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Top 40 guard prospect Keon Johnson commits to Tennessee

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The Volunteers had to have this one.

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Tennessee basketball’s 2020 recruiting class is officially off and running. Longtime in-state target Keon Johnson announced his commitment to Tennessee on Tuesday night, giving Rick Barnes his second top 35 commitment of the class.

Johnson joins Corey Walker, who ranks as the 34th overall player in the class, according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. Johnson ranks 31st overall and is the 6th ranked shooting guard in the nation.

The 6-5, 180 pound Johnson comes from Bell Buckle, Tennessee. He’s the top ranked 2020 prospect in the state, and walks into a great situation for playing time in Knoxville. Senior guards Jordan Bowden and Lamonte Turner will exit the program after this season, leaving two openings in the starting five for Barnes. Walker, and now Johnson, both are logical picks to slide into those spots for the 2020-21 season.

As a high school junior, Johnson averaged over 24 points per game. He added over eight rebounds, along with three steals and three assists per contest. That production didn’t go unnoticed, as Johnson was selected to participate in a mini-camp this summer with the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National team. Johnson was selected as the MVP of that event.

On the court, Johnson is known for his ability to get to the rim. He’s outstanding at scoring through contact, using his 6-5 frame to finish drives in the lane. Johnson is an emerging threat on the perimeter, upping his three point percentage from 26 to 38 percent from his sophomore to junior season.

Tennessee’s potential starting five for 2020 could look like this: Josiah James, Keon Johnson, Corey Walker, John Fulkerson and Uros Plavsic. That’s a pretty exciting group, especially in the backcourt. While the Vols may take a step back this upcoming season, they’re poised to bounce right back in 2020-21 — especially if they can add another elite piece to this class.