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Kentucky Basketball Player Preview: Chris Livingston

Livingston is expected to play a big role as a freshman

Chris Livingston Dylan Ballard - Sea of Blue

While a lot of discussion around Kentucky Basketball has been focused on returning players, and understandably so, Chris Livingston comes to Lexington as a highly-touted freshman who could be an immediate contributor.

Chris Livingston

  • Height: 6-foot-6
  • Weight: 220 lbs.
  • Class: Freshman
  • Position: Forward
  • Hometown: Akron, OH
  • Recruit Rankings: 5-star recruit ranked No. 12 overall and No. 3 among small forwards in the class of 2022 via 247 Sports Composite.

At 6foot-6 and 220 pounds, Chris Livingston already has the look of an NBA player as he looks to become an immediate contributor for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Over the majority of his high school career, Livingston was viewed as a top five player in the class, but dropped in different services over time. However, that isn’t necessarily an indicator of his talent.

Livingston brings plenty of talent to Lexington with versatility to play a number of positions. It isn’t crazy to envision him being a guy that could slide in the 2, 3, or 4 spot. Most NBA scouts view him as a small-ball 4, but Livingston could conceivably play a number of spots in Kentucky’s lineup.

Some even think Livingston could potentially be a top 10 pick. Derek Parker from Sports Illustrated wrote that Livingston might be one of the most underrated prospects in the next NBA Draft.

A fair athlete packed within a 6-foot-6, 200-pound frame, Livingston is, in the least, competent in nearly every skill that makes a modern NBA player.

Livingston is a strong, bruising forward who, thus far, has used his size and strength to his significant advantage. Despite being thick-framed, he’s got enough control and speed to play a fairly horizontal slashing game. He’s also an above-the-rim athlete. In short, Livingston can go through and around players on offense, and those skills will aid him on the defensive end as well.

Livingston showed some of that in Kentucky’s trip to the Bahamas. He showed the ability to hit shots from outside (maybe even better than many expected), drive and score at the rim, and the ability to defend a number of positions. He also led the team in rebounds one game.

The question about Livingston coming out of high school was his motor. That was something recruiting analysts picked out for his drop in the recruiting rankings, but I’d expect Livingston to have a big freshman year for Kentucky as a do-it-all combo forward who may not wow everyone on the stat sheet, but make a number of big plays in the game that prove to be crucial.

There’s a lot to like about Chris Livingston at Kentucky.

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