Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky basketball recruiting talk, Hoop Fest edition, from Ben Roberts

Keldon Johnson, wearing number 10, competes in Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League in Indianapolis Friday, April 28, 2017. Johnson signed with Kentucky during college basketball’s early signing period for the Class of 2018. He also participated in last weekend’s Marshall County Hoop Fest.
Keldon Johnson, wearing number 10, competes in Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League in Indianapolis Friday, April 28, 2017. Johnson signed with Kentucky during college basketball’s early signing period for the Class of 2018. He also participated in last weekend’s Marshall County Hoop Fest.

The Marshall County Hoop Fest last weekend featured several top basketball recruits, including Kentucky signee Keldon Johnson and a pair of top class of 2019 prospects in James Wiseman and D.J. Jeffries.

Herald-Leader recruiting aficionado Ben Roberts was there all weekend, filing reports for Kentucky.com, the print edition of the paper and his Next Cats blog. Having returned to Lexington, Ben joined me for a comprehensive podcast about all that went on in Benton.

Ben talked about Johnson, the 6-foot-6 guard from Oak Hill Academy who recently earned some positive reviews from none other than Kevin Durant, who might know a thing or two about scorers. Johnson signed with John Calipari during the early signing period for the class of 2018, joining Immanuel Quickley and Tyler Herro.

Wiseman, a 6-11 power forward ranked No. 1 in the class of 2019, answered questions about rumors that he might reclassify to the class of 2018. That aside, Ben talked about how Wiseman is a huge factor on the defensive end.

Jeffries, a 6-7 forward from Olive Branch, Miss., wowed a crowd that included Calipari, who made the trip after his Cats beat Harvard, 79-70, on Saturday. Ben talked about the skills that have earned Jeffries a Kentucky offer.

We also talked about Zan Payne, the Lexington Catholic star and son of UK assistant coach Kenny Payne. We discussed Bol Bol’s comments about his commitment to Oregon and the selection process for the USA U19 team coach by Calipari last summer, when Bol Bol was cut from the squad. We also discussed Precious Achiuwa, Zion Harmon and Jordan Brown.

Check out all the Herald-Leader podcasts on both Soundcloud and iTunes.

Here is Penny Hardaway talking about James Wiseman:

Here is Ben’s video with D.J. Jeffries:

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