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Taking a look at Kentucky’s potential 2020 back court

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BJ Boston

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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.

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.

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.

Article written by Jonathan Howard

13 Comments for Taking a look at Kentucky’s potential 2020 back court



  1. StuckinLville
    2:53 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

    Could back to back titles be possible? Guess time will tell



  2. Cokely53
    3:40 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

    Jack, what happened to Cal saying he was only going to recruit shooters and the 3 guards you have highest on our radar, including the already verbally committed Boston, you have said all have shooting woes? They sound like great players but 3 guards who all struggle from deep? That doesn’t really sound positive. Just looking for your thoughts.



    • Jonathan Howard
      5:14 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

      Hey there, I’m a new writer here and this is my first article. I would say the reason why we are seeing Calipari interested in these guys who aren’t great shooters comes down to Calipari is going to take the best players available. If they happen to not be a good shooter, being a better all-around player who is elite in a couple of other areas of the game will take precedence.



    • Cokely53
      5:24 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

      Thank you for replying. I didn’t even look who wrote the article originally. My apologies, I just assumed it was Pilgrim. I understand the taking the best all around players, I was just curious because I thought Cal explicitly said last year that he was going to start only recruiting shooters regardless of overall talent because he kept ending up with too many rotations of players that couldn’t score and had 0 offense.



    • just a guy
      8:11 am July 29, 2019 Permalink

      So more really athletic guys that attack the rim, but can’t shoot. Those guys are fantastic in HS because competition is low, and do well in NBA because floor is spaced, but in college the spacing is worse, and teams play matchup zones, killing driving lanes. If you can’t shoot as a team, it’s an early tournament exit.



    • VirginiaCat
      6:17 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

      Excellent question. I understand the emphasis on getting the best available players, but poor shooting has really hurt us in the past. Cal had an epiphany on the value of outside shooting a while back and vowed to make this a priority, but has since reverted back to the “best player” model. You can have the best athletes on the floor, but if you can’t score from outside, it will cost you in the tournament.



    • Cokely53
      6:32 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

      Completely agreed Virginia. That’s why I was asking about it. Just wondering if I missed something as to why he reverted back so quickly.



  3. season-3-disc-2
    3:46 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

    I hope we get
    Nix
    Christopher
    Boston
    Clarke
    Todd
    Oh how nice that could be



  4. Kojohnson
    3:52 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

    Ill take nix and Christopher. I was big on Green but watching their most recent game Christopher has that killer instinct



  5. IrishCat
    4:59 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

    My pick for starting PG in 2020 is Immanuel Quickley. Since the Bahamas he has struck me as exactly the kind of guy who can get you a title as an upperclassman.



    • CrystalBall
      5:31 pm July 28, 2019 Permalink

      IrishCat. I agree. He has been overlooked and underrated, but he is a great college guard.



    • UKFanSC
      4:05 pm July 29, 2019 Permalink

      Love that thought.



  6. KYjellyRoll
    12:52 pm July 29, 2019 Permalink

    I like quickly. Can shoot and distribute. I also believe cal sees these kids have good mechanics and the shot making will come with practice