Justin Edwards, No. 1 recruit in 2023, gets standing ovation at Rupp Arena | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / May 24.
  • Justin Edwards, No. 1 recruit in 2023, gets standing ovation at Rupp Arena

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Justin Edwards predicted a Kentucky win over No. 10 Tennessee on Saturday at Rupp Arena — and then it happened.

    “We took over they trap and now we are gonna protect ours,” he said on social media.

    The 6-foot-7 Edwards, the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2023, was then given a standing ovation when he was introduced during Kentucky’s 66-54 win over the Vols.

    Edwards is part of Kentucky’s five-man recruiting class for 2023 ranked No. 1 nationally.

    “The kid can defend 1-5,” former No. 1 NBA Draft pick Pervis Ellison told me for NJ Advance Media last month. “I like the fact that he’s a winner, he brings a winning mindset, plays extremely hard and he’s very unselfish. The sky’s the limit. His better days are ahead of him.”

    Asked what Edwards’s natural position is, Ellison responded, “What is Paul George? What is Kawhi Leonard? What is Kevin Durant? He falls into that category.”

    Ellison said he believes this class — which also includes Camden players DJ Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw — might be coach John Calipari’s best.

    “Obviously, that program has had some tremendous talent that’s come through, but I think in terms of collections of players at different positions this might be [Calipari’s] best,” Ellison said. “Yes, that’s how talented those guys are.”

    Wagner and Bradshaw are done for the season and won’t play in the New Jersey State tournament after Camden was involved in a brawl this week with rival Camden Eastside.

    But Edwards, Wagner, Bradshaw and Reed Sheppard will all play in the McDonald’s All-American Game March 28 in Houston.

    Photo: via Ben Roberts

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.

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