Top basketball recruit Matthew Hurt talks about UK, Duke, Kansas and UNC
The 42nd McDonald’s All-American Game is Wednesday night, and — as has always been the case during the John Calipari era — Kentucky basketball fans will have reason to tune in to the all-star recruiting showcase.
Here’s what you need to know:
How to watch
The boys’ McDonald’s Game will be played Wednesday at 7 p.m. and televised live on ESPN2. The broadcast — from State Farm Arena in Atlanta — will also be available on ESPN’s streaming services. (A replay of the event will be shown at midnight on ESPNU).
The Kentucky crowd
UK fans will have two commitments and two five-star targets to keep an eye on in this one.
Highly touted point guard Tyrese Maxey and star wing player Kahlil Whitney — both ranked as top-10 national prospects — have already committed to Kentucky and will play for the Wildcats next season. The duo will be teammates on the West squad Wednesday night.
Joining Maxey and Whitney on the West Team will be five-star forward Matthew Hurt, who is ranked No. 8 nationally and is expected to pick either Kentucky, Duke, Kansas or North Carolina on April 19. The 6-foot-9 prospect from Minnesota took an official visit to UK in December.
Five-star forward Jaden McDaniels — the No. 5 player in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings — is one of the top prospects on the East Team. The Seattle native has narrowed his list to UK, San Diego State, Texas, UCLA and Washington. He also visited UK during the season.
Others to watch
Kentucky fans who like to keep tabs on future rivals will want to watch Samuell Williamson, the lone Louisville signee in this game and one of six recruits in Coach Chris Mack’s incoming class. Williamson — a 6-7 wing from Texas — is the No. 39 overall player in the 247Sports composite rankings for 2019. He’ll play alongside Maxey, Whitney and Hurt with the West Team.
At this time last year, James Wiseman was the top recruit on UK’s 2019 targets list, but he ultimately turned down the Wildcats for a chance to play with his mentor and former coach, Penny Hardaway, at Memphis. Wiseman is still the No. 1 player in the consensus rankings for 2019 and has looked great through the early McDonald’s Game practices. He’ll also play for the West Team.
The Southeastern Conference will have four prospects in this game, in addition to the two future Kentucky players. Suiting up for the East Team will be Georgia commitment Anthony Edwards, Florida signee Scottie Lewis (both former UK targets) and Tennessee signee Josiah James. Another Florida commitment, Tre Mann, will play for the West Team.
With a total of six recruits, the SEC has more prospects in this game than any other league.
The girls’ game
The McDonald’s All-American girls’ game is set for a 5 p.m. Wednesday tip-off and will also be shown live on ESPN2. The UK women’s team does not have any recruits in this year’s game. Louisville has a commitment from West Team guard Nyah Green, a 6-1 prospect from Texas.
South Carolina and Stanford lead the girls’ game with three commitments each. Stanford pledge Haley Jones is the No. 1 recruit in the ESPN rankings and will play for the West Team.