The Washington Times-Herald

Sports

June 28, 2011

Purdue's Johnson, Moore stay together with Celts

Boston — They played against each other in high school, teamed up in college and were acquired by the same team in the NBA.

The familiarity between JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore should ease their transition from Purdue to the Boston Celtics. But that partnership also can end before they play their first pro game.

"It's kind of individual," Moore said Monday. "You can't go as two at a time every time."

And Johnson is the one.

As college freshmen, the 6-foot-4 Moore was a better player than the 6-10 Johnson. The guard from East Chicago, Ind., led Purdue in scoring in each of their first three seasons. But as seniors, Johnson, an Indianapolis native, piled up the honors — first team All-American and player of the year and defensive player of the year in the Big Ten.

Both considered entering the draft after their junior seasons but decided against it.

"It was a great choice for both of us," Johnson said. "It gave us an extra year to just really develop our game, mature more. We won our senior year and that's important, too."

The Boilermakers were 26-8 last season, finishing second in the Big Ten. Johnson and Moore won 107 games in their careers and at least 25 games in each of their four seasons.

"JaJuan has definitely grown a whole lot confidence-wise and on the court and off the court being more vocal and being more of a leader," Moore said. "I was glad last year when he decided to come back to school because I almost thought I was going to lose him, but he definitely came back better than ever."

Johnson improved his dribbling, defense and mid-range jumper. While Moore may be a longshot to stick with the Celtics, he did improve as a senior. He scored a career-high 38 points against then-No. 2 Ohio State in a 76-63 win on Feb. 20.

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