Wednesday Night's Notes: Dakari Johnson Is A Summer Surprise

08/07/2013 06:38 PM

Surprise! Dakari’s Here To Compete

John Calipari talked to Andy Katz this morning, and he said the biggest surprise so far this summer is big man Dakari Johnson. Cal said “Willie is going to have to work for it.” I don’t think Cauley-Stein is in jeopardy of losing his starting spot, but competing against Johnson in practice will only make both players better. Between Dakari Johnson, James Young, and Marcus Lee, Kentucky could have the most dangerous bench in the nation. Opponents won’t be able to take one minute off against this team.

Calipari also said this year’s team will be led by Julius Randle and the Harrison twins. From everything we have heard, Randle is already taking control during practices and pick up games. He has the respect on and off the court of his teammates, so he is a natural leader of the team. Andrew Harrison will need to step up as on-the-court leader and point guard for the team, but since the Harrison twins haven’t spent as much time on campus with their teammates yet, I’ll hold off for now putting them on the same level of leadership as Randle.

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Most Wanted Players

CBS Sports polled college basketball coaches, asking them which player they would most want on their team next year. Surprisingly, Andrew Wiggins was not number one. Here’s the top five breakdown:

Marcus Smart, OSU (34 percent)
Doug McDermott, Creighton (24 percent)
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas (15 percent)
Aaron Craft, Ohio State (6 percent)
Julius Randle, Kentucky (5 percent)

Seems like coaches overwhelmingly would choose a veteran over a freshman if it came down to it. I’m glad Julius Randle is getting some national attention preseason, especially after Wiggins stole a lot of the spotlight with his late announcement. Once he steps onto a college court and show what he can do with this super talented team, he will certainly grab a few more headlines.

Don’t Worry About James Young

The high school coach of incoming UK freshman James Young told Tom Leach today that Young has no eligibility issues and will be on campus in the fall. The fact that Young and the twins aren’t on campus yet should not raise red flags. All three had late high school graduation dates, which prevented them from enrolling in the first summer session. Big Blue Nation can still count on Young and the Harrisons in UK jerseys this fall.

Ciao, Julius!

Julius Mays accepted an offer to play international ball with Mobyt Ferrara in Italy. Now, I only took one year of Italian in college and mostly remember words for food, but I’d dust off the English-Italian dictionary to go watch Uncle Julius compete. Congratulations, Julius!


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