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John Calipari says signee Johnny Juzang can “really score the basketball”

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team added a versatile scorer with length and an ability to make an immediate impact with the signing of reclassified guard Johnny Juzang.

The 6-foot-7 guard out of Tarzana, California, signed a national letter of intent with UK on Friday.

Juzang, originally a part of the 2020 class, announced in April he was reclassifying to 2019. His addition marks the sixth of Kentucky’s highly rated 2019 recruiting class and the seventh newcomer overall (the Wildcats have also added graduate transfer Nate Sestina from Bucknell).

“Johnny can really score the basketball,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “You’re talking about a kid who has a college-ready body, which is why I was in full support of him reclassifying. When he told us he was doing it, I said let’s do this. He can really shoot the basketball and has a great skill set, but what I love about him is his will to win, his fight and competitiveness. He likes to play physical and can shoot over the top of defenders, plus he’s a very good rebounder for his age. He’s a smart player who is really going to make us a different team next year.”

Kentucky’s 2019 class, which was already considered one of the best in the country, is all but assured of ranking in the top three nationally yet again with the addition of Juzang. It would be the 11th straight season with a top-three class under Calipari.

Juzang joins Kahlil Whitney, Keion Brooks and walk-on Brennan Canada in the spring freshman signing class. Tyrese Maxey and Dontaie Allen signed in the fall. UK also added Sestina this spring.

Juzang’s specialty is his ability to put the ball in the basket. At 6-7, 215 pounds, he has elite size at the guard position but plays with a physicality and fearlessness that should align well with Calipari’s offensive approach. He’s a long-range shooter who can also attack off the bounce to create for himself as well as his teammates.

“I want to be in an environment that challenges me, but also one that I can showcase my skill, fight and toughness,” Juzang said of committing to Kentucky. “The opportunity to play for a Hall of Fame coach and shine on the biggest stage in college basketball in front of the greatest fans in the world is somewhat of a dream. I can’t wait to get started.”

At the Harvard-Westlake School – considered one of the best academic schools in the country – Juzang averaged 23.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game this past season, when he was classified as a junior.

Upon his reclassification, ESPN moved Juzang to the No. 29 overall player in the class of 2019. 247Sports lists him at No. 30 and Rivals rates him at No. 34. He’s a consensus four-star prospect.

Juzang’s brother, Christian Juzang, has appeared in 72 games at Harvard and averaged 8.0 points last season.

With his addition, Kentucky has signed 53 top-50 recruits, 44 top-25 players and 24 top-10 players (according to Rivals) in Calipari’s 11 recruiting classes at Kentucky.

In every season in the Calipari era, the Wildcats have signed a top-three recruiting class according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, which tallies major recruiting rankings and plugs them into a formula to calculate a consensus ranking.

The spring signing period began April 17 and lasts through May 15.

 

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  1. It would be nice of Cal would stop recruiting over players. With Juzang on board, he will most likely play shooting guard. If Dontaie has recovered from his injury, he will push Whitney for PT at small forward. Does Maxey start at point and Hagans backs him up? Quickley would be best suited to play shooting guard in a backup role. Will the sophomores be ok with sitting? Sestina best spot is stretch 4, but he might not beat out Brooks for the starting spot. McDaniels is going to Washington, so EJ would backup the 5 spot unless Nick does something stupid like staying in the draft, or in his case a ticket to the G League. I can’t stop thinking about how good we could be if we got Blackshear, but my gut says he will go to Auburn or Gonzaga where he would be the man instead of a role player. With Calipari, this team will only attain 60 to 70% of it’s potential. Even so, that should be good enough for a conference title in a down year for the SEC, but will most likely lose in the second weekend of the Big Dance. We’ve seen this movie before…like 4 times, sigh.

  2. Interesting post as usual Catmandoo, and I can hardly wait to see how the whole process plays out. There will be some additions by subtractions, but you have to admit Cal keeps it interesting and exciting.

  3. Catmandoo, I see where you are coming from and wondered some of the same things. Cal does not seem to have a system set up for players to grow from year to year; it is from game to game. If you are not at the top of your game at the end of your Freshman year, you will be recruited over, but if you are, you go to the NBA.
    When Cal brings in the good freshman, if you can’t beat them out as a sophomore, you will get lost in the shuffle. If you can beat them out, why are you back at UK? Yes, I know PJ came back, but that was only because he wanted to go first round, not because he was not good enough to go to the NBA.
    Having said all of that, if you come back as a sophomore and can’t beat out the freshman, how are you going to beat out anyone in the NBA for playing time?
    I do like getting a bunch of good players, but I also like seeing players with a chance to grow from season to season. Not sure this can be done in Cal’s system because who would you turn down?
    In Cal’s system, it doesn’t seem like you have much time to grow or get better before you become a permanent bench ornament.

    1. OF you say “not sure this can be done in Cal’s system.” Catmandoo says, “with Calipari this team will only attain 60 to 70% of it’s potential” my, my. A question for you and Catmandoo then is, who would you two suggest UK hire to replace Cal so UK could develop their players that you all feel are being treated unfairly? I will take Cal’s system over other X and O coaches who can’t recruit. Under Cal’s system, the best rise to the top, and OAD’s leave early. I have learned to live with it and accept the good with the bad. I don’t have a problem at all in players Cal recruits coming back for their Soph year or even staying longer. It is their choice. I will take Cal’s system over a system that is seriously devoid of yearly talent that can’t compete against the best they ultimately will face year in year out. Nobody does it better than John Calipari. UK is always in the hunt.

  4. Cal has a tendency to fall in love with a player i.e. Andrew Harrison, PJ and gears his offense around them to the detriment of the team. Neither player was the player Cal talked them up to be. Cal also tries to pigeon hole players into specific roles instead of letting them develop an all around game…Devin Booker is a clear example of that. Cal just doesn’t seem to have the same X and O command that he had at UMass and Memphis. Becoming the basketball god upon arriving at KY seems to have doused the fire he once had. Now he is content with getting kids in the NBA regardless of what kind of season he has. That is why we will not win another national title until he leaves.

    1. Can’t you ever say anything but a bunch of negativity hoss. You are a piece of work.

      1. @Larry Pup:
        Please…Give Catman a break.
        He’s obviously suffering with an acute case of CDS and he needs encouragement during this time.
        Those who suffer with CDS suffer with severe bouts of depression and occasional hallucinations.
        Please be understanding and lend support to all who suffer with this debilitating malady.
        Thank You
        :-)))

        1. OK, I will. LOL.

        2. Hornet, you and Pup must have been hatched out of the same egg. If someone has a different opinion than yours, you attack the person, not the opinion. I travel the state regularly and there are more UK fans who share my view than don’t. They want our ship to be put back on course to win championships not feed NBA teams. You and Pup give Cal a license to lose and that is what he has done 9 out of 10 years. Calipari is the most overpaid, underachieving coach in college basketball history. He openly admits that he is more concerned about getting kids in the NBA than he is in winning championships. He works for the University of Kentucky and should answer for that first. Rah Rahs like you and Pup are what’s allowing his record of not winning championships to be viewed as acceptable. We aren’t going to win every game. We aren’t going to win a national championship every year. But we have the right to expect our team to not be an embarrassment at any time…the way we choked with West Virginia his first year, losing to UConn twice because of our poor guard play, losing to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT for Pete’s sake, an undefeated team blowing a 7 point lead with 5 minutes to play against Wisconsin, and how can we every forget the asswhooping that Duke laid on us last year? Kentucky basketball is more than entertainment, its a religion to most of BBN and you and Pup desecrate that every time you Rah Rah your excuses about Cal’s snafus. Enough is enough. Its time to make our concerns heard by people who will do something about it. When Cal leaves, you Rah Rahs can leave with him!

          1. @Catman:
            I recommend a 40 mg dose of Prozac for your condition to start.
            If things don’t improve within 14 days, that dosage will undoubtedly need to be increased to 60 mg or possibly more.

            Of course, if you have access to medical marijuana, you might want to give it a try when you experience severe outbreaks of CDS. It’s been proven to have an almost instantaneous calming effect.

