Kentucky Wildcats Basketball 2013-14 Preview: #44 Dakari Johnson

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Oct 29, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats center Dakari Johnson (44) shoots the ball during the Kentucky Blue-White Scrimmage at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

#44 DAKARI JOHNSON

FRESHMAN – C

7’0 265

BROOKLYN, NY

MONTVERDE ACADEMY (FL)

BEFORE UK

Dakari Johnson was a name many in the Lexington area had already become familiar with. He played his middle school basketball for Sayre before moving on to play at St. Patrick’s, the alma mater of former Cat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Johnson would go on to follow St. Patrick’s coach Kevin Boyle to Montverde Academy in Florida. Johnson was later able to successfully reclassify from the class of 2014 to 2013, giving him only one season of eligibility in Florida.

While at Montverde, he averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 4.3 blocks per game. Johnson helped lead Montverde to the National High School Invitational, where they claimed the 2013 Championship. In addition to becoming a national champion, he was also selected to the USA U-17 team and was also selected as a McDonald’s All-American.

RANKINGS
Rivals: ***** 2 (C), 9 overall
Scout: ***** 1 (C), 18 overall
ESPN: ***** 2 (C), 7 overall

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2013-14

In all the hype that has led to this season, man people have forgot about Johnson. At seven feet tall, he has shown he can be aggressive in the post. He likes to flash at the elbows, but scores down on the block. Johnson has impressive footwork; his game is reminiscent of a former Cat: DeMarcus Cousins. Unlike Julius Randle, Johnson doesn’t handle the ball much outside the arc, or even past the free throw line. Defensively, look for Johnson to rack up blocks and rebounds along with the rest of the frontcourt. Because Calipari & Co. have the option of creating various lineups with a deep roster, look for Dakari to start or rotate with Willie Cauley-Stein.

My prediction:
7 PPG, 6 RPG, 2 BPG; Average MPG: 18-22 min.

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