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UK signee Keldon Johnson has “different mentality” on court

Keldon Johnson (McDonald’s All-American Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT basketball writer Krysten Peek believes UK signee Keldon Johnson is easily one of the top 10 players in the 2018 recruiting class.

“I think Keldon is one of the most improved players from two years ago to now,” Peek said. “He has grown and is taller than people think. Every time I see him, he gets better.”

Johnson averaged 22 points, 6.8 rebounds ad 3. 6 assists per game for Oak Hill after transferring from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep for his senior season.

“I think he can do a lot of things to help a team win,” Peek said. “He’s not needed a great jump shot so far because he is so strong and quick. Will he need a jump shot next year? Yes, but I think his shot is fine.

“He’s a good defender already. He’s not known for his steals or quickness, but he’s also not a guy that is going to be a step behind elite offensive players. He’s going to be a really good defender.”

Oak Hill teammate David McCormack, a Kansas signee, has learned to appreciate his teammate’s unique personality off the court and business-like mentality on the court.

“His mentality is definitely different when he gets on the court. There are some jokes here and there, but for the most part he is all about his business and making sure he gets his job done on his end,” McCormack said. “Keldon Johnson is a fun teammate. He’s a goofy guy. But on and off the court, he is supportive in everything. He is very easy to get along with. He’s just overall a great teammate to have.”

ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi calls Johnson a “powerful driver” who has non-stop energy.
“If you think about John Calipari and how he coaches and what is important to him and how passionate he is about the game, I think Cal has met someone who is just as passionate,” Biancardi said. “I think Keldon will bring it in practice a lot, if not every day, and Cal will love that.
“He has been pretty consistent bringing finishing ability, toughness and energy. He has to work on his outside shot but going to the basket, he is as good as we have in the class. His outside shot is better but where he is going it needs to get much better. But if you just saw him even practice here, it’s easy to see how good he’s going to be.”

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