Dakari Johnson became the latest high-profile addition to the Kentucky basketball program when the five-star center announced his commitment to the Wildcats on ESPNU Saturday night.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Johnson, who is considered the best low-post player in the Class of 2013, joined a UK recruiting class that already included five-star Texas twin guards Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison, five-star Michigan swingman James Young, four-star California center/forward Marcus Lee and three-star Kentucky forward Derek Willis. The group is poised to give UK coach John Calipari his fifth consecutive top-ranked recruiting class since arriving in Lexington in 2009.
Being surrounded by that type of talent was a big part of the decision for Johnson, who chose the Cats over Georgetown and Syracuse.
"I want to go somewhere that I can win a national championship," Johnson told the ESPNU audience. "I want to win one in high school, college, and hopefully the NBA."
Johnson is no stranger to Lexington. He attended Sayre as a middle school student before moving to New Jersey and playing one year with former Wildcat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at St. Patricks. He is currently at Montverde Academy in Florida.
He said his relationship with the UK coaching staff was another key factor in his decision.
"They're just honest people," Johnson said. "They were honest from the get-go. They told me this wasn't a place for me to come if I was selfish or I wanted the ball all the time or didn't want to work hard. But I want to work hard. I want to get pushed. I want that pressure on me because that makes me a better player."
According to Scout national basketball analyst Brian Snow, Johnson is "the premier low post player in the class. He has great hands and knows how to really attack the glass."
Kentucky could still take another player in this year's class. The Wildcats continue to pursue five-star Canadian forward Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 prospect in the prep game regardless of class, and five-star Texas power forward Julius Randle. If the Cats land either of those prospects, many analysts believe it will go down as the greatest recruiting class in history.
Cats land Dakari Johnson
AllWildcats Top Stories
One on one with UK signee Jarred VanderbiltCHICAGO - Kentucky landed Scout's 14th ranked 2017 prospect in Jarred Vanderbilt. Scout caught up with the five-star forward after McDonald's All-American Game practice.
Scout HoopsYesterday at 1:45 PM
GALLERY: Kentucky vs. North CarolinaOur AW Photo Gallery puts you in the front row for the thrilling South Region final between the Cats and Heels.
AllWildcatsMonday at 3:00 AM
RECAP: NORTH CAROLINA 75, KENTUCKY 73UK's season ends in heartbreak fashion after late rally.
AllWildcatsSunday at 3:18 PM
Calipari, Stoops Sign ExtensionsDeals will extend Stoops through 2022, Calipari through 2024.