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Kentucky center Dakari Johnson to return for sophomore season

Dakari Johnson photo by  Victoria Graff.

Dakari Johnson photo by Victoria Graff.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Freshman center Dakari Johnson will return to the Kentucky men’s basketball program for the 2014-15 season, he announced Wednesday.

“After looking at the information provided to me by Coach Cal and the NBA committee, my family and I made the decision for me to return to UK for my sophomore year,” Johnson said. “Returning to school allows me to build on my leadership skills, improve my individual basketball strength and conditioning skills, and have another opportunity to accomplish one of my individual goals: winning an NCAA national championship in college.”

The 7-foot center started 18 of Kentucky’s last 20 games, averaging 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game during that stretch. Johnson tallied nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds in UK’s postseason-opening win over LSU in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

“I’m happy to have Dakari back with us for next season,” head coach John Calipari said. “Despite being the youngest player on the team this season, he continued to improve every day on the court and it showed. We look forward to seeing his improvement over the summer and throughout next year.”

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native grabbed six or more rebounds four times during UK’s postseason run, while shooting better than 62 percent from the field during the NCAA Tournament.

Sophomores Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress and fellow freshman Marcus Lee have already announced their intentions to return for the 2014-15 season.

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/kentucky-center-dakari-johnson-to-return-for-sophomore-season/


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  1. slick Meers

    BBN is glad to have Dakari back!!! He made a good decision and will be a great asset to next years team!!! Now let’s hope the twins come back to get us back to the championship game and win it this time!!!!

  2. Irvin

    If the twins return, do I dare utter………40-0?????

  3. LindaS

    This is the news I was waiting for, hope Willis still gets time next year.

  4. Anonymous

    Now poor ole’ Cal has a new kind of problem – – a surplus of riches.
    KT Jr. and AP may have to share the 3 position.

  5. King Ghidora

    Wow what a front court the Cats will have! Playing time will be doled out with a spoon. I figure WCS and Johnson sharing the post with Towns at PF and Alex at the 3 with Lyles pushing real hard for a starting job. UK is going to have enough players to have 2 final 4 teams if the twins stay put (and I think they will). Lookout preseason #1 again. I kinda hope they don’t get saddled with that again. But guys with experience will be there to show the way this time. They’ll actually have 2 juniors with a lot of experience. I was just getting used to the one and done system!

    1. King Ghidora

      I forgot to mention Lee. See how hard this will be for the coach. I can’t even remember all the players that will be there. Wiltjer I hope you enjoy yourself at Gonesoutha. :) Just teasing. But he could have been a big part of this if he had stayed.

    2. Larry T Clemons

      It was never a system…It was a way for the Media and Others to Bash Kentucky & Coach Cal….What were seeing, is the metamorphosis of a Formula, (recruit the best Talent & Character) that has developed by a process, of unknowns…..Catching everyone off Guard, just as Our Team did, in this Years Tournament ! Now Our, unfairly labelled, One & Done is becoming.” One & Fun,” BECAUSE, Our Guy’s are, ” STAYING & PLAYING ! “

  6. Larry T Clemons

    ” ONE & FUN ” so were, STAYING & PLAYING ! ” KING, Your Right, TOWNS, wants PF all along, but was prepared to do whatever Coach wanted or needed…Don’t be surprise if Derrick Plays a little two Guard…” I know it sounds cray, But…..” Why Not.”

    1. King Ghidora

      Let’s see. WCS or Dakari at center both at 7′ (84″), Towns at PF at 7’1″ (85″), Trey at SF at 6’10” (82″) with Alex at the 2g at 6’7″ (79″) and the Andrew at pg at 6’6″ (78″). So the front line would average just shy of 7′ with the whole team averaging just shy of 6’10”. WOW!

      If Towns is half as good as his press and Trey is too they will be bigger and better than a lot of NBA teams. D’Antoni said they had more NBA players at UK last year than the Lakers had. Towns could be the next Kevin Durant. He’s bigger than Durant. He can shoot outside like Durant. He runs the floor and throws passes “better” than Durant. And there are those that think the real talent is Lyles. Yeah I know we went down this path of “what if” last year and the year before but it’s hard not to in the off season. What else would we talk about? This team could be incredible.

      If you haven’t watched the videos of Towns I strongly suggest that you do so. He displays a complete game in his official sr. year video. He throws no look passes, he dribbles the ball between his legs, he runs the floor, he shoots fadeaway 3’s, he blocks shots, he skys for rebounds, etc. etc.. He could well be better than Davis and unlike AD he might get to shoot outside in college. Where does Cal keep coming up with these players? It’s insane how well he recruits. People say a lot of that was Antiqua. I hope not. The new asst. coach is said to be a great recruiter too.

      Then there’s Lyles. Wow. And Devon is a great shooter. It’s just amazing they gathered so much talent on one team. This will be the deepest team yet for Cal.

      The BBN – making the Roman Empire look like a club for pre-adolescent boys.

      1. Larry T Clemons

        That’s Sounds Good… We Go From, ” The Unbelievables ” to ” The Incredibles ” ! Oh No, I hope no one accuses me of Cheerleading, because of my accurate statements and my quick, wit ! Samuel Clemens fault, Family left Lexington, Ky…just before he was Born…But, Our Kentucky Roots Run, True, Blue & Deep…. ” GO CATS, Shish, Boom, Baa…”

  7. Mike

    Another round of good news. We may not have the #1 recruiting class next year, but if we don’t have the #1 rated pre-season team can’t figure out who would. The return of the Twins would only solidify that position. May even be the best assemblage of talent on any team ever.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Mike, can you picture, Towns at PF, pulling the Opponents Bigs out to the 3 point line, while Dakari, WCS & Lee, Clean the Glass…” WOW “

  8. Mike

    Larry T…can picture that very distinctly. Lexington is now the new NBA team that Louisville will never be able to claim.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      The only NBA TEAM, Coach Cal will ever Coach, is in Lexington, Ky 2018. They are Called, ” THE KENTUCKY KATS ” This Future NBA Franchise…Their unique Skill Sets, are The Fact, They Only Recruit, Former University Of Kentucky Wildcats ! It Would Fill RUPP ARENA EVERY NIGHT….Heck, it would fill Arena’s all Over The World, every time they played ! ” Imagine That ” BBN !

  9. Mike

    King G…..How about that height baby? Not sure Towns is a better passer than Durant but not bad company to be compared with. The only thing I worry about, just a little, is his motor, but I guess if I had size 22 pontoons on the bottom of my legs I wouldn’t be the most fleet afoot either.

  10. Karen Sprinkle

    Wow, this is awesome news. Now the last two dominos need to fall into place. Go Cats!

  11. Joe Montgomery

    Wow. I’ll start talking trash to all the duke fans out here in California. Won several bets on Cats going to Final 4. Told them to send money to a small school down in Georgia. They are trying to raise $200 to replace plywood backboards that are peeling and splintery. Send $ to Mercer Univ. in Macon, GA!!!!

  12. Mike

    Hope the twins will soon advise of their status. You have got to know that they know by now if they are coming back or not.

  13. Barry

    The 2014/15 season is going to be fun. Size, depth, experience, talent…now we just have to see how the freshman, particularly Lyles and Towns blend in. Tyler Ulis will be fine as he will not HAVE TO score, all he needs to do is make good passes, keep everyone involved, and pay defense. Devin Booker won’t be FORCED to be a scorer either. He will get plenty of open looks from the double teams that will have to come from his man helping on the front line. I honestly feel that this team will be better without the Twins; Dominique and E.J. will be up to backing up both guard spots. I also think you will see this team develop a closeness that last year’s team tried to talk up, but just never could show. Coach has a loaded team, now he needs to use them…all of them from the start and come the first Monday in April of 2015, we will be cutting down the nets!

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Barry says,” I honestly feel that this team will be better without the Twins; ” Dang Barry you said the same thing about The Harrisons, all last Season, up to The Tournament. Then both The Harrison’s help get us to The Finals and You got Off their Back…Now, Your At It Again…! Your a real LOYAL WILDCAT FAN…..BBN’s, ultimate fan…!

  14. Barry

    Ok Larry, being a fan doesn’t mean ignoring the obvious. The Harrisons are good kids, and if Aaron would come back without Andrew, that would be a plus. Andrew is not an elite level point guard. He can’t or won’t make post passes, he couldn’t guard a tree, and he shoots too much for a team that already has plenty of scorers. If he could get his defense up to par, he could be a decent 2 guard, but that’s where Aaron plays. It’s killing him that the NBA people are telling him he is not ready. If he comes back, I think his focus will be on his numbers and Aaron’s numbers instead of feeding a loaded front line. It’s funny how the NBA people see this, and everyone else who follows basketball sees this, but you don’t see it. Andrew will never get better until he owns the shortcomings in his game. BBN saying he is wonderful is not doing him any favors. And as for YOU, you jump on anyone who isn’t a rah rah. You don’t have to be a blubbering idiot to be a fan. If you are trying to start up the fued again, bring it on.

    1. King Ghidora

      I don’t what team you’ve been watching but during the tournament both twins raised the level of their defense considerably. Early in the UCONN game the quick guards of the Huskies were having their way with the Cats. They seemed to find a lane with ease and then drive it. Then a funny thing happened. They stopped being able to get to the hoop so easy. And I know what that funny thing was. Cal made a defensive adjustment and suddenly those quick guards were not getting past the twins so easily. Those UCONN guards were good enough to bring home a national title for their team. Yet the twins found a way to slow them down. It wasn’t the twins that cost the Cats that game. Fatigue and a hobbled Randle made up the difference. That and a drop off in their shooting. But that has nothing to do with playing defense. And the twins were doing well enough to win that title game. Go look at box score and see what you can figure out. UK shot just 5 of 16 from beyond the arc. Maybe we chalk that up to UCONN defense but they only shot 13 of 24 free throws. No one guards you while you’re shooting those. The defense was there. UCONN’s outside game was worse than UK’s. They shot just 6 of 19 from 3 land. That would indicate good defense IMO. Remember that Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright throttled Florida’s guards. Did UK stop them cold? Certainly not at first but they definitely slowed them down after the first 10-12 minutes of the game. UK didn’t lose because of their defense. They lost because they couldn’t score.

    2. Larry T Clemons

      Barry says, ” Ok Larry, being a fan doesn’t mean ignoring the obvious.” The obvious, is YOU Bashed The TWINS ALL YEAR, and in the Tournament as they were Winning Games for Us…You, SHUT your Mouth with the bashing….Now You start up again ! ” That’s The Obvious.” As far as You judging Talent, you’ve proven your a Monday morning quarterback, period…You bash the Twins All Year and they preformed and excelled, you were,(are) proven wrong time and time again, period…Now your back on the same old soapbox. Your Judge of the Twins and James Young, were and are DEAD WRONG ! Heck Young could go 17th or 18th pic…maybe lower, but in your post,(all year) he couldn’t play at an elite level…So you ignore the NBA people, (as you call them) but You quote them for the Twins…Hypocrite !

  15. Phillip Barker

    The Dukees finally get a legit OAD center and we have 35 fouls to lay on him…LMAO!

  16. Larry T Clemons

    As far as me being an idiot Barry, I’ll match IQ’s with you any day…
    King, Barry’s not interested in truth or logic….and obviously, he doesn’t no a thing about evaluating Players….All anyone has to do is read the history of His Post…Barry was Wrong on every comment….it’s laughable ! Welcome Back, ” Beatum up Barry.”

