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Jalen Johnson nearing a decision; opens up about his recruitment

Could the top-five player pick Kentucky?

While Kentucky is still waiting to hear from some 2019 recruits (looking at you, Jaden McDaniels), there are some 2020 guys that seem to be close to making a decision.

In the next few months, we will hear whether Jalen Johnson chooses to attend Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, or Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee (WI) native is ranked as the No. 3 overall player in the 2020 class, according to 247 Sports composite rankings, and is listed as the No. 1 small forward across the board. At 6-9, he has the strength to play in the paint and the skill set of a guard.

Johnson recently released his top four schools, and says he plans to make a decision later this summer. He has attended the last two Big Blue Madness events on unofficial visits, and has noted that Kentucky was his “dream school” growing up.

In a recent Instagram Live interview with Joe Tipton, he doubled down on his love for Kentucky, but also added some caution.

“They were my dream school growing up,” Johnson said of Kentucky. “Like every kid, they all have that one school they follow or one school that they love but I can’t show too much love to one school. People are going to make assumptions.”

Duke currently leads his 247 Sports crystal ball with Wisconsin coming in second. Kentucky has yet to receive an official vote, but it is worth noting that he has not received a single prediction since January, so any recent updates on his direction have not been reflected in his crystal ball.

It is obvious that John Calipari is making Johnson a priority. Calipari made Johnson his first stop on his spring recruiting tour, and seemed to make a good impression.

“He came to my school, sat down with me and my mom and laid out his plan for me,” Johnson said. “He says he can do a lot of things with me and help me be great. A 6-9 playmaker, there’s not too many of those so he was saying what he’d be able to do with that and what he’s done with past pros is really intriguing to me as well.”

Johnson averaged 16.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game in his first weekend this spring on the Nike EYBL circuit, playing for Phenom University. He says a decision will come in the next few months, although that is obviously left to interpretation. It does seem safe that he will announce his choice before the next college basketball season rolls around.

Check out his entire interview below, where he talks about what he is hearing from other schools and what his conversations with John Calipari are like.