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Kahlil Whitney has same athleticism as Keldon Johnson but not the same 3-point shot yet

Kahlil Whitney doesn’t mind comparisons with Keldon Johnson. (Joe Hafley Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Comparisons to Kentucky freshman Keldon Johnson are something that Kentucky commit Kahlil Whitney has heard — and doesn’t mind.

Both are athletic wing players who plenty of strength and explosion. Both can get inside and finish in traffic with no problems.

But at the McDonald’s All-American Game, Whitney said he was a better 3-point shooter than Johnson, a 38 percent 3-point shooter this season at UK who made 45 3’s. From what I had seen of Whitney, that surprised me so I asked Rivals.com recruiting writer Krysten Peek about what Whitney said because she’s seen him play a lot more than me.

“No way is he better than Keldon shooting.” Peek said. “That’s not knocking a kid for having confidence in himself. He’s probably just trying to speak it into existence.

“His outside shot is developing. His release has got to get quicker. But if he can get to where he knocks down shots, his first step is incredible and if you have to respect him from the outside, he’s going to be really hard for anybody to defend because his athleticism is unreal. But he’s not a better shot than Keldon at this point.”

What about Ashton Hagans? Is Whitney’s shot better than Hagans, who shot 27 percent from 3-point range and made just 14 3’s in 37 games last season?

“Ashton in high school could not hit the back side of a barn,” Peek said. “He was so fast in high school he didn’t need to shoot outside. Kahlil is definitely a better outside shot coming out of high school than Ashton was.”

2 comments

  1. Tyrell Maxey will take over the point next year with Quickley being his backup. Hagans man never guarded him and was the guy who always double teamed PJ and Reid. We can’t have that next year.

  2. Johnson may have shot 38% for the year, but he was not even close to being consistent. He had a stretch of games where he lit it up, then his shot never came back on a consistent basis. A lot of that is just being young, but if Whitney is no better than that, Cal had better be looking for some shooters.

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