Kentucky now has their second commit in the 2018 class, as five-star wing Keldon Johnson picked the Wildcats.
Johnson (6’6, 218 lbs) was long thought to be a Texas lean for much of his recruitment, but momentum turned toward Kentucky once John Calipari made him a priority in the 2018 class.
Johnson, who plays at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, is ranked as the #11 player in the 247 Sports Composite and as the #2 shooting guard behind Romeo Langford.
Ironically, Johnson commits to Kentucky on the same day that Langford cut Kentucky, but it had become clear Kentucky strongly preferred Johnson between the two lights-out scorers.
While #11 is nice, Johnson is ranked as high as #7 by ESPN, which is about the range he should be at in most of the rankings. He’s a top-10 prospect that any school could build a class around.
Johnson wields a high-arching jump shot that finds the net from 21 feet, and he's even more accurate a step or two inside the line. Although not an explosive finisher (at least not yet), he's reasonably quick already and handles well enough to shake loose for mid-range jumpers. He's also highly adept scoring on the move, utilizing an advanced set of floaters and runners to thwart would-be shotblockers.
Johnson is a competitive and well-built wing with a strong build, a lot of scoring tools, and a high motor. He is exceptionally crafty and poised going through the lane - he'll spin off contact, elongate his stride to lunge through a gap in the defense, make subtle euros on his way to the rim, and show some body control as a finisher. He's also got deceptive bounce and a physically mature frame that allows him to absorb contact and get to the free-throw line in high volume. He's a good ball-handler and passer on the wing, who prefers to play with the ball in his hands, and utilizes his perimeter size to pass and score over-top of smaller defenders in the mid-range area.
Here is the Wildcats’ newest commit in action.