This year’s McDonald’s All American Game was supposed to be a coronation for the Duke Blue Devils but the players everyone was talking about by the end of the game was a Kentucky Wildcat and a North Carolina Tar Heel.
Nassir Little and Keldon Johnson led the West team to a 131-128 victory over the East. Little was the game MVP with 28 points.
Johnson didn’t start for the West but he ended the game strong and was on the floor in crunch time. Jay Williams was on the call for the game and he raved about the tenacity and defensive mindset of Johnson.
He finished the game with eight points and had the defensive stand of the game against top overall recruit RJ Barrett. Johnson stopped Barrett two plays in a row.
This was the first play:
Keldon Johnson defending RJ Barrett down the stretch. pic.twitter.com/TEVNVroDQZ— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) March 29, 2018
Here is the defensive stop that caused the turnover to win it for the West:
More Keldon Johnson defense against RJ Barrett. pic.twitter.com/oHmdmujC3i— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) March 29, 2018
And it’s not all about the defense with Johnson. He can do this as well:
Keldon Johnson takes off. pic.twitter.com/Uxnug5bQdj— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) March 29, 2018
He gives Kentucky the type of attitude and tenacity that was sorely missed this past season. He was active and vocal on both sides of the court.
E.J. Montgomery, the lone Kentucky recruit that hasn’t committed, was impressive at times. He’s an athletic big that can score around the rim but he didn’t play a ton of minutes.
Zion Williamson was the talk of the week and has been the biggest star in the recruiting stratosphere for 2017/2018. We didn’t see any eye popping dunks from him and he left the game with a thumb injury after he slipped trying to take Little one-on-one.
Immanuel Quickley, the other Kentucky commit, had a quiet game. He scored three points and had eight assists. His game is better suited for a structured offensive system and isn’t as conducive in an All Star setting.
The next All Star Game is the Jordan Brand Classic on April 8th. Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro will take part but Quickley will not.
Here are the stats for the UK guys:
Final | West 131, East 128— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) March 29, 2018
Keldon Johnson (West): 8 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast, 2 blk, 1 stl, 20 mins
Immanuel Quickley (East): 3 pts, 4 reb, 8 ast, 1 stl, 17 mins