Sunday February 1st, 2015

It’s weird to be labeled a veteran as a sophomore, but that’s how it works at Kentucky, where the Wildcats are known more for stellar one-and-dones than senior leaders. So sophomore Dakari Johnson, who comes off the bench for undefeated Kentucky (21-0) and averages eight points and six rebounds, has a lot of wisdom. He shared some of it with in this week’s Sunday Sit Down. I should warn you that I have high expectations because I’ve heard you’re really funny.

Dakari Johnson: Haha, OK. I’m ready. OK. Eight seconds left, game on the line. Which current college basketball player do you want taking the big shot? You can’t pick a teammate.

Johnson: That’s a great question. Thank you, I thought so, too.

Johnson: Probably Marcus Paige from North Carolina.

Who do you want defending the big shot? You also can’t pick a teammate.

Johnson: Dang, I can’t pick a teammate? OK, anyone from Virginia. They all play defense, so anyone will do.

College Basketball
Sunday Sit Down: Frank Kaminsky talks Wisconsin, MSG, karaoke, more Why is your team better than people think?

Johnson: Because we haven’t even scratched our potential yet. I think we can get way better than we are right now. We still have a lot to improve on. What one weird thing do you keep in your backpack or basketball bag?

Johnson: I always keep a comb with me, and I always take my phone charger with me. I don’t know if that’s considered weird. Well, the last person who did this said a seashell, so I think you’re pretty normal. Who’s your favorite follow on Twitter?

Johnson: Spongebob. It’s a parody account, but it always tweets funny stuff. I like that you made that clear, that it’s a parody account. Who’s your celebrity crush?

Johnson: Nicki Minaj What’s the best dunk you’ve done or seen live?

Johnson: I actually was a prop in a dunk contest. Someone jumped over me. Wow. Who?

Johnson: He plays for Vanderbilt now, Wade Baldwin IV. It was at Xavier, at the Mary Kline Classic, this past summer. I went to go watch, and they pulled me out of the crowd to go jump over me. Were you scared?

Johnson: Uh, yeah. No one’s ever tried to jump over me before. But I was fine, no injuries. Favorite March Madness memory?

​​Johnson: Last year when Aaron (Harrison) hit all those shots (to win or go ahead vs. Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin).

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Wooden Watch: SEC big man leads group of best sophomores

​​​ You’re an NBA GM with the first pick in the 2015 draft. Who are you taking and why?

Johnson: Besides myself? Ha! Yes, besides yourself.

Johnson: I’d pick any of my teammates, because they’re all great guys and I know they’re all great competitors. In their primes, are you taking LeBron or Kobe?

Johnson: I’m a big LeBron fan, so I’m picking LeBron. What’s the dumbest mistake you’ve ever made on a basketball court?

Johnson: Actually when I was younger, in an AAU game, I called a timeout and we didn’t have any left and we ended up losing. Oh no, Michigan revisited!

Johnson: Yeah. It was pretty dumb. What is Coach Calipari’s favorite thing to yell in practice?

Johnson: Oh, well, I can’t say that. Haha, OK what’s something G-rated that he says a lot?

Johnson: Hmm, I have to think about that. He likes to mock us a lot when he’s mad at us. He thinks it’s really funny. He does impressions of everybody. For example, if I don’t have a lot of energy at practice, he’ll walk around the court with his back slumped and be like, “Ohhh, I’m soooo tired!” Stuff like that. Which venue do you most want to play in?

Johnson: Probably Madison Square Garden. I’ve never played there before. Who on your team would make the best coach someday and why?

Johnson: Andrew (Harrison) or Tyler (Ulis) because they’re point guards, so they have those high basketball IQs. Last question. Which teammate are you singing a karaoke duet with, and what’s your song of choice? 

Johnson: Marcus Lee. He’s always energized, so he’d probably add a little dance to it. We’d probably sing a country song, just to throw people off. Country, really? Do you have a favorite country artist?

Johnson: No. My mom listens to it a lot when she’s cleaning but it’s annoying to me. What’s that one song, that has a good tune to it? Oh yeah, ‘She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.’ That’s what we’d sing. What a perfect last answer.

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