It was a eventful week in Chicago for the McDonald’s All-American Game, which featured five University of Kentucky signees — four men and one woman — and a couple of uncommitted recruits who are still considering the Wildcats.
Here’s a rundown of the Herald-Leader’s coverage from throughout the week, in case you might have missed something:
The Fox-Monk connection: Even opponents agree, UK’s backcourt next season will be something special; “That backcourt is going to be scary,” says one fellow All-American.
‘You better ball’: Bam Adebayo is UK’s big man of the future, and he’s ready to meet John Calipari’s challenge next season in Lexington.
Q&A with Adebayo’s coach: Bam will be an inside force for the Cats in 2016-17. “He touches somebody, it looks like he shoots them in the chest with a 12 gauge.”
Big man with skill: Sacha Killeya-Jones is UK’s lowest-ranked signee, but he turned some heads with his play during McDonald’s week.
Expectations are high: UK’s incoming players know that fans are hoping for a national title next season. Fox, Monk, Killeya-Jones and Adebayo talk about their expectations.
UK women getting a good one: Lindsey Corsaro is the latest McDonald’s All-American to join Matthew Mitchell’s team. She hopes to have a big impact right away.
Looking ahead: UK already in a good spot with a likely McDonald’s All-American in 2017. “I think Kentucky is basketball in this country,” says his coach.
Looking back: A player-by-player look at the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game. How many of those players are still in college? Some are already out of the NBA.
The dunk funk: Malik Monk almost ended UK’s skid of never having a McDonald’s dunk contest winner. Thirty years ago, Rex Chapman almost won with “The Flip.”
Marques Bolden watch
Bolden breaks it down: No. 1 center in the class of 2016 talks to the Herald-Leader about Kentucky, Duke, John Calipari and De’Aaron Fox trying to sell him on the Wildcats.
Analyst weighs in: Despite some pro-Duke buzz in Chicago, Scout.com’s Evan Daniels told us that Kentucky is still firmly in the mix for Bolden. “I think it’s truly a toss-up.”
Recruiting pitches: Malik Monk, two Duke signees offer their pitches to Bolden, who Monk calls the “best big in the class.”
Jarrett Allen’s recruitment: Five-star big man from Texas says John Calipari talked to him before he left for Chicago, and he’s still considering UK.
Friday’s notes: Bam Adebayo on why he’s skipping Hoop Summit; Marques Bolden on his parents’ influence on his decision; Sacha Killeya-Jones on “cool” Calipari.
Wednesday’s notes: Calipari can’t hide his excitement after building a “super team”; De’Aaron Fox wants to put on weight; SEC shut out of McDonald’s Game; Bam Adebayo on the refs.
Tuesday’s notes: McDonald’s All-American coaches break down each of the UK signees; Some top players weren’t in Chicago; Fox and Adebayo have a humorous exchange.
The game, and more
Boys’ game: Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo were bright spots for Kentucky (includes quotes from the future Wildcats).
Girls’ game: UK signee Lindsey Corsaro and Miss Basketball Erin Boley were solid, but their East team lost in overtime.
The dunk contest: Duke signee Frank Jackson won, edging out Kentucky’s Malik Monk in the finals (includes video of several dunks).
The three-point contest: Malik Monk made 15 of 25 shots in 50 seconds at the Chicago Theatre to take home the trophy.
De’Aaron Fox: UK’s point guard of the future talks about Calipari, Bolden and more.
Bam Adebayo: Five-star big man talks about his game and relationship with UK coach.
Sacha Killeya-Jones: Recruit says UK signees already talking about a national title run.