By JACK LeGWIN & ADAM ZAGORIAMONTVERDE, Fla. — Kevin Boyle has coached several future one-and-dones in Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
For a period it seemed that Kentucky’s Dakari Johnson might be the latest former Boyle product to follow suit.
But after initially being projected to go in the 2014 NBA Draft, Johnson was recently moved into 2015 by DraftExpress.com, as were his Kentucky teammates Andrew and Aaron Harrison.
The 6-foot-11 Johnson is projected as the No. 19 pick in 2015.
The Brooklyn native is averaging 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds at Kentucky.
When asked if he thought Johnson should stay for another year or more at Kentucky, Boyle’s answer was definitive.
“Absolutely,” said Boyle, who coached Johnson at both Montverde (Fla.) Academy and at Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick. “Dakari’s a great kid, very good player. He’s going to be in the NBA one day, but he definitely needs to stay and get a year or two more to keep developing his skills, which will help him get to the league. You can’t go to the league if you’re not ready.”
One veteran NBA scout concurred.
“Johnson should stay without a doubt,” he told SNY.tv. “Not an NBA guy right now. He would languish on an NBA bench for three years before playing meaningful minutes if he came out this year.”
If both the Harrison twins and Johnson remain at Kentucky for the 2014-15 season, the Wildcats should be especially loaded next year, when freshman guard Dominique Hawkins and freshman forward Marcus Lee could return and be joined by a four-man class that features Karl Towns, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis. Follow Jack on TwitterFollow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.