  17. Barry

    Once again LOUDMOUTH Larry has his head so far up his butt that he can see his tonsils. What you call bashing was simply calling the twins play what it was and that was selfish and mediocre during the season. The NCAA showed what could have been but wasn’t because Andrew and Aaron were more concerned about the NBA than they were with KY winning games. Andrew admitted that to his father. The twins came back to their true colors in the championship game. Wouldn’t share the ball, wouldn’t play defense, and let an undermanned team beat us. If they come back, it will even be worse next year. The Twins are only concerned about themselves and getting to the NBA no matter how they affect the team. Everybody else in the country saw this and has talked about it. But RAH RAH Larry says you can’t say anything bad about a KY player, even when it’s the truth. It’s idiots like you who make most of BBN cringe with your ludicrous ranting and raving about how everything associated with KY basketball is perfect. The team made a great run in the NCAA but it did not win the SEC nor the SEC tournament and that’s not what KY teams do. Next year they can win it all if the team capitalizes on its biggest strength which will be the frontcourt. The twins will have nothing to do with that because that won’t raise their NBA stock. I honestly believe you are a Hoosier in KY clothing. You lose all of your credibility when you deny what everyone else knows to be fact. The only ones who read your posts and don’t laugh their asses off are the other RAH RAHs like you. I love KY basketball. I don’t appreciate what the twins did to lower it’s prestige for most of the season. I also don’t appreciate LOUDMOUTHS like you who think they own this site and will tell everyone else what they can and can’t say. I will be a KY fan forever. I am just embarrassed that idiots like you wear the Blue because you give it a bad name.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Your Nasty Barry…..” Sorry the Harrison Twins and most of OUR TEAM, let YOU Down ! ” I Hope they do it, this Season, also…Barry is a negative Nanny, when the Harrison’s return, (if they do), let’s all watch Barry’s amazing breakdown of College Basketball…LOL Go ahead, trash me, I’m secure with myself, you filthy little, foul mouth, Baby Barry Boy.

  18. Mike

    I personally hope the Twins return because I feel it would stabilize and solidify the other parts around them if they play TEAM ball. Barry did make a lot of accurate statements without hating on them. They really showcased their skills and importance especially during the run-up to the final game and they did win games with their play. They also lost games during the year because of their play or lack thereof. There was no reason for us to have lost the final with our continued improvement and overall height and talent, but as Barry alluded to, the Twins and teammates, reverted back to not sharing and caring. Coach branded some of it as “stage freight” which is BS. We were never set-up with a better opportunity for #9 than we had, and it still bothers me to this day.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      The whole SEASON Bothered You, Mike….

      1. Anonymous

        Yeah Mike!!! He’s right. The whole season did bother you.

    2. Larry T Clemons

      Look for good news Tomorrow, Mike….

  19. Barry

    All idiot Larry has to do is go to kentuckysports.com and read the Cats Pause article on the twins. It’s just one of many that talk about the shortcomings in their game, but more importantly, it points out the real issue. Anyone else with their skill level would have already announced that they were coming back to Kentucky. Who would really want to leave Kentucky of all places unless they were a lottery pick? It just shows how badly the twins are trying to live up to all of the hype that followed them out of high school and the only way to do that is to go to the draft. It would do them good to spend a year in the D league on minimum salaries. They have always had everything handed to them and that is what created their attitudes of entitlement. They are still selfish, immature kids who need to swallow their pride and come back with the attitude of trying to become better instead of just put up big numbers. I don’t think that will be their way of thinking. I think if they come back they will be the weak links that will keep next year’s team from being the champions that they can be. The whole world sees this but LOUDMOUTH Larry can’t. I guess he spent too much time on the short bus going to special school. Mike, losing to UConn bothers all of us, except Larry, so go figure.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Barry, the whole Season Bothered You, not just the Final Game…DUH ! Glad to see you have Faith in Our Team and it’s individual Players. I guess, the HISTORIC PLAY and RUN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP, was just a big waste of YOUR TIME ! ” So, all that being said, Why Are You Here ? “

    2. Anonymous

      Barry, Barry…. real news on UK sports is right here at Vaughts Views, don’t you know that? There is no better source for up to the min. reporting for truth involving UK athletics than VV’s. I can’t believe you would even mention Cats Pause here on this hallowed site. The CP is O K, but not great. They are to opinionated over there, sort of like you Barry. Have you ever read or heard Larry V trash any UK player? This site is for true blue only. Quit trashing our team, some of us are offended by it. You are to argumentative and stupidly critical of our team and Coach even after a great year that took this team to the NC game. Get with the rest of us and show a little team spirit here and quit calling people bad names. It is not nice.

