As usual, the University of Kentucky had more players than any other school at the McDonald’s All-American Game.
This year’s bunch delivered their share of highlights.
Malik Monk threw down several impressive dunks, Bam Adebayo was a beast on the boards, and De’Aaron Fox and Sacha Killeya-Jones had their moments in Wednesday’s night’s game at United Center.
Monk scored 11 points and dished out four assists, and it was his West team that defeated the UK-heavy East squad, 114-107.
Known as one of the best dunkers in high school basketball, Monk finished off three alley-oops and darted across the lane for another highlight-reel slam. He also showed off his point guard skills, making several nice passes in traffic that led to West buckets.
“He can jump out of the gym,” Killeya-Jones said. “He’s going to put somebody on a poster in college.”
Adebayo — a 6-foot-9, 260-pound player with unmatched energy — was the only McDonald’s All-American to log a double-double in this year’s game. He managed 16 points and 12 rebounds, with eight boards coming on the offensive end.
The North Carolina native said he wasn’t looking to fill up the box score. It just happened as a result of his usual hard work.
“It’s a great honor, but I just play hard,” he said. “I didn’t worry about stats. I just wanted to play hard and show the people what I’m made of.”
Killeya-Jones has been practicing alongside Adebayo with the East team all week. He wasn’t surprised that his future teammate delivered Wednesday night.
“Bam’s been dominant. That’s what he does,” he said. “He goes up there and rebounds everything he can and dunks everything. That’s Bam.”
Killeya-Jones also showed why John Calipari wanted him to be a Wildcat. The 6-11 power forward hustled throughout the game, diving on the floor for loose balls — almost unheard of at this event — and ended up with six points and two steals.
“I played pretty well in the first half,” he said. “Got a couple of easy buckets, a couple of dunks. I just wanted to go out there and gave fun, compete, try to dive on the floor. It was a really fun experience.”
Fox — UK’s likely starting point guard next season — didn’t have his best night. After impressing in the practices leading up to the game itself, Fox shot just 1-for-8 from the floor and finished with two points. He did chip in a team-high seven assists.
“I was frustrated that I couldn’t make any shots,” he said. “It wasn’t my best game. ... It wasn’t really nerves. The ball just didn’t go through the basket.”
Fellow Texan Marques Bolden, who is UK’s top remaining recruiting target for the class of 2016, had a solid showing. He flashed some athleticism with an alley-oop finish at one point, tallying 13 points and seven rebounds for the game.
Bolden is likely to choose either UK or Duke sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Duke signee Frank Jackson and uncommitted recruit Josh Jackson were named co-MVPs after scoring 19 points each. Jackson has narrowed his list of schools to Arizona, Kansas and Michigan State.