The Kentucky Wildcats are one step closer to landing one of the top prospects in the class of 2020.
Jalen Johnson, the consensus No. 3 overall junior in the nation just cut his final list to four schools, and Kentucky was included.
UK joins Duke, Arizona, and Wisconsin as the final programs left in contention.
He released the following video this evening:
— Jalen Johnson (@Jalen_J23) May 5, 2019
Duke has long been seen as the leader for Johnson, but last weekend at the Nike EYBL event in Atlanta, the 6-foot-8 forward turned heads by telling reporters that Kentucky was his “dream school” growing up.
To take it a step further, the consensus top-three prospect said that it’s impossible to ignore the player development we’ve seen under John Calipari over the last ten years.
“From a player standpoint, I think it’s John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Anthony Davis,” Johnson said. “Just seeing how successful they are in the NBA, I think that’s a huge factor for recruits. … Calipari’s player development, it’s like no other. Seeing how he’s turned players into future Hall of Famers, it’s crazy.”
As far as the Blue Devils, Johnson said that it would be “special” to play under a “legendary” coach like Coach K.
“I like Duke a lot, as well,” he said. “Same as most of the schools that are recruiting me. … Duke kind of has a similar pitch to Kentucky, hearing from legendary coaches like Coach K himself, telling me straight to my face that he wants me and he wants the opportunity to coach me, it’s special.
Outside of the perceived co-favorites in Kentucky and Duke, the other two finalists are rather interesting, specifically when it comes to Arizona. The NCAA is currently investigating the Arizona basketball program, and by the looks of things, they’ll be receiving a rather significant punishment.
A Milwaukee, WI native, Johnson also included his hometown Badgers, the team who was seen as the slight favorite last summer before the blue blood programs took over.
In terms of when a decision might come, the five-star forward said that we could see him announce as early as Peach Jam in mid-July. At the very latest, Johnson will announce prior to his high school basketball season.
“I was thinking Peach Jam, but it just depends on when I get that feeling,” Johnson said. “I just want to go into my senior year knowing where I’m going to go, get the weight off my shoulders.”
Check out his impressive junior-year highlight tape below: