If you’ve followed Kentucky basketball all season long, which you have, you’ve noticed a change in Dakari Johnson’s game. Once limited to eight or nine minutes per night, the freshman big man started the last four games at center for Kentucky and the Wildcats are 4-0 over that stretch. Dakari attributes his improved play to a number of factors, one being conditioning.
In his postgame interview with Mike Pratt last night, Johnson said he meets up with assistant coach Kenny Payne before every UK basketball practice to hit the treadmill. He said he runs a mile and a half everyday before the rest of the team arrives to get his legs going and to get his conditioning up. That explains why the big fella has been able to keep his legs and play extended minutes as of late.
Dakari also said he tries to make an impact on the game however he can, whether that be scoring, defending, rebounding or whatever the team needs. That’s the attitude Coach Cal is currently trying to instill in all of his players, that it’s not just about offensive production. He wants them to do whatever they can to help the team, not just score, and we’re seeing that from Dakari Johnson.