Boyle: ‘Dakari Johnson Should Stay at Kentucky’

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By JACK LeGWIN & ADAM ZAGORIA

MONTVERDE, Fla. — Kevin Boyle has coached several future one-and-dones in Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

For a period it seemed that Kentucky’s Dakari Johnson might be the latest former Boyle product to follow suit.

But after initially being projected to go in the 2014 NBA Draft, Johnson was recently moved into 2015 by DraftExpress.com, as were his Kentucky teammates Andrew and Aaron Harrison.

The 6-foot-11 Johnson is projected as the No. 19 pick in 2015.

The Brooklyn native is averaging 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds at Kentucky.

When asked if he thought Johnson should stay for another year or more at Kentucky, Boyle’s answer was definitive.

“Absolutely,” said Boyle, who coached Johnson at both Montverde (Fla.) Academy and at Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick. “Dakari’s a great kid, very good player. He’s going to be in the NBA one day, but he definitely needs to stay and get a year or two more to keep developing his skills, which will help him get to the league. You can’t go to the league if you’re not ready.”

One veteran NBA scout concurred.

“Johnson should stay without a doubt,” he told SNY.tv. “Not an NBA guy right now. He would languish on an NBA bench for three years before playing meaningful minutes if he came out this year.”

If both the Harrison twins and Johnson remain at Kentucky for the 2014-15 season, the Wildcats should be especially loaded next year, when freshman guard Dominique Hawkins and freshman forward Marcus Lee could return and be joined by a four-man class that features Karl Towns, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis. 

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47 comments
pchilton25
pchilton25

@wildcatnews why would he even consider leaving. Big men are a dime a dozen in the nba. Ask Daniel orton.

CMD_77
CMD_77

@wildcatnews Not trying to be rude or argumentative, but how is Dakari going pro even a discussion at this point?

danieltuggle2
danieltuggle2

@AdamZagoria we as in Kentucky fans have said this for a while, Centers like Dakari it just takes a little more time to develop and hes good

gskrep
gskrep

@AdamZagoria young and Randle are the only ones that should even think of the nba

EPilat
EPilat

@AdamZagoria Still don't know what the prep scouts/writers were thinking with this one. Could be a good college player down the road.

TeamEnergy24
TeamEnergy24

@AdamZagoria Sure hope he listens cause it sucks seeing good bball players go and then flounder out of the league.

Jacob Roberts
Jacob Roberts

If Harrisons & dakari return with Lee, Hawkins, Willis, and that incoming quartet (plus one more), that will be scary...

TimYates1
TimYates1

@CMD_77 @wildcatnews Dakari will b better. But to this pt. Organ had better stats. Dakari could get to that pt but I don't think till next y

pchilton25
pchilton25

@wildcatnews very true, I guess that is incentive enough if you can make it in the first round. I see tremendous upside with him.

kchan55
kchan55

@AdamZagoria that's amazing. Kid was great in HS, but anyone who's seen him this year, even once, knows he needs more time.

joeyashby81
joeyashby81

@ChrisFisher247 sure, but talented bigs are still hard to find. Again nazr continues to hang on long after his college teammates are gone.

ChrisFisher247
ChrisFisher247

@joeyashby81 Right but harder to do for guys who have no explosion against a league full of long, athletic bigs.

JDrumUK
JDrumUK

@CMD_77 That said, I think he can really help himself by being patient and playing a couple of years at this level.

JDrumUK
JDrumUK

@CMD_77 My sentiment is always anyone 7-ft tall & skilled is going to draw looks. Without current rule, would have been drafted already.

joeyashby81
joeyashby81

@CMD_77 @JDrumUK I don't think he should leave, but I think he will be a much better pro than Orton. More skilled, better hands.

CMD_77
CMD_77

@JDrumUK If Johnson was at any program other than UK (putting up same stats), would people even be talking about him & the NBA? No chance.

tsnmike
tsnmike

@sutnzfro1 When I cited Orton, meant that to indicate that players will make foolish decisions, which is why Boyle comment is important