No. 1 In-State Player Visits Vols on Saturday

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    (Photo via Chris Siers/The Times-Gazette)

    The top-ranked player in the state of Tennessee and one of the top guards in the 2020 recruiting cycle made a trip over to Knoxville on Saturday.

    Keon Johnson, a four-star guard out of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, took an unofficial visit to UT to watch the Vols host Georgia in basketball according to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com.

    Johnson is the No. 29 overall player and No. 8 shooting guard in the 2020 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, and he’s the No. 1 player in the state of Tennessee. He took an official visit to Knoxville back in October.

    Johnson has unofficially visited Tennessee several times, and Rick Barnes and his staff members also watched him play in person many times over the summer. Vanderbilt is considered the top contender for the Vols in Johnson’s recruitment, but Ole Miss and Virginia are also heavily involved with the borderline five-star talent.

    Rick Barnes and his staff have developed a close relationship with Johnson over the last few years, and Johnson has been on Tennessee’s radar for quite some time. His EAB travel team coach, Mark Griffin, is a former Vol himself.

    The talented guard is listed as a shooting guard by recruiting services, but he has the skills to play at point guard if UT wants to put him there.

    Johnson, who measures in around 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, is a tremendous defender and has a knack for picking off passes and blocking shots. He uses his defense to fuel his offense, and he has a variety of ways he can score. Johnson can nail threes, hit pull-up jumpers, drive in the lane, and has some post moves as well. In my opinion, he needs to improve his passing if he’s to truly work out as a point guard and not more of a shooting or combo guard, but overall he’s a very well-rounded player with an extremely high ceiling.

    As a sophomore last year, Johnson averaged 25.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.6 steals, and 1.5 blocks a game while shooting 54.5 percent from the field according to MaxPreps. He also earned Tennessee’s Division II Class A Mr. Basketball award for his performance this past season.

    Right now, Tennessee doesn’t have any commitments in their 2020 class, but they did just sign three players in their 2019 class. Five-star guard Josiah James, three-star forward Drew Pember from Bearden, and three-star forward Davonte Gaines all signed with the Vols in their 2019 class during the fall signing period.