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Keldon Johnson recruiting roundtable and final predictions

The day has finally arrived for one of the best in high schools hoops to decide.

Matthew Hatfield (

The recruitment of Keldon Johnson will end tonight, as the five-star prospect will announce his college decision at 6 p.m. at Oak Hill Academy.

The 6-6, 216-pound wing will sign his national letter of intent and commit to either the Maryland Terrapins, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Texas Longhorns or Kentucky Wildcats.

Johnson, who is ranked as high as No. 7 overall by ESPN, is primed to be a star wherever he ends up, and he’ll likely have the chance to be a high NBA draft pick after just one or two years of college.

While Texas may have been the leader early, Kentucky has been the favorite since he received his official offer from John Calipari at the end of the summer. that’s why Kentucky has been viewed as the heavy favorite ever since, and that remains true leading into his final decision.

Here is what the staff here at A Sea of Blue thinks will happen at his press conference on Saturday.

Jamie Boggs

Keldon Johnson has quickly moved up the recruiting rankings, and he will be the centerpiece of a solid class for whoever gets him. If he lands at Kentucky and ends up being the top ranked player in the class, the Wildcats will be just fine in 2018-2019. That is especially true assuming several players are likely to return from this year's squad.

Texas has gotten some buzz and was the leader for Johnson early, but everything in the last six weeks points toward Kentucky. For the second year in a row, I think Calipari lands a top 10 wing player in Johnson on his way to another top recruiting class.

Prediction: Kentucky

Adam Haste

Keldon Johnson is expected to make his college decision this week and he will more than likely pick Kentucky, Texas, or Maryland. Johnson is the seventh ranked player in the ESPN Top 100 list.

Although Johnson is 6-6 and listed as a small forward, if the Cats land both RJ Barrett and Johnson I believe that Johnson will be able to slide into the shooting guard position. If he does in fact end up a Wildcat, he will bring an ability to get to the rim with ease and finish through the contact. He’s exactly the type of player Cal has had the most success with through his time here at Kentucky. Most experts believe that he will either pick Kentucky or Texas and I see no reason to believe otherwise as we await his decision.

Prediction: Kentucky

Greg Goins

Despite being ranked one of the nation's top players (No. 7, ESPN 100), it feels like Keldon Johnson has mastered the art of flying under the radar. Maybe it's because he didn't receive an official offer from the Cats until mid-August.

Maybe it's because he's one of the few 5-star recruits that does not have a Twitter account, something unheard of today as high school stars are actively building their brand on social media. Whatever the case, this young man is destined to be a Kentucky Wildcat.

The Oak Hill Academy standout is quick off the dribble and knows how to attack the rim, a pre-requisite for a UK player in Cal's Dribble Drive Offense. He's also an underrated passer and a strong rebounder for his size (6-6). He will be a perfect compliment for UK commit Immanuel Quickley, a pass-first point guard, that will make everyone better in transition. Johnson will also be asked to pick up some of the load from the expected departure of Kevin Knox, projected as a first round NBA pick.

Prediction: Kentucky

Ian Teasley

I think Johnson ends up being a Wildcat. After his visit to Big Blue Madness a month ago, the word has been that he’s been leaning Kentucky very heavily. Johnson is one of the more underrated prospects of this class, as he’s been ranked anywhere from No. 7 to No. 10 in the class of 2018. The kid is good and I really want this kid to be a Wildcat. Keldon Johnson, come on home to Lexington.

Prediction: Kentucky

Ryan Clark

This is a tough one. Most folks seem pretty split on Johnson, thinking he’s going to either UK or Texas. Even though Texas has gotten one over on Cal recently in Bamba, I’m not sure it happens again.

To me, this seems like a UK get. Of course, anything can happen, and a Texas choice could really signal an arrival for the Longhorns on the major recruiting scene. Taking one or more recruits from Cal is a big deal, and the young guys seem to love Shaka.

Still, I feel like – until proven differently – Johnson to UK is another recruiting win for the Cats, proving that Bamba was an aberration.

Prediction: Kentucky

Jeremy Chisenhall

Keldon Johnson will pick Kentucky. His recruitment predictions have been all over the place, as it’s seemed like for the most part that whoever last had significant contact with him was the favorite. But while Texas and Maryland are factors, I think he’s been higher on Kentucky than Texas this whole time, despite the up-and-down predictions.

He’s not quite as big of a name as an RJ Barrett or a Zion Williamson, but he’s a top 10 player in the class who can play the two or the three, thanks to his 6-6, 216-lb frame. He’ll be great alongside Quickley, playing in the backcourt or on the wing.

Prediction: Kentucky

Tim Coleman

Keldon Johnson is down to Kentucky, Texas, NC State and Maryland. He had been a Texas lean for a long time, but Kentucky swooped in and offered this past summer. He’s getting better on the offensive end and is a plus on-ball defender. He’s underrated, and should be a unanimous top 10 player in the Class of 2018. He has said he wants to play for a coach that has the best chance of getting him to the NBA. To me that is obviously John Calipari.

Prediction: Kentucky

James Streble

Johnson was on campus when Immanuel Quickley took his official visit to Kentucky. Both of them hit it off immediately and the rumors began to swirl that the two bonded and wanted to play together. A backcourt featuring Quickley and Johnson would immediately be one of the best in the SEC next season.

Johnson is a 6-6 shooting guard, ranked as the second in the 2018 class, with the size to play the wing. He is versatile and skilled enough to be a shooting guard/small forward combo. He is a silky smooth player and can shoot the rock with efficiency. He may be underrated as the 14th player overall in the 247 Sports Composite.

I would be extremely shocked if Johnson ends up anywhere but Kentucky.

Prediction: Kentucky

Tevis Woolery

Perhaps the greatest back-up plan of all time, Johnson would be one hell of a consolation prize for losing Barrett to the Blue Devils. Johnson is the guard version of P.J. Washington. He can make life miserable for smaller guards while also having the size to match up against taller forwards. He is strong and aggressive on the drive, preferring to muscle his way through defenses.

When that isn’t an option, he’s a very capable shooter and his 3-point proficiency is only getting better. If Barrett picks Duke, I fully expect Johnson to play his college games in the better shade of blue. Johnson can be the best player in a really good class, or the next best player in a great one. Kentucky seems to be on the right track for another great class.

Prediction: Kentucky

Graham Duncan

Keldon Johnson is yet another wing player to be recruited by John Calipari. The 6-6, 216-lb small forward is long, athletic and big. He’s comfortable with the ball in his hands and is a proven scorer after leading his EYBL team in scoring this past AAU season. His height allows him to shoot over defenders and he excels at cutting to the basket and finishing at the rim.

Johnson can run in the full court on a break and is also comfortable running half court sets. Consistency and working on defense will be key for him at the next level, but there is no question that he will have a positive impact in what could be his one season in college.

While Kentucky extended their offer late in the game, they are in a three way race with Texas and Maryland for Johnson’s commitment. Immanuel Quickley, currently UK’s only 2018 commitment, has helped in continuing to recruit Johnson and Quickley seems confident Johnson will pick the Cats. I believe in John Calipari’s pitch and I think Kentucky will land Johnson’s commitment this week.

Prediction: Kentucky