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Get to Know the 2017 Prospects: John Petty


The spring recruiting season is underway, and over the next several months, KSR will be introducing you to Kentucky’s targets in the 2017 class. Tonight, we’ll start with the first player in the 2017 class to get an offer from Kentucky, five-star small forward John Petty.


John Petty
Shooting Guard/Small Forward | 6-7 | 180 lbs.
Huntsville, AL | J.O. Johnson
ESPN No. 10 | 1 SG Top247 No. 23 | 6 SF
Rivals No. 17 Scout No. 19 | 3 SG

The other contenders

Petter has offers from Kentucky, Alabama. Auburn, Florida State, Kansas, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt, but the Cats and the Crimson Tide have shown the most interest.


Petty recently admitted to that, even though he grew up in Alabama, he grew up a Kentucky fan.

“Kentucky’s been my favorite school since I was nine,” Petty said. “I just love the school period. Academically, sports wise, period, all that. That’s just been my school since I was nine.”

Those words are even more encouraging when you watch the clip:

…and when you look at his Twitter page, which we’ll discuss a little later.

Petty was recently named Mr. Basketball in Alabama after averaging 19.9 points, 7.3 rebounds. 4.1 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.8 steals for J.O. Johnson. He also led the Jaguars to their second straight 5A State Championship.

The ties to Kentucky don’t end with Petty’s childhood; Petty’s high school coach Jack Doss is a friend of Calipari’s going back to Cal’s Memphis days and also knows Kenny Payne from back when Payne was a high school star in Mississippi. It probably won’t surprise you that Doss is also a Kentucky fan.

“So it’s kind of a family bond there,” Doss said in an interview with the Herald Leader in March. “My wife loves [Payne] to death. She adores Coach Cal. And I’ve always loved their program. Even when I was growing up as a teenager, I was a big Kentucky fan.”

I like how this is sounding.

Recruitment timeline

  • 4/26/2015: Calipari watches Petty play at the EYBL event in Lexington
  • 5/05/2015: Kentucky offers Petty
  • 10/16/2015: Petty visits Kentucky for Big Blue Madness
  • 12/06/2015: John Calipari watches Petty at the Marshall County Hoop Fest
  • 4/16/2016: John Calipari watches Petty at the EYBL event in Brooklyn
  • 4/18/2016: Avery Johnson visits Petty
  • 4/19/2016: John Calipari visits Petty

Not included are the numerous times Calipari’s visited Petty at his high school in Huntsville.


  • Long and athletic
  • Very aggressive going towards the basket
  • Great passer, able to push the tempo
  • Decent jump shot, particularly from mid-range
  • Makes the extra effort on defense
  • Rebounding
  • Team-first attitude

In regards to the latter, Petty embraces the challenge of playing alongside other elite players, yet another sign he could pick the Cats. From an interview with the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts in December:

“He’s just honest,” Petty said of Calipari. “He tells me he’ll have a lot of great talent coming in, so you have to fight for your position at Kentucky. And that’s no problem. I like to compete. I’m a competitive person.

“I’m a team person. So if I went somewhere like that, I wouldn’t mind. … I’m all about the team. It’s never just me. I wouldn’t mind going to a team with a lot of standout athletes.”

Petty’s final strength? His hair, which makes De’Aaron Fox’s mane look tame:

CfYUfT8W4AE359a (1)

This is a reference that maybe 0.003% of you will get, but his hair reminds me of Italian rapper Caparezza’s, seen here in cartoon form in the classic 2005 hit, Jodellavitanonhocapitouncazzo:

What can I say, I watched a lot of MTV Europe in the fall of 2005.


  • Struggled in his first outing with his new EYBL team, “We All Can Go”
  • Needs to continue to develop his jump shot
  • Not consistent from three-point range

Video evidence

Social Media Profile

In this day and age, the best way to gauge what a recruit is like off the court is looking at their Twitter account. What does Petty’s say about him? He really loves: 1) retweeting other tweets; and 2) Kentucky. Case in point:

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.30.05 PM  Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.29.56 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.29.48 PM

He even retweeted De’Aaron Fox’s recent post about his next stop being Lexington:

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.44.49 PM

Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty promising.

Likelihood to commit: Very Likely

And it may happen sooner than you think. When asked, Petty said he didn’t know exactly when he was going to commit, but “it’s coming soon.”

“It’s coming soon. I really don’t know any exact day or time yet, but I can feel it coming. It’s coming.”

Maybe today’s in-home visit will help spur things along?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

10 Comments for Get to Know the 2017 Prospects: John Petty

  1. Not Dan Issel
    8:13 pm April 19, 2016 Permalink

    Sounds like a perfect fit for Cal and the Cats. Mr. Petty, come on down . . . .

    • WeareBBN
      10:21 pm April 19, 2016 Permalink

      yep, athletic but can’t shoot.

  2. DelrayCat
    9:38 pm April 19, 2016 Permalink

    Does the dude have his tongue pierced??

  3. 3 fan
    11:14 pm April 19, 2016 Permalink

    Kid got his ass handed to him this weekend. Like he got smoked bad. We sure about this guy?

    11:37 pm April 19, 2016 Permalink

    Ummm I don’t think he is the first choice, I think Cal wants Hami Dialo (at the 2) and Porter or Knox at the 3, Young is the PG. This kid looks more like a Louisville player, not ready for the spotlight and pressure UK staff and fans will put on him from day 1. Wish the kid well, he might end up on the team still early.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      7:56 am April 20, 2016 Permalink

      Seriously? A kid that grew up a UK fan and is ranked nationally and you say he looks more like a Louisville player? You are a special kind of stupid.

    • JusSayin
      9:08 am April 20, 2016 Permalink

      But seeing as how we rarely get every player we want at every position we probably shouldn’t be turning down 5 star Small Forwards.

      Tyler Ulis was the 3rd choice behind Tyus Jones and Emmanuel Mudiay.
      James Young was the 2nd Choice behind Andrew Wiggins
      Willie Cauley Stien was a second choice behind Perry Ellis.

  5. Sarahvah
    12:37 am April 20, 2016 Permalink

    Wow the trolls are really biting on this post. I guess they’re afraid of something.

  6. symphonist41169
    8:15 am April 20, 2016 Permalink

    I was thinking the hair was more Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons.

  7. theWilkman
    11:26 am April 20, 2016 Permalink

    He looks like Lil Wayne in the first photo