All four UK signees to play in McDAA Game

All four of Kentucky's fall basketball signees have been selected to play in the 2014 McDonald's All-American Game, it was announced Wednesday.

All four of Kentucky's fall basketball signees have been selected to play in the 2014 McDonald's All-American Game, it was announced Wednesday.

Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Karl Towns and Tyler Ulis were each picked to play in the all-star event on April 2 at the United Center in Chicago.

Towns will play for the East squad, while Booker, Lyles and Ulis will suit up for the West team. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.

Towns, a 7-foot center/forward from St. Joseph's in Metuchen, N.J., was named the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year in 2012-13 by averaging 21.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.6 blocks per game. Entering his senior year, Towns has led his St. Joseph's team to two consecutive state championships in New Jersey. He is ranked No. 11 in the Class of 2014 by Scout.

"There's a lot to like about Towns," said national basketball analyst Evan Daniels. "At his size, he has very good hands and good touch around the rim. One of his strengths is his ability to shoot out to the three-point stripe. He's also getting increasingly more comfortable on the block and is a good passer from the post."

Booker, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Moss Point, Miss., was named Mississippi's Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior in 2012-13, averaging 29.7 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game. He is rated No. 31 in his class Scout.

"Booker's strength lies in his ability to shoot the basketball," Daniels said. "He has good range on his shot, a quick release and is always prepared to shoot the ball. I also think his ball skills and mid-range shot have improved over his high school career."

A 6-10 forward from Indianapolis, Lyles averaged 17.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 blocks en route to being named City Player of the Year for a second consecutive year as a junior at Arsenal Tech High School. Playing for Team Canada in the 2013 U19 World Championships, Lyles averaged 20.3 points per game. He is ranked No. 8 in his class by Scout.

"Lyles has impressive skill at the power fowrard spot," Daniels said. "He can score the ball in a variety of ways on the block, but is also effective facing the rim and shooting from mid-range out to 22-feet."

Ulis is a 5-8 point guard from Chicago Heights, Ill., who averaged 21.9 points, 4.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game as a junior for Marian Catholic. Ulis is ranked 29th nationally by Scout.

Said Daniels: "You won't find many tougher players in the 2014 class. Ulis is a true leader that is a terrific facilitator for his team. He has impressive vision and is a very good passer. He's also a good shooter out to 22-feet."

Twenty Kentucky-bound players have been named to the McDonald's All-American Game during the John Calipari era. North Carolina is second during that span with 15.

The Wildcats have signed 52 total McDonald's All-Americans since the McDonald's All-America team began in 1978.

Former and current Wildcats who played in the McDonald's All-America game previously during Calipari's tenure include: DeMarcus Cousins (2009), Anthony Davis (2011), Archie Goodwin (2012), Aaron Harrison (2013), Andrew Harrison (2013), Dakari Johnson (2013), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2011), Terrence Jones (2010), Brandon Knight (2010), Doron Lamb (2010), Marcus Lee (2013), Alex Poythress (2012), Julius Randle (2013), Marquis Teague (2011), Kyle Wiltjer (2011), and James Young (2013).

Jeff Drummond has covered University of Kentucky sports for newspapers, magazines and online publications since 1988 and for FOX Sports since 2012. A Richmond, Ky., native, he currently resides in Lexington.

Facebook | Twitter| E-Mail |

AllWildcats Top Stories