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Keldon Johnson named McDonald’s All-American standout

The nation’s recruiting experts and NBA scouts have converged in Atlanta this week for the McDonald’s All-American Game festivities and Keldon Johnson’s name continues to come up among the most impressive performers. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz named Johnson one of the standouts this week, praising his athleticism and “alpha dog qualities.”

Kentucky commit Keldon Johnson introduced himself to most NBA scouts for the first time, and he made a strong impression thanks to his slimmed down 6-foot-6 frame, powerful athleticism, aggressive mentality and shooting potential. Johnson showed out as one of the more competitive players to take the floor in Atlanta. He attacked the rim with physicality into right- and left-hand finishes, crashed the offensive and defensive glass, went toe-to-toe with Barrett in the mid-post and brought vocal energy in practice settings.

Becoming a consistent threat from the perimeter will be key for Johnson long-term, especially because he’s more of a momentum athlete than an overly twitchy, half-court shot creator. He gets good rotation and is certainly capable, but he isn’t overly dynamic as a shooter and tends to turn down open jumpers once he misses one or two attempts. Johnson did show that he’s more than just a straight-line slasher, though, as he can play out of pick-and-roll and facilitate on the move. Known for his confident approach to the game, Johnson has some alpha dog qualities that should allow him to stand out right away at Kentucky.

You can see Johnson for yourself tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Spoiler alert: he wants to “dominate and kill”:

Keldon Johnson’s McDonald’s All-American Game Mission: “Dominate and Kill”



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.

13 Comments for Keldon Johnson named McDonald’s All-American standout

  1. Catcasey1
    12:14 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    Sounds like he can’t shoot very good ?

  2. madarchitect
    12:30 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    …or very well.

    • catsarerunnin
      6:34 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

      I hope he shoots very gooder so UK can be even more gooder next season.

  3. ClutchCargo
    12:44 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    Yeah, that scouting report doesn’t exactly go with the headline. Gotta love his attitude and talent, though.

  4. Rembrandt
    12:59 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    I have seen Keldon Johnson play. I would bet most of our posters haven’t yet. Keldon has a strong upper body, and he does a lot of things exceptionally well including rebound, drive the lane, and finish. His midrange game is a plus. He is a good FT shooter. Oak Hill has excellent perimeter scorers, so Keldon hasn’t needed to stress the perimeter part of his game. But his shooting form is fine. If Keldon is even an average perimeter scorer, he will become an all SEC player at UK.

  5. Jiminy Crickets
    1:07 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    You’re not trying to convince me Calipari recruited an athletic wing player that “attacks the rim “with a below average jump shot… are you?

    • Rembrandt
      4:54 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

      I wouldn’t think of wasting my time to try to convince you of anything. Your body of work here screams that you are an emotion-driven poster who doesn’t understand college athletics.

    • Luether
      6:34 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

      Ha! Good one, Cricket…

  6. Underdog
    1:19 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    His high light tapes show him hitting a lot of mid range and long-range shots. Vs. Zion, for example, who is dunking most of his.

    Johnson has decent dribbling skills, can slash and score, but I think what makes him good, on offense, is his shooting accuracy. What sets him apart from others is his desire to play good D and his play hard all the time, not taking possessions off, and he’s a gym rat, as is my boy, Tyler Herro, from WI.

    I hear Quickley is of the same mold too, which means we are adding not one, not two, but THREE players who bring the elusive intangibles to our team next year.

    If Vanderbilt stays, we’ll have FOUR on the same team. That’s unheard of. All you need is ONE who’s a major contributor, and we may have 3 or 4. This is a huge, undiscussed attribtue of next year’s team.

    Pray that Vanderbilt returns. He’s a top 5 pick. Many people who believe only what they’ve seen of him in limited action this year think Vanderbilt can’t shoot. But he can. The guy just needs to settle down and adjust. He could very well be a Top 3 or Top 4 player in next year’s draft. Hope he stays healthy.

    Starting next year*:

    Green/Johnson with backup of Herro and Baker
    PJ Washington with backup of Jones/ Montgomery (assuming he signs)
    Jarred Vanderbilt with backup of Nick or Montgomery

    Surprise addition this summer could be: Wiseman.

    *(assuming Diallo, Shai and Knox leave)

    • runningunnin.454
      1:32 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

      Agree about Vanderbilt; he was behind the rest of the team, and was rushing his shots.
      One thing I’ve noticed about a lot of our guys, and young players across the country, is that they refuse to use the backboard in the paint to soften the shot. The go for the rim, and unless dead center, the shots spin out. They also put a “street ball” spin or “English” on the ball that does not lead to accuracy.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:16 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

      If that ends up being our roster next year, I like our chances!

    • Rembrandt
      4:59 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

      When I saw Keldon Johnson play, he didn’t work as hard on the defensive end as he will need to work in college. But when he went to work, he made a couple of fantastic defensive plays. Keldon has the length, physical strength, and athleticism to become an excellent defender at the next level. He just needs to be more consistent. Cal will get that out of him.

  7. Alleykat16
    2:28 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

    Underdog great post. Love that line up. With that line up I think we can make a very deep run. One that we have come accustomed to. With all players staying healthy that’s a final 4 team. I miss basketball already. Can’t wait till October