Justin Edwards was a 5-star forward in the class of 2023, but he hasn’t necessarily played like the third-best recruit in the class. Edwards has struggled for much of his freshman season.
On top of dealing with injuries, Edwards hasn’t always shown that high ceiling, especially with other talented players waiting to fill his shoes should coach John Calipari turn elsewhere.
Edwards is averaging 8.1 points per game and shooting 44.6% from the field. However, his effort, tenacity, and upside are still all on clear display on a consistent basis, especially coming off arguably his best game of the season, in which he dropped 17 in a 32-point road win over Vanderbilt.
Calipari knows that the best is yet to come, and he has continued to reiterate his belief in the young forward from Philadelphia. He said this about Edwards during this week’s radio show:
“He’s (Edwards) not there yet, but that’s OK. I told him I believe in him. I know how good he is.”
Cal continued on Edwards, noting his recent strong showing against Vandy.
“All of a sudden, you see him (at Vanderbilt). He was so comfortable playing. He was creating, had his high of assists. How about, if you don’t have a shot — this is a crazy idea — pass it to your teammate. If you pass it to your teammate, on this team, that guy can play too. You’re going to end up with the assist.”
That wasn’t all though. Calipari ended it with a hard-warming note. He mentioned that he was “so proud” of Edwards because of how he has stayed the course and has continued to believe in himself.
Edwards is a star in the making, and while it may be tough now, the upside is there for him to be one of the best players in the world one day.