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.