            Here’s hoping you find relief and best wishes for a speedy recovery.
            Don’t give up. CDS can be cured.

            • Mike on May 11, 2019 at 9:04 pm

            Catmandoo….Honestly have to say that my memory is not nearly as good as yours. You make a lot of valid points, and I hold Cal to about same level of accountability as you do. He has brought us a lot of great victories but has also had a disproportionate share of brain cramps, chokes, and signature losses for big bucks being paid. I still feel that Jaden will not commit to us because his personality does not seem to fit this stage, and I hope that I am wrong on this.

          2. Dukemandoo1000, there could actually be four or five fans out there in the Commonwealth that agree with all the BS that comes forth from you on this site, so take heart. If UK fired Calipari tomorrow, like you apparently want, you would be on the new guy’s case before the ink was even dry on his contract. Why? Because you know it all. Both in basketball, and football. If as you say more fans share your view concerning Calipari’s weaknesses than most of us here on VV’s who see his strengths as Kentucky’s head coach ,then BBN would not pack Rupp Arena 24,000 strong every game and every year would they?There is a time to complain when a program goes south, but UK basketball is still a top five program, and John Calipari is the reason. You need help my man, so take Hornet’s advice and stay on your meds hero. You are nuts,

  5. Happy Chandler’s, “Talk about me good, talk about me bad, but just talk about me”, comes to mind when assessing Coach Cal- he’s truly in a ‘damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t’, situation. It’s bitter as hell when everything he does is based solely on the outcome of the Big Dance…with its agenda seatings, ref errors, injuries to key players, etc.. No college basketball program in America is more loved, hated, feared, cheered, or dissed than the University of Kentucky, and to get to see the quality of athleticism and skill Cal puts on display for us each new year is incredible. “Time for Nine” keeps ringing in my mind, but I’m so grateful for what Cal brings to the table-Go Cats.

  6. Cal is the best in the business when it comes getting the new recruits to buy his system. We got some cry babies just want to whine saying he can’t recruit or coach. Yes I have been critical of him at times but there’s good that out weight the bad. Folks I’m like Larry Pup you gotta go on accept what Cal is doing or jump off the ship. He’s here for the long haul and wouldn’t have it no other coach to get the job done.

  7. With you Cats79-now let get Blackshear and Jaden-Go Cats.

  8. Dukemandoo. Why not take your own advice and GO. Cal is here till he retires so take your own advice and LEAVE. Go annoy the pukies, or the dirty birds or who ever you want but spare us your dribble. On a lighter note Horne you had the best stuff I have read in years. Read it to my wife and she is still laughing. Thanks for making my Sunday! ! !

    1. Nah, I will stay and piss off all of you Rah Rahs. Fire Calipari!

  9. Mike, you aren’t wrong. McDaniels is going to Washington. My memory isn’t as good as you say. I forgot the asswhooping that Auburn gave us with a starter out in the regional final. I guess it was a blessing in disguise. Virginia would have humiliated us big time. Just another example among too many in how Calipari gets outcoached in the big games. I haven’t even mention how Rick Barnes owns us now, or how Crean thumped us in the tourney on the way to getting fired the next year. You can put him in the list of SEC coaches who will be whooping us on a regular basis.

  10. Hornet, thank you for your advice. I took some Prozac and it has helped. I realize that I may not be as knowledgeable about basketball as it pertains to Kentucky, so I am asking for some guidance from all of you. I know we aren’t going to win every game and I also know we aren’t going to win a national title every year. Coach Cal has rebounded with his recruiting and has put together an impressive group, so there is reason for optimism…isn’t there?
    Please help me form more reasonable expectations if we are indeed a top 5 program year in and year out.

    How often should a Kentucky fan expect us to win the SEC regular season?
    I would think 3 years out of 5 would be reasonable. We have lost the last 2, only won 4 outright of the last 10 and shared one with A&M. Kinda slipping here. Should Barnhart have a talk with the Coach?

