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UK Basketball: Keldon Johnson one of a few 2018 recruits garnering positive reviews

“This is one of the least talented classes that I have covered,” - Evan Daniels.

Basketball: Spalding Hoophall Classic Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 college basketball recruiting class just wrapped up the high school all star game circuit and the reviews are in: little talent and even less effort.

Ben Roberts from the Lexington Herald-Leader caught up with some NBA Draft experts and recruitniks like Evan Daniels. He talked to them about what they saw during the McDonald’s All American Game, the Jordan Brand Classic, and the Nike Hoops Summit.

Here is a sampling of what they had to say about the 2018 group:

  • “No fight whatsoever from this US group, who easily could have lost by 20,” (in the Nike Hoops Summit game)
  • “Something that stuck with me from a convo w/an NBA exec in Portland. Said he wanted to know which kids wanted to be great just to be great vs. which kids wanted to be great because of the fame/money it can bring.”
  • “This is one of the least talented classes that I have covered, and when you throw in the fact that very few of them give effort or play hard, it accentuates that a great deal.”
  • “The most complaints I’ve ever heard from NBA executives about effort and motor and even being competitive at all. A number of guys brought it up to me, and, honestly, it wasn’t a surprise.”

There is plenty more in the article, so read the entire thing to get an even clearer picture of why people are so down on this class.

The good news for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats is that Keldon Johnson was one of the few players that actually garnered positive reviews as far as his work ethic and his leadership. Johnson was even critical of his classmates.

This isn’t new, however, as 247 Sports also tabbed Johnson as one of the best competitors in the 2018 class, as did ESPN’s Paul Biancardi.

And think about this: PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel, and Jarred Vanderbilt will have a much better chance getting drafted and in higher positions if they stay one more year. Because outside of the top six or seven guys, there is a significant drop off. One more season at UK could add some zeroes on their paychecks.

No wonder Calipari is plundering the 2019 class at every turn.