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UK signee Keldon Johnson scores 21 points on ESPNU, turns heads nationally

Kentucky signee Immanuel Quickley impressed in the Hoophall Classic earlier today, dropping 19 points and five rebounds in a tough loss.

Immediately after, five-star Oak Hill forward and Kentucky signee Keldon Johnson managed to also put on a show, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds, and three assists on the day. With his team’s victory, No. 2 Oak Hill moves to 25-0 on the year, with Johnson being a massive reason for that.

Though his performance was stellar, the national attention Johnson received after the game was even more impressive. Scrolling through Twitter after the game, countless media members and basketball analysts raved about Johnson’s game, saying his competitiveness and will to win is second to none.

During a halftime interview, Johnson was asked what separates his game from the rest of the nation.

His response? “I’m a dog. I do whatever it takes for my team to win.”

In an interview with Tom Westerholm of, Johnson said things are starting to click for him, and when he gets going, it’s going to be a problem for the rest of the nation.

“I think the sky’s the limit for my game generally, because once I get going, everything gets going,” Johnson said. “My shot, getting to the basket, getting to the free-throw line, getting my teammates involved. Once I get going, it’s really a problem.”

Johnson’s jump shot has always been the biggest knock on his game, but now, he has developed into a consistent threat from both mid-range and beyond the arc. He said if he continues to work on that and build up muscle, he’ll be ready to be a big contributor for the Wildcats next season.

“I hit the mid-range pretty consistently when I shoot it,” Johnson said. “I just think spot-up threes, I really improved on that this year. I’m just working. Keep working hard on my body, and I think I’ll be ready for that.”

Check out his game highlights, and his sit-down interview with ESPN’s Paul Biancardi where he talked about his work ethic and how excited he is to play for John Calipari at Kentucky:

Not enough highlights for you? Check out Johnson’s MVP performance at the Chic-Fil-A Classic two weeks ago:

This kid is going to be good.

Go Big Blue.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

7 Comments for UK signee Keldon Johnson scores 21 points on ESPNU, turns heads nationally

  1. blackmilk23
    8:55 pm January 15, 2018 Permalink

    Reminds me of Shai. His game isn’t flashy. He doesn’t have a highlight reel of dunks or crossovers so it will hold back his ranking.

    • Rembrandt
      6:44 am January 16, 2018 Permalink

      This was the third time I have seen Keldon Johnson play. I don’t see a similarity to SGA, who already has advanced perimeter skills. Johnson has a different build and different game. Johnson has a strong upper body and a knack for banging in and around the paint. He is strongly righthanded, but he can go to his left when necessary. He finishes stronger at the rim than any other player his size I have seen in the last several classes. Maybe Williamson finishes stronger, but Williamson outweighs Johnson by 60#.

      Johnson will need to make adjustments at the next level. He doesn’t possess advanced perimeter skills, and isn’t tall enough to play as a 4. He has a way to go before he will become an effective wing, but the basic tools are there. I noticed he took some plays off on the defensive end. Cal will make him work a lot harder as a defender and on the glass. But Johnson is a lion. He picked the right school and the right coaching staff. With a full season under Cal, Johnson will advance a long way as a player.

    • Aar
      7:32 am January 16, 2018 Permalink

      i’m seeing more MKG than SGA. His shot looks better than MKG’s and is still developing. Going to have some early challenges with opponent’s size at the college level but he’s picked the right school to help him make those adjustments quickly. Looking forward to seeing him in blue.

    • blackmilk23
      12:49 pm January 16, 2018 Permalink

      Not Shai in terms of playing style. Shai in terms of a senior year where he flies under the radar

  2. wildcat2012
    8:55 pm January 15, 2018 Permalink

    Great article. And your right, dudes going to be a stud

  3. bbnZach
    8:59 pm January 15, 2018 Permalink

    Keldon would toss R.J. Barrett around with ease. Rj is soft.

    • Rembrandt
      7:03 am January 16, 2018 Permalink

      Barrett is not soft. Barrett plays the game hard from start to finish. Barrett also has advanced perimeter skills, which Johnson does not yet.

      However, Johnson is stronger in the upper body than Barrett. For his size, Johnson is a load in the lane. Defenders will struggle to guard him. If he works on his shot, Johnson has a chance to become a legitimate wing at the next level. Although Johnson didn’t show me anything yesterday on the defensive end, he has the athletic tools to become an above average perimeter and transition defender. Cal will demand that from him.