The Kentucky Wildcats have had a record 20 signees play in the McDonald’s All-American game since John Calipari’s arrival. That’s why these days, the MCDAAG is pretty much next year’s Kentucky Wildcats freshmen class, and then the year after next year’s NBA Draft lottery.
All four of Kentucky’s 2014 signees were picked for the McDonald’s All-America game it was announced Wednesday evening. Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Karl Towns and Tyler Ulis were selected to the All-Star game slated for April 2 in the United Center in Chicago.
North Carolina is second to the Kentucky Wildcats with 15 players tabbed to the game. So the one-and-done blue-chippers often later wear big blue. Or to a lesser extent powder blue.
Booker, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Moss Point, Miss., was named Mississippi’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior in 2012-13, averaging 29.7 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game. Booker is rated No. 18 in the 2014 ESPN 100, No. 30 in the Rivals 150 and No. 31 according to Scout.
A 6-10 forward from Indianapolis, Ind., Lyles averaged 17.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 blocks en route to being named Indianapolis City Player of the Year for a second consecutive year as a junior at Arsenal Technical High School. Playing for Team Canada in the 2013 U19 World Championships, Lyles averaged 20.3 points per game.
Towns, a 7-0 forward from St. Joseph’s in Metuchen, N.J., was named the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year in 2012-13. Averaging 21.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.6 blocks per game, Towns was named First Team All-State and Player of the Year by The Star-Ledger in New Jersey. Entering his senior year, Towns has led his St. Joseph’s team to two consecutive state championships in New Jersey.
Ulis is a 5-8 point guard from Chicago Heights, Ill., who averaged 21.9 points, 4.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game as a junior for Marian Catholic. Ulis is ranked 29th nationally by Scout and 33rd by Rivals and ESPN. The latest in a line of highly ranked point guards to sign with the Kentucky Wildcats under Coach Calipari, Ulis ranks as the No. 4 point guard in the country by ESPN and No. 6 at his position according to Scout.
Kentucky Wildcats has signed 40 total McDonald’s All-Americans, including 20 under Calipari since the McDonald’s All-America team began in 1977 with the first game featuring the top players in the nation first played in 1978.
Former and current Kentucky Wildcats who played in the McDonald’s All-America game previously during Calipari’s tenure include:
DeMarcus Cousins (2009), Anthony Davis (2011), Archie Goodwin (2012), Aaron Harrison (2013), Andrew Harrison (2013), Dakari Johnson (2013), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2011), Terrence Jones (2010), Brandon Knight (2010), Doron Lamb (2010), Marcus Lee (2013), Alex Poythress (2012), Julius Randle (2013), Marquis Teague (2011), Kyle Wiltjer (2011), and James Young (2013).
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar in media studies, he’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox Sports Radio. A former writer for NBCChicago.com and WashingtonTimes.com, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks