The next class of Kentucky men’s basketball players will arrive in Lexington as decorated high school players.
The latest honors for UK’s star-studded class include Naismith Trophy High School All-America distinction from the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Keldon Johnson was named to the five-man All-American Second Team while Immanuel Quickley earned honorable mention.
Johnson and Quickley are part of three-man class with Tyler Herro that is once again one of the top signing classes in the country. All three players are consensus four- or five-star prospects and all are ranked in the top 35 by the major national recruiting services.
Fifteen players in all made the Naismith Trophy High School All-America teams with another 15 earning honorable mention. Johnson and Quickley were already selected to participate in the 41st annual McDonald’s All-American Game in January. That game, featuring some of the country’s top high school talent, will take place March 28 at 7 p.m. ET in Phillips Arena in Atlanta on ESPN.
A 6-foot-6 shooting guard out of Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, Johnson is a consensus five-star player and one of the best in the class of 2018. A native of South Hill, Virginia, he previously played for Huntington Prep in Huntington, West Virginia, before transferring to Oak Hill for the 2017-18 season. Johnson is ranked as high as the No. 6 overall prospect by ESPN. 247Sports ranks him as the nation’s No. 13 overall player while Rivals has him at No. 14.
Johnson led his Boo Williams (Va.) AAU team to the semifinals of the Peach Jam after averaging 20.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists during the Nike regular season. Johnson took home MVP honors at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June. Johnson, who is averaging 22.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists for powerhouse Oak Hill this season, was one of 54 players selected for the USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamp in October.
A 6-4 guard out of the John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland, Quickley is a consensus five-star prospect. Considered a consensus top-three player at his position, he's ranked as high as No. 15 by 247Sports and No. 17 by ESPN. Quickley has battled some injuries during his senior season but led his school to a conference championship while averaging 20 points, six rebounds and six assists per game.
Quickley scored 30 or more in five games, 20 or more in 14 games and finished with eight double-doubles in his junior season. He also averaged 25.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and shot 42.1 percent from 3-point range in the Adidas Summer Championships in July. He was a member of the 2017 USA Men's U19 World Cup Team that competed in Cairo. Playing under Calipari, Quickley averaged 6.7 points and 2.4 assists in 18.3 minutes per game. He was named the Baltimore Sun Metro Player of the Year in 2016.
Although Herro didn’t make the Naismith Trophy High School All-America teams, he’s having one of the best seasons in the country among all high school players nationally. Herro, out of Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wisconsin, is averaging 32.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.3 steals per game.
Herro, a 6-5 shooting guard, is connecting on better than 50 percent from the floor, 43.5 percent from behind the arc and could eclipse 100 3-pointers in the state playoffs. He’s scored 40 or more points in eight games this season. The top-ranked player out of Wisconsin, Herro is tabbed No. 25 overall by ESPN, No. 32 by 247 Sports and No. 35 by Rivals. Like Johnson, he was one of 54 players selected for the USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamp in October.
In every season in the John Calipari era, the Wildcats have signed a top-three recruiting class according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, which tallies major recruiting rankings and plugs them into a formula to calculate a consensus ranking.