    How often should we win the Conference Tournament?
    I have been told that these can be tricky. I would say 3 years out of 5 and Coach Cal has done that. Cancel that review Mitch.

    How often should we make it to the Final 4?
    Here is where the Prozac really helps. Lets say 4 years out of 10 and Coach Cal has done that too. Maybe I have been too hard on Cal.

    How often should we win the national title?
    I we are indeed a perennially (that means every year, Pup) top 5 program, we should win it at least 1 out 5, shouldn’t we? If we don’t, then we are being overrated, aren’t we? Let’s see, Cal’s teams have won ONE national title in 10 YEARS. HMMM, something isn’t adding up….even Tubby did that and we ran him out of town. Wait, the Prozac is calming me down…we don’t win multiple national titles under Coach Cal because he is a ONE AND DONE coach.
    The man is being paid somewhere in the neighborhood of TEN MILLION DOLLARS a year (including his radio and TV shows and shoe deal) and for what? Did we become a farm team for the Phoenix Suns? The man was brought here to win national titles and pass UCLA in total titles won. At the present rate we will never catch UCLA and Duke and North Carolina will pass us. Man, that would be a very troubling thought to deal with…if it weren’t for the Prozac. I guess I should invest my money in Eli Lily because everyone in BBN will be on it before Cal is finished.

    1. Dukemandoo1000 says “I WE ARE INDEED A PERENNIALLY”….” You can’t even talk Dukemandoo. You ok? Get on the right dose now, please! Oh by the way Duke boy, it looks like Coach Cal has put together another No. 1 class for 2019 much to your earlier negative assessment of his recruiting acumen. Oh well, you can always hope your hero Coach K can sign anybody of significant basketball skill over at loser Duke. Stay on your meds, and may I suggest you get on a potent drug that will aid in your very obvious hallucinations.

      1. Pup, you and Hornet can Rah Rah all you want, but you can’t change Cal’s failure to produce multiple national titles. He is a OAD national title winner. Since he has been here, Wright has won 2 at Villanova, Kryshefski has won 2 at Duke, Calhoun has won 2 at UConn, and Rah Rah Calapari has won only ONE and will not ever win another…OAD! Barnhart brought him here to catch and pass UCLA and that won’t happen with Cal. Duke and Carolina will catch and pass us! You want some of my Prozac, Pup?

        1. I predict real UK fans will find your post above a lot more stupid in due time Dukeman. You better hope Cal never wins another national title as you so stupidly predict above. If he does you will fade like a winter rose here on VV’s. Us real UK fans will remember this post Dukeman, you can count on that.

          Dukemandoo1000 is a TROLL Cat fans, so mark him and laugh at his nonsense. He thinks himself to be much smarter and better than any coach UK has on staff….. in any sport. He lives in a world of negativity and his comments reflect a person who has nothing worthwhile too say unless it is tearing someone else down in order to make himself look like a star. Real fans and people who support the program back the players and their coach, win or lose. Only an idiot, or a Duke man would trash a coach like John Calipari.

        2. @ Catman
          Just what I feared…
          A relapse.

          If your condition continues to worsen, the only solution may be a full blown lobotomy.
          None of us want to see that happen, but that course of treatment is becoming more and more likely.

          *** Increase your dosage NOW, before more drastic measures must be taken.

  11. Oh, I forgot to thank you again Hornet. The Prozac has made it easier for me to be a member of BBN. With the inside tip, I can now look forward to a more enjoyable retirement. You go Eli Lily!!!

    1. @ Catman:

      It’s good to see that you have taken the first important steps toward recovery.

      Bear in mind that full recovery from CDS takes time, but as you progress in your treatment, you will notice that the positives related to Coach Cal will begin to outweigh the negatives.

      I urge you to continue your treatment and do not be ashamed to increase your medication dosage if you have relapses of negativity or suffer from recurring hallucinations regarding Coach Calipari .

      Remember, your support group is always standing by to offer help and encouragement.

      Best Regards,
      HORNET1

  12. Hornet 1 and Catman, I enjoy your banter…clever repartee!

    1. Just trying to help the poor guy
      🙂

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