By LARRY VAUGHT
Going into last season the consensus among national college basketball analysts was that John Calipari likely would not have a lottery pick in the NBA draft. Kevin Knox was considered a possibility, but not a likely lottery pick.
Of course, not only did Knox go in the lottery, but so did Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — who was not ranked among the top 25 players in the 2017 recruiting class.
So who will be Kentucky’s best hope for a lottery pick in the 2019 draft, especially since skeptics already doubt if Calipari has a lottery pick on next year’s roster?
ESPN’s Myron Medcalf recently made his pick — freshman wing Keldon Johnson. He listed his top pro prospect for every major college team and had Johnson as his top pick at Kentucky.
“John Calipari’s fleet of five-star recruits features Johnson, a 6-foot-6 wing who can explode through traffic or drive off screens. His size will help him play through contact, too,” Medcalf wrote. “With Reid Travis and PJ Washington working with Johnson on pick-and-roll situations, the projected top-15 pick in ESPN’s 2019 mock draft could soar in his first and only season in Lexington.”
Obviously, a top 15 pick would put him in the lottery.
Johnson was ranked behind Kentucky teammates E.J. Montgomery and Ashton Hagans in most 2018 class rankings.