Five-star center Johnson commits to Kentucky

 Posted by at 8:46 PM on January 5, 2013
Jan 052013

Highly touted center Dakari Johnson committed to the University of Kentucky on Saturday. He played for Sayre early in his high school career.
Photo: Lexington Herald-Leader

WHEELING, W.Va. — Dakari Johnson announced his commitment to the University of Kentucky in a nationally televised interview Saturday night.

Johnson, the No. 1-ranked center in the class of 2013, chose the Wildcats over Syracuse and Georgetown. The New York City native attended middle school in Lexington and played varsity basketball for Sayre High before transferring to a school in New Jersey for his freshman season. There, he was teammates with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Johnson, a 6-11, 250-pounder, now plays for Montverde Academy (Fla.). He was originally in the class of 2014, but announced earlier this season that he would switch to 2013 so he could play college basketball in the fall.

Ranked as a top-15 overall prospect by every major recruiting service, Johnson is the sixth member of UK’s class of 2013. He is one of five future Cats regarded to be a five-star prospect by at least one major recruiting service.

ESPN analyst Dave Telep said Johnson will be a nice addition to UK’s recent line of dominant big men, but he doesn’t play the same style as any of them.

“He’s not the athlete that some of those other guys are,” Telep told the Herald-Leader. “He’s not a rim protector and a bouncy athlete like (Anthony) Davis and (Nerlens) Noel have been. But, I’ll say this, for a guy his size he’s really starting to run the floor a lot better. I think he’s finally healthy.

“He was never going to be a great athlete. But now his stamina is much better. He’s a better defender, he moves his feet better now. It’s just a huge thing for a kid like that. It opens up so many different facets of his game. When he walks out onto the floor, he has so much self-confidence now.”

He will be eligible to officially sign with Kentucky in the spring.

UK’s recruiting class of 2013
Player Pos Ht Wt Hometown Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Aaron Harrison SG 6-5 205 Houston, Texas 4 4 5 3
Andrew Harrison PG 6-5 205 Houston, Texas 5 3 3 4
Dakari Johnson C 6-11 250 New York City 13 15 12 13
Marcus Lee F 6-9 200 Antioch, Calif. 18 39 30 9
Derek Willis SF 6-9 200 Mt. Washington, Ky. 129 77
James Young G/F 6-6 200 Rochester, Mich. 10 10 6 11

  6 Responses to “Five-star center Johnson commits to Kentucky”

  1. The number one center, the number one shooting guard, the number one point guard with the number one small forward and the number one power forward still out there.

    Absolutely astonishing.

    Cal gets it done.

    Can you imagine these guys with one or two guys off of this year’s club staying? (and I expect a few are going to stick around given the fact that they are not close to being ready for the NBA)

    Even if the two who stay are just Kyle and Ryan, that’s an incredible lineup.

    Mark Liptak

  2. An incredible class but if some think that we get Randle then they are mistaken. With Johnsons commotment Randle is off the board. The only other 1 that could commit to UK is Wigins but I think FSU is the most likely school to get him now.

  3. What people need to understand is that Dakari has no effect on Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins, or even Aaron Gordon. Dakari is a true low post center and is nothing like the other players in this class – in fact, he is a nice compliment to them. Wiggins and Randle would certainly get their fair share of playing time if they chose UK, or any other destination for that matter. I think, as do many others, that Aaron Gordon will stay out west. However, I think we have a legit shot at either Randle or Wiggins, if not both. This class will go down in history and people will look back at this class as the greatest of all-time.

  4. I disagree. Its this simple. KENTUCKY GOES UNDEFEATED IN 2014 WINS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! The kids that are still on our radar have a decision to make. Do I want to win a championship the one year I play college ball? They are automatic lottery picks. Its not like going to Kentucky hurts their stock. They have a cance to be ROCKSTARS…part of history. THEY DNT


  6. You sr uksincebirth are wrong about randle he wants to play with harrison bad cause he knows a great pg will only make him better and he plays pf so johnson has nothing to do with that i do agrue with u on the wigins things but i still belive we could land them both

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