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Kentucky Basketball Film Room: Keldon Johnson gives us a peek of the superstar he can become

Keldon Johnson gave us a peek at the superstar he could become, and he already looks like one of the most complete players in college basketball.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Keldon Johnson was the top of the crop of the Kentucky Wildcats’ 2018 recruiting class, as he was the #7 ranked player in ESPN’s recruiting rankings for the class.

Despite an experienced and heavily-crammed frontcourt, Johnson secured the starting small forward spot for the Bahamas Tour and likely the regular season.

Johnson’s skillset compliments his physical attributes in a mixture that creates a prototype wing slasher and defender. Often times, young prospects with high levels of athleticism tend to struggle with their overall control and with scoring effectively through contact.

Johnson has no such difficulties. His feel for the game is tremendous and he utilizes his athleticism to extreme effectiveness. Instead of exploding through lanes as fast as he can and throwing up wild shots, Johnson takes his time and drives through contact with fluidity and control.

He’s able to do so because his ball handling is tight and in control, and his ability to hold the ball tight and not let it get stripped in the lanes.

We also can’t forget about his high flying dunking ability, which was put on full display in the Bahamas.

Johnson also has a smooth finesse to his game that allows him to create fluent opportunities going to the rim. To compliment that he has excellent breakaway speed in transition and also great hands to secure outlet passes.

Finishing in the post was an area of struggle in the Bahamas, but his floaters were exceptional.

Where Johnson looked at his greatest was playing perimeter defense and being relentless on the defensive end as a whole. His on-ball defense looked NBA-level and he showed high basketball IQ in working around opposing screens and playing help defense.

While his perimeter jump shot isn’t proficient, Johnson has good mechanics and showed the capability to hit 3-pointers at a decently efficient rate. His wrist motion is what makes his jumper as good-looking as it is now, something he may or may not have picked up from Tyler Herro.

Keldon Johnson is the perfect compliment to a pair of perimeter-oriented guards in the backcourt and big, bruising big men in the frontcourt. He impacts the game in a widespread fashion, he carries the proficiencies of a typical one-and-done, but it’s his maturity and love for his teammates that make him a pivotal part of a special team.