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WATCH: BJ Boston breaks down excitement to begin Kentucky basketball season

The Kentucky basketball program has an impressive roster from top to bottom for the upcoming 2020-21 season, but the star of the show is undoubtedly five-star signee Brandon Boston Jr.

Coming in as a consensus top-ten prospect and ranked as high as No. 5 in the recruiting rankings, Boston is reasonably excited to take the floor at Kentucky and help the Wildcats compete for a national championship.

In a preseason media opportunity this week, Boston talked about that excitement, his expectations for the season, what he thinks of his teammates, pregame habits and much, much more.

Read the transcript below, followed by the complete video interview:


On his relationship with Terrence Clarke on and off the court …

“On and off the court, Terrence, that’s my dog. That’s my brother. But, on the court we just always be getting after it and we just make each other better every day in practice. Off the court, we just try to keep each other’s mind right, stay sane during COVID and the pandemic. We’ve just got each other and that’s all we’ve been doing so far, stay close and stay connected and take care of business.”

On if he can guard Clarke …

“Oh, for sure. Yeah, we go at it in practice I’m not going to lie, we go at it.”

On being a leader and how he became one …

“My mom. Ever since I was younger, my mom always told me I was a leader. I just never knew how to lead. Now that I’m getting older, I’m starting to take that role on, just helping my teammates, encouraging them, uplifting them, teaching them certain things, helping them along the journey as well.”

On the schedule …

“I’m excited. I feel like a dog in a cage. I’m just ready to get out and go to war with my guys.”

On playing with other confident players …

“That’s the fun thing about this team, everybody is confident. They compete. We just get after it every time that we’re on the court. Nobody takes nothing. So, we just go out there and play our hearts out. That’s just the way that we play, and I think that we’re going to have a good year with these guys.”

On the importance of confidence and not cockiness …

“Yeah, a major difference. I feel like the game is 70% confidence, 30% mental. So, I feel like if you go out there with the right mindset, the right swagger, the right confidence, can’t nobody stop you.”

On Keion Brooks Jr. as a leader …

“I feel like Keion is great. He brings his leadership and his experience to the team. He tells us the things that we need to do. He helps us out with the plays, helps us out with what we need to do on a day-to-day basis. He’s a really big impact on the team.”

On Brooks leading the social justice discussions …

“Yeah, for sure. That comes from experience from being here. I feel like you can learn a lot from him, just having a simple conversation with him.”

On playing in highly attended high school games and how that will prepare him for college …

“Well, I feel like playing in those big games in big arenas with all of those people, I feel like it’s helped me tremendously. At the college level, there’s going to be arenas just like that. So, I feel like that’s just helped me prepare and act like I’ve been there before the next time that I play.”

On being named to the Julius Erving Award Watch List …

“I’m blessed to be on that list, but I feel like there’s a lot more work that can be done.”

On why he chose No. 3 for his jersey number …

“Growing up it was 11, but I felt like (No.) 3, I had to switch it up. It’s just a new beginning so it’s my new number. I really only play for the last name on the back of my jersey.”

On his game …

“I feel like I’m going to bring confidence, the scoring, the playmaking, helping my team win. I’m just going to play winning basketball and play on both sides of the court. Uplift my team. Just do everything I can to come out with a W at the end of the game.”

On what are fair expectations for fans to put on him …

“I really wouldn’t put expectations on me. I would just tell them to come and watch the game; I’ll put on a show every game.”

On why he puts a dollar bill in his shoe before every game …

“I’ve been doing that since the sixth grade, just putting a dollar bill in my shoe every time I play. I always get some Skittles before I play. I need candy before I play any game. So, I would just have a dollar leftover and I would put it in my sock and play with it.”

On if it’s the same dollar bill every time …

“Yeah, I get the dollar bill at the beginning of the year and just keep it the whole year.”

On if he watched the NBA bubble and if he’s noticed John Calipari instituting some of that stuff in practice …

“Yeah, definitely. He always stresses to me about moving, flying off screens like Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, just getting straight to the basket like Jimmy Butler was doing. Just the movement of our offense. It’s not really different. It’s some of the same things I feel like. Me watching it and me playing it, it makes it easier.”

On what the coaching staff is focusing on with him to add to his diverse skillset …

“Just getting straight to the basket, shoot quicker, having a quicker release, having a higher (release point), and just going out there and playing my game and honestly.”

On if there is a certain game he’s looking forward to this season …

“No, not really. I feel like I’m looking forward to every game this year.”

On playing against some of the guys he grew up playing against on a bigger stage …

“It’s just going to be fun because of all the past years, all the hard work we put in and now we’re here playing on the DI level. It’s just going to be fun and we’re going to compete.”

On what age he was when he realized he was good at basketball …

“I would say my eighth grade year was really the year I locked in on myself, just training hard and just how to get better every day. I feel like that was the year for me that I just knew, you’ve got to put the hard work in in order to be the best. My dad used to wake me up in sixth grade. My dad would wake me up because we had school at 8. He would wake me up at 7 and we would go shoot at the YMCA at 7:30 and I would walk to the new school, which was three minutes away. So, I would walk there and start school. We’ve been doing that ever since, getting up earlier than everybody else.”

On his first memory of Kentucky basketball …

“I came here on an unofficial visit my ninth grade year. So, I just came and watched some practice and it was just awesome. I loved it ever since.”

On his relationship with Clarke and working out with him in Southern California …

“You know, it was good, just getting early work in with my guys. I feel like that’s helped us a lot. It was a good time getting work in, competing, getting better, and focusing on our craft. … The first day [Clarke] came out there, we just clicked, it’s like we’ve known each other for years. He’s just a fun, entertaining [person]. He loves to laugh, he loves to work hard, and those are the things I do. I feel like it’s going to help us in the season, having two guys with the same mindset. It was really good.”

On the buzz surrounding Isaiah Jackson …

“That guy is a pro, he’s a professional. He blocks every shot. He has a seven-foot – I don’t even know how long – wingspan and blocks every shot. He always rebounds, he just does what he has to do at the five position. He can shoot the midrange, can shoot the three if needed. He’s just a good all-around player.”


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR