Kentucky is on the board in 2020 after securing a pledge from Brandon Boston over the weekend.
A 6-6 guard out of Georgia, Boston was someone John Calipari put a lot of work into over the last year. The 10th-ranked player via 247 Sports composite is a dynamic scorer who can do damage from all three levels and still has plenty of room to grow.
Getting Boston meant Kentucky had to beat out the likes of Duke, Kansas, Florida and Auburn among many others, but Calipari and his staff pulled it off and now have a foundational piece for their 2020 class.
So, what do the experts have to say about Kentucky’s newest commitment?
Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports compare Boston to former Duke star and current Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram.
A long athlete who is still growing. Has good athleticism and a natural feel for the game. Lack of strength needs to improve, especially to be effective long term on the defensive end. Terrific scorer who is effective at all three levels. Has a nose for the ball and the length to be a dangerous rebounder. Has tremendous upside, which makes him a potential lottery pick.
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic did an in-depth breakdown of Boston’s game and why he should be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The biggest thing that makes Boston stand out is that he’s an elite finisher when getting to the rim in half-court offense:
When he gets to the rim, Boston isn’t a super-explosive leaper, but this is where his combination of body control, balance and touch shine. Despite his skinny frame, Boston absorbs contact well and finishes through it. His favored move is a finger roll, where he uses his length to extend and touch to finish at an extremely efficient level.
Boston finished second in points per game scored at the basket in half-court settings on non-post-ups behind 7-footer N’Faly Dante. He made almost 60 percent of his shots at the rim in the half-court, which was eighth overall among the 41 players to take at least 70 shots from there during the EYBL season. That was the top mark among wings.
As for what he needs to improve on, ESPN’s scouting report notes how improving his three-point shoot and continuing to bulk up will be key in his development.
Brandon will have to get stronger as he matures. He has a good long frame that will probably fill out with some hard work in the weight room and eating correctly. He does get somewhat passive at times and can disappear for a stretch but with the coaching he will get at the high school level that won’t last long. He has the capability to be a knock down three point shooter at a high level but will also have to work very hard to get there.
But while Boston’s offense is what makes him special, he’s quietly a very good passer that looks to keep his teammates involved, as Rivals reporter Corey Evans told the Herald Leader:
“One undervalued aspect to his game is just how well he passes the ball,” Evans said. “That’s one part that he does really, really well that kind of gets overlooked. And at a place like Kentucky that consistently has so many scoring weapons, I think BJ is really going to thrive as a playmaker and scorer.”
Boston actually went up against current Kentucky forward Kahlil Whitney this past season, and it was the future Wildcat who won the battle while making it look easy.
During this year’s Peach Jam, Boston averaged 21.6 points, eight rebounds and two steals over five games.
But it was Boston’s performance at the Nike EYBL in Dallas that really stands out, as he averaged 27.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists over five game while shooting 60.1% from the floor.
“BJ is one of the most competitive kids I’ve ever coached,” Norcross head coach Jay McMillan told D1Circuit. “His work ethic and desire to be the best are some of his most defining traits. It doesn’t matter if it’s a practice, workout, or game - he brings a fire that makes everyone around him better.”