  20. Barry

    I’m here to let everyone else know that it’s ok to tell the truth even if it is critical. I’m here to let everyone else know that they don’t have to put up with your pompous ass bullying. It’s one thing to be a fan, but you are a fanatic. Mouths like yours don’t impress anyone, it just shows how ignorant you are about college basketball to begin with. Simple minds like yours allowed fanatics like Hitler and Osama Bin Laden to become the horrors that they were to the world. Blind, unchecked allegiance to a team is not being a fan, it’s being a nut and that pretty much sums you up LOUDMOUTH Larry.

    1. Anonymous

      Truth as you see it Barry. Most here don’t agree with you, especially your views on the twins, or the prospects of them returning, or their motives, ease up on them a little, that’s all.

      1. Love SEC

        Glad to see someone else step up besides LTC. Most of us are fed up with Barry’s constant negative criticism and foul language. I don’t remember anyone else on this site using the words butthole and tonsils in the same sentence. In addition to calling other posters idiots and using other foul language.

        Is LTC the ultimate cheerleader on this site?
        Why not – looks like a good place for him to support his Cats.

        Is there a place for positive criticism?
        Is there a place for constructive criticism?
        Could words of negative criticism be changed slightly so they are not so caustic?
        Is there ever a time to keep your mouth shut?

        I can no longer keep my mouth shut about Barry. He needs to change his tone, change his “attack mentality”, change his language or leave this site.

    2. Larry T Clemons

      Barry/Mike…Click on my name, go to my website, ” get To know Me,” you might find a friend…(who at times can be very defensive of His Wildcats). Heck, you probably Both, DEEP DOWN, are giving me kudo’s and compliments, for my True Blue Support of Our Team that took us All The Way To The Championship ! I must of saw something, I surely wasn’t just Lucky…(gallery721.com)

  21. Mike

    LTC….no, the only thing that bothered me all season was your mindless blabber and endless rah rah!!

    1. Anonymous

      And if we are talking about things that bothered us Mike, let’s add your endless whining and game to game complaining because all these freshmen didn’t play like NBA stars all the time.

      1. Larry T Clemons

        For those who care to notice, it is apparent that BARRY & MIKE always LASH OUT, when someone calls them out…They never comment or retort my Basketball or Team or Coach observations ! Only when I put them in check for their Mutual Bashing, do they vomit their collective anger, hate and filthy mouth, for Us All To Witness….Barry/Mike, I am here to attempt a truce…We can surely agree to disagree, without going Postal, Barry, (Hitler, Osama Bin, idiot,etc)…If I comment on a Story, Barry/Mike, feel free to challenge,” That Specific Comment.” I promise to make only ” one ” retort, (in defense) then it will be, water under the bridge. ” No Hard Feelings, no build up of anger on Your Part, you got your statement out, I disagreed, you defended, (then move on). Since you never directly or specifically comment on my observations and comments, I can only surmise, You Whole Heartly agree, with my statements. If NOT, critic those SPECIFIC COMMENTS, I will reply once in defense, then let it Go…Now, I understand, to accomplish this, it requires two things. 1) Being a Gentleman and honorably disagreeing and, 2) Having the intellect, to understand this format of acceptable, disagreement. I will gladly Honor this, and I believe WE ALL AT Vaught’s View will benefit. (plus, Mike/Barry, if You Both are True Wildcats, You Both should be My Friend, even if Our Coaching, Teaching, Understanding of Youth, Pressure Of being a Wildcat Player,etc are seen from a different prospective…What Do You Think ?

        1. Barry

          Here is a deal for you Larry. In the future I will only address the material that Mr. Vaught posts on the site. I will not make any references to your posts and you don’t make any references to my posts. We can and probably will disagree on most things. This should put an end to all of this, ok?

