Recruiting

K.D. Johnson Commits to UGA as the Possible Final Piece of the 2020 Class

Posted on Posted in Recruiting
KD Johnson

Barring a Spring Creaning, Kadarius (K.D.) Johnson will be the final piece of the 2020 Class.

2020 Point Guard K.D. Johnson from Decatur, Georgia by way of Hargrave Military Academy committed to Georgia today.  Johnson had strongly considered Georgia, Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Mississippi State.  It leaves open the question as to where Georgia stands with Power Forward/Center Dylan Cardwell.  Cardwell fits Georgia best out of all teams that have offered him, his style of play is an excellent fit with Tom Crean’s style of play and his expectations from big men.  However, this is an article about K.D. Johnson and not the domino effect.

K.D. Johnson, Mikal Starks, and Sahvir Wheeler will be the primary Point Guards (in name only) in the 2020-21 season.  Tye Fagan and Jaykwon Walton are capable of playing Point Guard next season as well, which means that Georgia will have quite a group of ball-handlers.

K.D. Johnson had an offensively strong 2019 Adidas Gauntlet season, but defensively it was not strong.  On a per game basis, Johnson’s stat line was as follows.

NameTeamPPGRPGAPGSPGBLKPGTOPGPFPGMPG
Kadarius JohnsonGame Elite JB (GA)16.224.20.30.31.81.318.8

Kadarius Johnson had an extraordinarily high usage rate, which is common for Point Guards in AAU action.  Johnson did not showcase strong perimeter shooting when given the opportunity to face consistent competition that would be the closest to the talent level he would face on the college level.  High School and Prep School level competition is not the same as the cream-of-the-crop talent pool and complete dedication to the sport that exists on the Shoe Circuits.

NameTeamFGMFGAFTMFTA3PM3PAFG%FT%2FG%3FG%3FG Share%FTA/FGAeFG%TS%
Kadarius JohnsonGame Elite JB (GA)3061314062549.277.566.7244165.654.161.7
However, the good news is that he is good enough at knocking down Free Throws to justify his high FTA/FGA.  His ability to distribute and make things happen off the dribble are where he really shines.
The concern lies with defense and while a promotional tweet may get fans hot and bothered, it’s also fake news.

NameTeamAST%STL%ORB%DRB%TO%Usage RatePERAvg Game ScoreBoxscore +/-Off RatingDefensive RatingFloor%Stops%
Kadarius JohnsonGame Elite JB (GA)25.50.74.1612.356.831.412.56.85127.82149.1559.1527

When K.D. Johnson took the floor, he dictated the action on the floor.  However, this means he has to take responsibility for the success or lack there of on either side of the floor.  He was not getting the steals and rebounds out there to force stops.  His defensive rating was abysmal at 149.15 and that would not be indicative of any good defense played at all.  Johnson did average 4.5 steals per game in High School, but High School metrics are not reliable and translate poorly to the college level due to the weaker and inconsistent level of competition regardless of geographic area.

Simply put, the strengths and weaknesses are evident

Strengths

  • Strong dribble driver
  • Takes care of the ball and does not turn it over
  • Draws fouls
  • Good enough Free Throw shooter to become an 83%+ Free Throw shooter on the D-I level.
  • Solid decision maker (but certainly not an elite distributor coming out of High School like Sahvir Wheeler)
  • Doesn’t commit fouls

Weaknesses

  • Anything pertaining to defense and rebounding, literally anything.
  • Perimeter shooting

K.D. Johnson does not seem like the type of Point Guard who fits very well for what Tom Crean is looking to accomplish, he actually is closer to the type of Point Guard that Mark Fox would have wanted had he been 6’4″ and not 6’1″.  He may be a “Top 150” prospect, but he is very much a work-in-progress who may have fared better at Georgia Tech playing in an offense and defense that masks his existing deficiencies and gives him a chance to be more impactful earlier in his collegiate career.  K.D. Johnson will have a lot of work in front of him to earn minutes and a lot of competition in Athens.

The learning curve and skill-level expectations at Georgia and Auburn are far more daunting than Georgia Tech, Johnson chose to stay close to home and by doing so accepted the challenge that puts him in a situation where he has to progress in a far more immediate fashion to get what he wants out of the UGA Basketball experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *