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Keldon Johnson’s Defense Sparks Comeback Victory in McDonald’s All-American Game



Keldon Johnson’s shots did not fall, but it did not stop him from sparking a come-from-behind 131-128 victory for the West in the 41st annual McDonald’s All-American Game.

Down six in the final two minutes, Johnson could not rely on his shot to get his team back in the game.  After missing his first three attempts from behind the three-point line, he set that part of his game aside and relied on his energy to spark the West.

Johnson made four game-changing plays in the final two minutes of the West’s late run. Down four, he took a charge on the baseline to cause a turnover.  On the other end, he turned a drive into an assist for a three.  With his team up one with 20 seconds to play, Johnson was tasked to stop R.J. Barrett from hitting the game-winning shot.  Johnson blocked the No. 1 player in the lane twice to end the game.

Was blocking the Dukie an omen?  Hopefully.

The best part of Johnson’s game was on the defensive end, but he still made a few plays with the ball in his hands.  Johnson had 8 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and two impressive dunks.

The coast-to-coast dunk was fine, but not as pretty as this alley-oop.

Just like Johnson, Immanuel Quickley could not find his range from behind the three-point line.  Two days after winning the Three-Point Contest, the point guard failed to hit one.  After an early miss, he stuck to serving up assists.  Quickley finished the game with three points and eight assists, including this beauty:

A box score from tonight’s game:


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

9 Comments for Keldon Johnson’s Defense Sparks Comeback Victory in McDonald’s All-American Game

  1. WaterVerve14
    9:21 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    Keldon is a stand out. He has a killers mentality and will be a fantastic replacement for Knox. He is faster and a better defender. His shooting needs to slightly improve but it will get there. Quickley I feel is better than Tre Jones. Quickley didn’t get a lot of playing time but his passes are precise lasers and if a lot of the other players actually caught them and scored his assist total would have been something to note. Excited for next year’s group with who we have returning. It’ll be a special season for sure.

    Not to mention Keldon already showing how he can defend RJ makes me excited for the opener against Duke

  2. Rabbi Li
    10:04 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    WOW… can you imagine:

    PG – Immanuel Quickley | Quade Green
    SG – Keldon Johnson | Jemarl Baker | Quade Green | Tyler Herro
    SF – Jarred Vanderbilt | Keldon Johnson | Tyler Herro
    PF – PJ Washington | Sacha Killeya-Jones
    C – Wenyen Gabriel | Nick Richards | Sacha Killeya-Jones

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
    Kevin Knox
    Hamidou Diallo

    Talk about positionless basketball. Keldon is going to fit right in on this team. Imagine the energy from Johnson + Vanderbilt + Gabriel… that’s a house of FIRE!

  3. JusSayin
    10:11 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    I’m excited. Keldon Johnson is everything we been hearing all week. And he actually even hit his 3s in the scrimmage so his shooting is getting better

  4. Rabbi Li
    10:20 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    As far as matchup against Duke:

    PG) Quickley > Tre Jones
    SG) Johnson ~ Reddish
    SF) Vanderbilt ~ Williamson
    PF) Washington Bolden

    Other Matchups:
    Green ~ Duval
    Jemarl Baker | Tyler Herro ~ Gary Trent Jr.

    > (Greater Than)
    < (Less Than)
    ~ Toss Up

    The reality of the matchups is Johnson has Barrett's number on defense so he'd like switch with PJ unless Reddish started hurting PJ with speed.

    The problem with this Duke team is Reddish is a legitimate ace from 3 so if you go zone due to Duke's weight in the paint (Zion at 270, Bolden at 246) then Reddish's will kill you from deep.

    This is a game where Sacha Killeya-Jones could REALLY shine as an experienced big man. He has to work this summer like he's never worked before. Maybe Nick Richards can get on the Breakfast Club with Vando as his new spirit animal.

    I like my team!

    • Cryingtheblues
      3:47 am March 29, 2018 Permalink

      Hopefully we can throw EJ Montgomery in that mix.

  5. Rabbi Li
    10:22 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    Not sure what happened to my matchups… (let’s try that again)

    PG • Quickley > Tre Jones
    SG • Johnson ~ Reddish
    SF • Vanderbilt ~ Williamson
    PF • Washington Bolden

  6. Rabbi Li
    10:28 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    Not sure what happened to my matchups… (let’s try that again)

    PG • Quickley (is greater than) Tre Jones
    SG • Johnson ~ Reddish
    SF • Vanderbilt ~ Williamson
    PF • Washington (is less than) Barrett
    C • Gabriel (is greater than) Bolden

    Ha! I figured out what was happening. Because KSR got b u t t h u r t about people using HTML in their posts their web developer is scraping bracketed data. Due to the lazy way they programmer wrote the code instead of rendering the HTML useless by killing brackets they are killing the brackets and everything else in between them.

    Lazy web devs… you get what you pay for.

  7. Underdog
    11:20 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    Skip to the end to see Johnson’s D! And RJ whining and giving up.

  8. njCat
    2:16 pm March 29, 2018 Permalink

    Johnson… 0 for 2 on free throws. Another athletic dude who can’t shoot. Just what we need.