The McDonald’s All-American Game, once again, will be a showcase for future Kentucky Wildcats.
Four of UK’s commitments for the class of 2017 — Quade Green, Nick Richards, Jarred Vanderbilt and PJ Washington — were selected for this year’s game, which will be played March 29 at the United Center in Chicago. The McDonald’s All-Americans were announced Sunday night on ESPNU.
No UK women’s basketball commitments were chosen for the girls’ game.
In nine recruiting classes at Kentucky, men’s coach John Calipari now has a total of 29 McDonald’s All-Americans. In the nine recruiting classes before Calipari got to UK, the Wildcats brought in only five such players.
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Green — a 6-foot-1 point guard from Philadelphia — is likely to be UK’s floor leader next season, and he led the Nike league in assists and steals last summer. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 24 overall player in the 2017 class.
Richards — a 6-11 center from Queens, N.Y. — is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 16 senior in the country, and he’s one of the best rebounders and post defenders in high school basketball.
Vanderbilt — a 6-8 forward from Houston — committed to UK in December and is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 14 player in the class. He averaged 13.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists on the Nike circuit this past summer.
Washington — a 6-8 forward from Frisco, Texas — plays for Findlay Prep in Nevada and is the No. 13 overall player in the class, according to Scout.com. He averaged 16.7 points and 10.4 rebounds this past summer.
Green, Richards and Washington all signed with UK in November, and Vanderbilt will be eligible to sign with the Wildcats in April. They’ll all play for the East team at the McDonald’s game.
29McDonald’s All-Americans at UK during the Calipari era
Calipari could still add to his list of McDonald’s All-Americans this season.
Uncommitted seniors Mohamed Bamba, Kevin Knox and Trae Young were also selected for the game, and all three of those players have scholarship offers from Kentucky.
Calipari was in Pennsylvania last week to visit with Bamba, a 7-footer ranked No. 2 overall by Scout.com. Bamba is scheduled to be in Lexington for an official visit this weekend, and he’s also considering Duke, Michigan and Texas.
247Sports analyst Jerry Meyer switched his Crystal Ball pick for Bamba from Duke to Kentucky last week.
Knox — a 6-9 forward from Tampa, Fla. — got a visit from Calipari on Dec. 30, and he is planning to be at UK for an official visit later this month. The No. 7 player in the Scout.com rankings, Knox is also considering Duke, Florida State and North Carolina.
Young — a 6-2 point guard from Norman, Okla. — was once seen as a likely UK commitment, but the early additions of Green and four-star combo guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have changed the outlook on Young’s recruitment. UK has not had much contact with the five-star point guard since November, and Kansas and Oklahoma have emerged as the perceived favorites for his commitment.
Scout.com ranks Young as the No. 21 player in the class.
None of those three uncommitted players has set a date for a college announcement, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if all of them were still open in their recruitments at the time of the McDonald’s All-American Game.
Bamba and Knox are both on the East team with UK’s four commitments, who will no doubt be recruiting the five-star frontcourt players if they’re still undecided going into McDonald’s week.
Louisville does not have any players in this year’s game, but Western Kentucky signee Mitchell Robinson was selected for the event and will be the Hilltoppers’ first McDonald’s All-American. Scout.com ranks Robinson as the No. 6 player in the class.
East team: Mohamed Bamba (uncommitted), Wendell Carter (Duke), Trevon Duval (uncommitted), Quade Green (Kentucky), Kevin Knox (uncommitted), Nick Richards (Kentucky), Mitchell Robinson (Western Kentucky), Collin Sexton (Alabama), Lonnie Walker (Miami), PJ Washington (Kentucky), Kris Wilkes (UCLA), Jarred Vanderbilt (Kentucky).
West team: DeAndre Ayton (Arizona), Brian Bowen (uncommitted), Troy Brown (Oregon), Jaylen Hands (UCLA), Jalen Jackson (Michigan State), Brandon McCoy (uncommitted), Charles O’Bannon Jr. (USC), Michael Porter Jr. (Washington), Billy Preston (Kansas), Gary Trent Jr. (Duke), M.J. Walker (uncommitted), Trae Young (uncommitted).
UK’s McDonald’s All-Americans in the Calipari era