          1. Larry T Clemons

            NO DEAL ! I’m not going to sit back and accept Your Garbage, No Brain, angry, Hateful Critic, that goes PERSONAL to any Wildcat Player YOU CHOOSE to Attack ! I didn’t think you could handle #2, (Having the intellect)…So I guess, I shouldn’t blame you for hiding from a Gentleman’s Challenge, (#1) ” You weak little Coward.” Bring it on I’ll fight Your every word… MAYBE, Our Team will be PERFECT For little ole’ You and We won’t have to read you critical dribble…..Obviously a Championship Finals wasn’t good enough for You ! So I guess, you must of been one of the 40-0 Guys, last Season. Bottom Line, Your Unreasonable, Your a Bully, (I like to meet Bullies) and You hide behind Your Key board, while You blabber about your discontent. HEY, Meathead, ” We Were Runners-Up, in The National Championship Game ! ” And You predicted, NIT ! Great Analysis on Your Part, LOL…Your Turn, bring the filth ! PSST, there’s a New Banner Hangin In RUPP and it’s not Your NIT prediction, that went to Pitino ! And Guess who Got Us There ??? ” The HARRISON TWINS “….Ha, Ha, HaH,HAH,HaH…the Players you still are Haten On…lol, what a Joke. Bring It Baby Barry. Some people Here are calling You a Whiner, some are saying Most everyone disagree’s with You Barry…” Some even suggest You Leave to go to a Haters Blog ! Why don’t You just comment on My retort to a Story and I’ll do the same with You, wouldn’t that be at least a little more civil…You only comment on MY Defense Of Players, that YOUR BASHING ! Never Do you comment on My exceptional accuracy of what transpired all Season, hard to refute Truth ! Proof is in the Pudding and will be confirmed in Your Future Post, ” Watch Everybody ” …..

    2. Larry T Clemons

      Mike, in case you haven’t notice, ” I don’t hide who I am.” And just for the record, My Post All Season proved True, (Just Lucky). Maybe, I don’t hide and maybe my accuracy has Merit, so therefore, there is nothing to hide from or behind…If, I read Your Post and Barry’s Post from last Basketball Season, ” Were going to the NIT, again ! But, when YOU READ, ” My Post ” from last Basketball Season, were going to the Elite 8, with a Chance to make The Final Four, which puts us in the hunt, to be In The CHAMPIONSHIP GAME ! ” OMG, I Was Right and My Post were Prophetic ! I am A Basketball Genius…moment of thought….WOW, That was an AWESOME Roller Coaster ride…And The Post Season Run Was Historic ! I hope the Team, makes it easier for Barry/Mike this coming Season, Learning Curves upset their expectations of perfection…LOL

  22. Anonymous

    Hey, why don’t you guy’s meet outside the Two Keys and settle this like men ?
    Will save a lot of ink.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      AH, The Good Ole Days….
      But, it would take two Men….I mean we are talking about Baby Barry…(here comes the whining & Filth).

  23. UCONN husky

    Lol UCONN

    1. Larry T Clemons

      You guys had a nice little Run also, congrats. Dang, I hate that !

  24. Barry

    Larry, you’re pathetic. It’s obvious you have nothing else going on in your life but to play the role of BBN BASKETBALL POPE. That’s fine with me, I actually pity you. You go ahead and mouth off anytime you like, because you don’t matter. You’re just an online punk. RAH, RAH, RAH LOUDMOUTH LARRY.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Love To You To Brother….” So I guess thats a big No Thank You ” in reference to comments. Like, I said NIT BARRY, maybe they’ll be perfect for you this next Season and Things will be great….look for some good news tomorrow…” Are we seeing Double “. Twice as Sweet….

  25. Gene T.

    Come on guys, quit all the bickering. I love this site for the info Larry brings. We are BBN, so shut up putting each other down, and enjoy the run we are on. We should all be getting a long and talking these kids up. I for one am tired of you guys BS.

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