Kentucky Wildcat Basketball: Who is Dakari Johnson?

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Mar 15, 2012; Louisville, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari calls out instructions during the first half against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the second round of the 2012 NCAA men



The 2012 class is being regarded as one of the most talented crops of high school stars since LeBron James’ epic 2003 class took the college world and the NBA world by storm all in the same year. James won rookie of the year in the NBA while Syracuse freshman Carmelo Anthony led his Orange to the school’s first national championship. But one thing the 2013 class was an elite center prospect.

UK commitment Marcus Lee was previously regarded as the top pure center prospect(many power forwards are ranked ahead of him), but was only ranked on average as the 25th-best prospect in the 2013 class. Just like last year’s class which didn’t have an “elite” point guard prospect which led John Calipari to recruit former NC State point guard Ryan Harrow after he announced his intentions to transfer following the firing of Sidney Lowe, the 2013 class now has an elite center prospect that the Cats may get by an unconventional manner.  Dakari Johnson, who was the 4th best player in 2014, has reclassified into 2013 and immediately becomes the best center prospect, as well as a top-10 prospect.

He’s a 6’10 center from Montverde Academy in Florida, and is considering Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State and Syracuse. He’s already stated that he won’t sign a letter-of-intent until spring. Dakari’s mom also says they will wait until the season is over before taking any official visits.

Johnson can be best described as a bulky, physical center with a nice jump shot and descent ball-handling for a big man. He’s even been touted by scouts as the next Jared Sullinger. With a potential 2013 class that could include Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, the Harrison twins, and Julius Randle, UK could have 6 of top-12 players in 2013.  It should also be noted that Johnson is a former high school team mate of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist when he was selected by ESPN as the National Freshman of the Year for his play at St. Patrick in 2010-11, the year in which he and Gilchrist were a part of the HBO documentary, Prayer for a Perfect season.


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