In the midst of all the "Will he or won't he" drama this afternoon concerning Matt Painter we all need to take a break and celebrate that there will be a new banner in Mackey Arena next season for the third straight year. No, it is not the Final Four one we all hope, nor is it a Big Ten Tournament title or Big Ten regular season championship.
JaJuan Johnson was named a first-team All-American today by the Associated Press. While JJ's return this season in order to reach a Final Four didn't pay off in team accomplishments, his individual jump likely earned him a very nice NBA payday in a few months, as well as these great individual honors that continue to roll in. First he was named Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the year, now, with this honor, he becomes Purdue's first consensus All-American in 17 years since Glenn Robinson. The Big Dog, of course, was National Player of the Year and the #1 overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft. While JJ likely won't match that, it is a great honor for the Big Man.
It's hard to believe his Purdue career is already over, but I am grateful he stayed for this season. Good luck at the next level, Big Man. You now have your banner hanging in Mackey with our All-Time Greats.