Pittsburgh graduate transfer Cameron Johnson will begin an official visit to Kentucky on Wednesday, the Herald-Leader has been told.
Johnson — a 6-foot-8 shooting guard from Moon Township, Pa. — is on track to graduate this spring and will have two seasons of immediate eligibility at his next school. He recently named a group of six finalists: UK, Arizona, Ohio State, Oregon, UCLA and Texas Christian.
As a redshirt sophomore at Pitt last season, Johnson averaged 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 33.3 minutes per game, leading the Panthers with 78 three-pointers and shooting 41.5 percent from three-point range.
The official visit to UK will be the first since announcing his intention to leave Pittsburgh, and the Herald-Leader was recently told that Kentucky could be considered the favorite to eventually land his commitment.
Johnson is from the same hometown as UK Coach John Calipari, and his father has known UK assistant coach Kenny Payne for more than 30 years.
Other schools on Johnson’s list of finalists also have ties to the family. Johnson’s father played alongside Arizona Coach Sean Miller at Pitt, and TCU Coach Jamie Dixon recruited and coached Johnson at Pitt before leaving the program before this past season.
Johnson would fill a couple of holes for the Wildcats next season, giving the team a proven outside shooter at the college level and some experience, an area where they’ll be lacking in the 2017-18 campaign.
UK lost every scholarship player from this past season’s backcourt, and freshman shooting guard Hamidou Diallo announced Sunday that he has entered his name in this year’s NBA Draft — without hiring an agent — opening up the possibility that he could leave Lexington without ever playing a game for the Wildcats.
Kentucky will bring in highly touted point guards Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, along with four-star shooting guard Jemarl Baker, who made 94 three-pointers as a high school senior this past season.
Forward Wenyen Gabriel, who will be a sophomore next season, is expected to be the top remaining scorer from the 2016-17 team. Gabriel averaged 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game last season.
The Cats are also recruiting five-star small forward Kevin Knox, a 6-9 perimeter threat who is also considering Duke, Florida State, Missouri and North Carolina.
Knox is expected to make a decision during the first week of May, and UK is not considered a favorite to land his commitment.