Kentucky basketball will once again be well represented on the post-season all-star circuit this spring.
Five UK men’s commitments were named to the McDonald’s All-American Game on Thursday, marking the first time five recruits from one school have been named to the event.
Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee and James Young will all play in the April 3 game in Chicago. The same five players were named to the Jordan Brand Classic earlier this week.
Two UK women’s signees — Chicago guard Linnae Harper and Marion County guard Makayla Epps — were named to the girls’ game, also slated for April 3 in Chicago. Duke-bound Becca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic) was also named to the game. Epps and Greenwell became only the second and third Kentucky girls to be chosen for the game. University of Louisville sophomore Sara Hammond (Rockcastle County) was the first Kentuckian to play in the girls’ game — in 2011.
Also invited to the McDonald’s boys’ game were UK recruits Andrew Wiggins and Aaron Gordon, so the Cats could still add to their record haul.
UK recruit Julius Randle was not on the list of McDonald’s All-Americans released Thursday. Event organizers told the Herald-Leader that he will continue to be considered as he recovers from a broken foot.
McDonald’s history: Complete list of UK’s previous All-Americans
The good fortune of the seven boys’ prospects is bad news for the Derby Festival Classic, the long-running event in Louisville. NCAA rules bar incoming freshmen from participating in more than two post-season all-star games. That means UK signee Derek Willis is the only future Wildcat that could possibly play in this year’s Derby Classic, which will be held April 19 in Freedom Hall. Randle could still play in the Derby Classic if he’s not a last-minute addition to the McDonald’s Game.
The last Kentucky player to play in the Derby Classic was Stacey Poole Jr. in 2010.
The rosters for the McDonald’s All-American games …
EAST BOYS: Anthony Barber (NC State), Keith Frazier (Undecided), Isaiah Hicks (North Carolina), Kasey Hill (Florida), Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), Rondae Jefferson (Arizona), Dakari Johnson (Kentucky), Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina), Wayne Selden (Kansas), Noah Vonleh (Indiana), Chris Walker (Florida), Andrew Wiggins (Undecided)
WEST BOYS: Jabari Bird (California), Aaron Gordon (Undecided), Isaac Hamilton (UTEP), Aaron Harrison (Kentucky), Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Matt Jones (Duke), Marcus Lee (Kentucky), Jarrell Martin (LSU), Jabari Parker (Duke), Bobby Portis (Arkansas), Nigel Williams-Goss (Washington), James Young (Kentucky)
EAST GIRLS: Lindsay Allen (Notre Dame), Lexie Brown (Maryland), Alaina Coates (South Carolina), Nia Coffey (Northwestern), Kaela Davis (Georgia Tech), Diamond DeShields (North Carolina), Makayla Epps (Kentucky), Kai James (Florida State), Stephanie Mavunga (North Carolina), Taya Reimer (Notre Dame), Ieshia Small (Undecided), Ronni Williams (Florida)
WEST GIRLS: Oderah Chidom (Duke), Kendall Cooper (Duke), Rebekah Dahlman (Vanderbilt), Rebecca Greenwell (Duke), Linnae Harper (Kentucky), Kailee Johnson (Stanford), Erica McCall (Stanford), Kelsey Plum (Washington), Jordan Reynolds (Tennessee), Mercedes Russell (Tennessee), Tyler Scaife (Rutgers), Jessica Washington (North Carolina)