Video highlights of UK basketball recruit Tyrese Maxey from USA camp
Add two more names to the list of McDonald’s All-Americans that John Calipari has successfully recruited to Kentucky since he took over as the Wildcats’ head coach 10 years ago.
UK commitments Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney were both selected for this year’s McDonald’s All-American Game on Thursday, joining 22 other players who will compete in the annual showcase, which is set for March 27 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Maxey committed to the Wildcats in May and is considered to be one of the top point guards in the 2019 class. The Texas native officially signed with Kentucky in November. He’s the No. 10 overall player in the class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Whitney — a 6-foot-7 wing from Chicago — plays for Roselle Catholic (N.J.) and committed to Kentucky in August, though he did not officially sign with the Cats during the November signing period. He has said that he’ll make his commitment official in a signing ceremony at his old school in Chicago on May 3. Whitney is the No. 8 overall player in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The selection of Maxey and Whitney pushes Calipari’s total number of McDonald’s All-American recruits to 35 since 2009 (and 36 if you count Reid Travis, who played for Stanford after earning a McDonald’s All-American spot in 2014 and is now a graduate transfer at Kentucky).
Calipari could still add to his list in this recruiting cycle. Three of UK’s top four remaining targets for the class of 2019 — Anthony Edwards, Matthew Hurt and Jaden McDaniels — were all announced as McDonald’s All-Americans on Thursday, and there’s a good chance all three UK targets could still be uncommitted by the time McDonald’s All-American week rolls around in late March.
Maxey and Whitney will be teammates with Hurt on the West team, while Edwards and McDaniels will both play for the East team.
Uncommitted UK target Keion Brooks, the only other 2019 recruit with a UK scholarship offer, was not selected for the game. 247Sports ranks Brooks as the No. 13 overall player in the 2019 class.
Kentucky’s third commitment — Pendleton County star Dontaie Allen — was nominated for this year’s McDonald’s All-American Game but was not selected by the committee. Allen suffered a torn ACL during a game in late December, derailing an exceptional senior season and bringing an end to one of the best high school careers in Kentucky basketball history.
Allen was averaging 42.9 points and 14.2 rebounds per game for Pendleton County, and he finished his career with 3,255 points, ranking 10th in state history.
The official Twitter account of the McDonald’s All-American Game singled out Allen on the day the nominations were announced earlier this month.
“You’re a force on the court, Dontaie. Congrats on the nomination — well deserved!” the tweet said.
Only 14 players from Kentucky high schools have been selected for the game, which dates to 1977. Former Louisville standout Chane Behanan was the most recent Kentucky high school player to be picked for the McDonald’s Game, in 2011.
U of L signee Samuell Williamson was the only member of the Cardinals’ highly touted recruiting class selected for this year’s game. He will join Maxey and Whitney on the West team.
The UK women’s team did not have any selections for this year’s McDonald’s All-American Game. The Cats have two signees so far for 2019: top-100 recruit Deasia Merrill (a 6-2 forward) and Lincoln County guard Emma King.
East team: Precious Achiuwa (uncommitted), Cole Anthony (uncommitted), Armando Bacot (North Carolina), Vernon Carey (Duke), Anthony Edwards (uncommitted), Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana), Josiah James (Tennessee), Scottie Lewis (Florida), Jaden McDaniels (uncommitted), Wendell Moore (Duke), Isaiah Stewart (Washington), Trendon Watford (uncommitted).
West team: Bryan Antoine (Villanova), Josh Green (Arizona), Matthew Hurt (uncommitted), Tre Mann (Florida), Nico Mannion (Arizona), Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky), Isaiah Mobley (USC), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova), Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia), Kahlil Whitney (Kentucky), Samuell Williamson (Louisville), James Wiseman (Memphis).
East team: River Baldwin (Florida State), Breanna Beal (South Carolina), Aliyah Boston (South Carolina), Jakia Brown-Turner (N.C. State), Samantha Brunelle (Notre Dame), Zia Cooke (South Carolina), Aubrey Griffin (UConn), Jordan Horston (Tennessee), Diamond Miller (Maryland), Ashley Owusu (Florida State), Sammie Puisis (Florida State), Celeste Taylor (Texas).
West team: Francesca Belibi (Stanford), Kierstan Bell (Ohio State), Kennedy Brown (Oregon State), Nyah Green (Louisville), Angel Jackson (USC), Rickea Jackson (Mississippi State), Haley Jones (Stanford), Jordyn Oliver (Baylor), Charisma Osborne (UCLA), Jaden Owens (UCLA), Anaya Peoples (Notre Dame), Ashten Prechtel (Stanford).