CHICAGO – Kentucky basketball fans who watched Wednesday night’s McDonald’s All-American Game probably didn’t get a very good idea of what they’ll be seeing next season.
But that wasn’t really the point.
As usual, the annual all-star event turned into a sloppy showcase of fast breaks, missed threes and crazy dunks. And there was always at least one Wildcat on the floor.
The West team – led by MVP Aaron Gordon’s 24 points and eight rebounds – defeated the East 110-99. UK recruiting target Andrew Wiggins was the top scorer for the East with 19 points, and John Calipari would love to add him to a class that already includes six McDonald’s All-Americans.
Dakari Johnson led that group of UK commitments with 12 points. Julius Randle added 11, and Andrew Harrison (10), Aaron Harrison (six), James Young (six) and Marcus Lee (two) followed in the scoring column.
Johnson and Randle combined for 12 rebounds as members of the East team. The Harrison twins combined for nine assists on the West squad.
“It was great being out there with Julius,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t as fun playing against the twins.”
BOX SCORE: Complete stats from Wednesday’s game
Lee was held scoreless for almost the entire 40 minutes before throwing down a dunk with a little more than 10 seconds remaining to give the West its final points. He h as been hampered by a back injury all week and said after the game that it was irritating him throughout the night.
The 6-foot-10 forward played a team-low 12 minutes but said he enjoyed the experience.
“It was fun. I loved every minute,” he said. “Just being here is the greatest moment ever.”
There were blue shirts sprinkled throughout the United Center, and one fan yelled “Go to UK!” while Wiggins was shooting free throws in the first half.
But there was no college announcement from the country’s No. 1 prospect, who is deciding among UK, Florida State, North Carolina and Kansas.