guard is shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson scored 16 points in Penn State’s loss to Michigan last Tuesday and tallied a season-high 17 in wins over Cornell and Marshall.

The Nittany Lions (12-4, 0-3 Big Ten) head into their matchup at Indiana (12-4, 2-1) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on a three-game losing streak.

“When there’s bad news, there’s never good timing for bad news,” Chambers said. “But in the same token, we’re going to help him as much as we can and the next guy’s got to step up. I don’t mean to go Bill Belichick on the Patriots’ way of thinking, next guy up, but it’s a great opportunity for guys like Payton Banks and Devin Foster to step up and get some quality minutes and provide some spark off the bench for us.”

Banks, a 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman forward, is averaging 1.5 points and 6.1 minutes in 13 games. He scored seven points in 15 minutes — both season-highs — against Drexel in December. Banks averaged five minutes in Penn State’s first three conference games.

“I think Payton Banks is ready,” Chambers said. “I think he analytically, statistic-wise, my attitude club information, he’s prepared to play and he’s prepared to play 15-20 minutes.”

Foster, a 6-foot-2 guard, has played in three games and scored two points this season.

“It’s unfortunate,” Penn State guard D.J. Newbill said. “But it happens all the time. It happens every sport and the next guy got to step up. That’s why there’s 14 guys on the team. But John, he’ll be fine. We’re going to help him out as much as possible, that’s our brother, we still love him. But the next guy got to really come into the rotation.”

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