The first 2020 commitment for John Calipari came last night with Brandon Boston Jr, or “BJ”, for short. The long and lanky shooting guard is a top-10 player in the 2020 class and a scoring machine. If you want to learn more about the first 2020 player to commit to the Wildcats, here are five things you need to know about him. Now, with a set-piece in their recruiting class, Boston becomes a recruiting tool for Calipari’s staff and a really good recruiting tool as Jack Pilgrim pointed out last night after the commitment.
Underrated aspect of this commitment? Jalen Green, Joshua Christopher, Sharife Cooper, Daishen Nix, and Terrence Clarke have all spoken with BJ Boston about playing together. They won’t get all (obviously), but they’ll get a few. Popular potential teammate. https://t.co/LINcbgEUbv
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) July 27, 2019
Let’s look at some other guards in the 2020 class who may be joining Boston in Lexington.
Jalen Green is one of those players that Calipari has had trouble in the last few years locking down. The third-best player in the 2020 class, Green is a wing guy who is going to be able to use his speed, first step, and physicality to get to the basket and score. As far as three-point potential, there is a worry that he won’t develop a shot, but if he was hitting threes at a high rate he may be ranked as the top prospect in the class.
Where Green excels falls into the mold of previous Calipari guards who aren’t very good shooters but are fast, physical, and intense on defense. Green is going to be able to guard the one, two, and three by using his long arms, lateral quickness, and a good amount of basketball IQ, which will allow him to get into passing lanes and disrupt offenses. Between now and when Green hits a college court, he needs to fill out, develop a better release on his shot, and learn to handle the ball better. With that said, these critiques are mostly nitpicking, Jalen Green is the real deal.
Just ahead of BJ Boston in the 2020 class rankings is Josh Christopher. The ninth-best player in the class, Christopher is another guy that you watch and immediately want him to suit up for the Blue-and-White. After putting on a killer performance at the Peach Jam Invitational, Christopher earned an offer from Coach Cal. Christopher also had very nice things to say about the offer when he spoke with KSR shortly after receiving the news.
The 6’4″, 200lb shooting guard has really good size on him and shows off his great athleticism whenever possible. The offensive potential of Boston at the three and Christopher at the two with a point guard who loves to pass gets me excited just thinking about it. That’s the thing with Boston, Green, and Christopher, when you watch them play you KNOW that they are top-10 players. They have that awe factor. Christopher is another guard who is going to have defensive potential to go along with his offense. Again, not a very good shooter and has only averaged a career-high 32% from deep in high school. Many think Christopher will be the next shoe to drop in the 2020 class for the Cats, but only time will tell.
No one has taken a stab at what team Daishen Nix, the top-overall point guard in the 2020 class will end up. However, having BJ Boston, a player that Nix has expressed interest in playing with, surely won’t hurt the Cats’ chances. Out of Las Vegas, the west coast theme in this class runs deeper. Nix is already a really good size for a college point guard, and still has time to get himself ready for the next level.
This is a guy who could be the crafty point guard that a duo like Christopher and Green would thrive alongside. He has a very high basketball IQ and prefers to score inside the paint on offense. The thing about all of these guys is there potential defensive ability due to their size, length, IQ, instincts, or something else. Almost all of these players are capable on defense and show signs of potential, including Nix. Since coming to Nevada by way of Alaska, Nix has been climbing the rankings, and as the top floor general in the class, it is going to be a tough battle for John Calipari and staff to get him to Lexington.
A short guard, Sharife Cooper uses his crafty instincts and quickness to move around bigger defenders and take advantage of small gaps in the defense. The 19th ranked player in the class, Cooper is a fantastic passer and has shown that his offensive ability is not limited to dishing assists. Switching hands is something that comes naturally to Cooper and he can zip a no-look-one-handed-pass at will from either hand.
Versatility is Cooper’s best trait. Not only is he able to pass from different positions, using either hand and is able to find gaps in the defense, but he also scores from all three levels on the court. He shoots the ball better than the other guards in this post and can get inside in ways that Tyler Ulis used to. While Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers have 12 Crystal Ball predictions, all for them, John Calipari should never be counted out of a recruiting battle until guys start signing on the dotted line.
Any combination of these guards is going to give Kentucky a dangerous backcourt in 2020-21. They are almost all good defenders, they can score in many different ways, and they are truly elite players. Watch any of their mixtapes and you will see the explosive athleticism, ball control, stolen passes, blocked shots, and jaw-dropping plays. I would expect Kentucky to move Boston to the three by the time he suits up for the Cats, since Kentucky Basketball released this video after Boston’s commitment, comparing his trajectory to Kevin Knox.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) July 27, 2019
This has the potential to be a ridiculously good recruiting class and a ridiculously good group of guards that will please Big Blue Nation and put the Cats in contention for a title come March 2021.