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Kentucky Basketball: Dakari Johnson Announces His Intention To Return For His Sophomore Season

Kentucky's front line was already going to be huge next season. Now, it's going to be Leviathan.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It's another busy day of breaking news. On the heels of Julius Randle's announcement yesterday to move on up to the NBA, and Alex Poythressannouncement today that he'll be returning for his junior season, comes now Dakari Johnson to make official what we had mostly speculated: Johnson will return to Kentucky for this sophomore season. This is from Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier-Journal:

The University of Kentucky will have the biggest team in college basketball next season, if not ever. Seven-footer Dakari Johnson solidified that Wednesday with his announcement that he'll wait on the NBA and return to school for his sophomore year.

His decision, along with forward Alex Poythress' announcement earlier in the day that he'll return for his junior season, means the Wildcats will have seven players 6-foot-8 or taller, six of whom are former top-40 recruits, five of them McDonald's All-Americans and three skilled 7-footers.

Of course, this is great news for Kentucky fans, and the front line of the Wildcats' squad next year will sport five players at 6'10" or taller. That's an unbelievable number of big guys, and how John Calipari purports to find them all playing time is anybody's guess. But as they say, that's a nice problem to have.

All that remains now is the decision of Aaron and Andrew Harrison, and their call is going to be crucial. If they return, look for Kentucky to rocket to #1 in most pre-season polls with a team that, quite frankly, none of us could have even dared hope for at the beginning of last season. As powerful as last season's squad looked on paper, this one could wind up looking quite a bit more so.

On paper. We'll see.

Here is the UK official release at, and a quote from Johnson:

"After looking at the information provided to me by Coach Cal and the NBA committee, my family and I made the decision for me to return to UK for my sophomore year," Johnson said. "Returning to school allows me to build on my leadership skills, improve my individual basketball strength and conditioning skills, and have another opportunity to accomplish one of my individual goals: winning an NCAA national championship in college."

A few tweets of interest:

And finally, Mark Ennis, concern-trolls the Big Blue Nation:

Hah. You might be surprised.