Chicago big man Cliff Alexander made the most of a bad Friday night.
The Kentucky recruit scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, but his Curie High team lost 72-39 to national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy at the Marshall County Hoop Fest.
Alexander was 12-for-14 from the floor and had several thunderous dunks, but his squad was no match for an Oak Hill team full of nationally ranked prospects.
Despite the result, Alexander was glad to play in front of the pro-UK crowd that numbered more than 5,000.
“It was great,” he said. “I loved it. They showed a lot of love.
“I was leaving the hotel and somebody told me, ‘Come to Kentucky.’ It was crazy.”
Alexander mentioned UK, along with Michigan State, Louisville, N.C. State and Arizona as schools that have recently been in touch. N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried was in attendance, as was a Louisville assistant.
Alexander said he got a call from UK assistant Orlando Antigua earlier in the day, but the Kentucky coaching staff was unable to make the trip with an early game against Baylor on Saturday.
The 6-foot-9 center, ranked No. 4 overall in the class of 2014 by Scout.com, came out firing in the second half Friday night.
With Curie down 46-16 at halftime, Alexander demanded the ball in the post and scored the game’s next eight points — including two big dunks.
Alexander said he doesn’t have any visits planned anytime soon, and isn’t close to making a college decision.
He was one of several elite recruits at Big Blue Madness in October.