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July 18, 2013

Looking ahead to Dakari Johnson's 2014 season

PLAYER PODCASTS
Over the next three weeks, Cats Illustrated will break down the 2013-14 Kentucky basketball team player-by-player with daily podcasts. You can see the full schedule here.

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July 15Julius Randle
July 16Andrew Harrison
July 17Aaron Harrison
July 18Dakari Johnson
July 19Derek Willis
July 22James Young
July 23Marcus Lee
July 24Dominique Hawkins
July 25Alex Poythress
July 26Jon Hood & Jarrod Polson
July 29Willie Cauley-Stein
July 30Sam Malone, Brian Long, Tod Lanter, E.J. Floreal
July 31Season predictions
Dakari Johnson
C/6-11/250/Fr.
New York (Montverde Academy, Florida)

Preview Podcast: Publisher Brett Dawson and staff writers T.J. Walker and Aaron Smith break down their expectations of Dakari Johnson.

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Rewind: Johnson averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game in leading Montverde Academy to the National High School Invitational Basketball championship. He scored 18 points in the title game to earn MVP honors, just days after playing in the McDonald's All-American Game.

Fast Forward: Johnson compares himself to Andrew Bynum and considers himself a true center, and he's expected to give Kentucky a physical presence in the paint. He'll likely split time with (and battle for a starting spot against) sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein.

John Calipari says: "I watched him two summers ago folks, and I'm going to tell you, he had a knee issue and I looked at him and said, 'I'm not so sure.' Then I watched him a little bit later, and I said 'Wait a minute.' Then I watched him later in the season, could not believe it. The line of improvement for Dakari is like that. He's a kid that will get up at 6 in the morning and work out. He's a great student. He does all the things and he wants to be better. He was on a team that there were times he wasn't getting the ball. Never said one thing, ran that court, posted up. When he did get it, he did good things. He's got great skills and he's 7-foot tall."



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