The UK men’s and women’s basketball programs are well represented in the newly released nominations for the McDonald’s All-American Game, but one of the Cats’ biggest signees will not be at this year’s event.
Men’s signees Isaiah Briscoe and Charles Matthews both made the list of preliminary nominations, which includes hundreds of high school seniors. Briscoe is likely to make the final roster, and Matthews, a Chicago native, is making a case to play in his hometown showcase with his recent performances on the court.
As expected, five-star UK signee Skal Labissiere was not among the players nominated. Labissiere is playing his senior season with Reach Your Dream Prep (Tenn.) after a transfer flap last summer.
In an interview last month, Labissiere told reporters from Kentucky that he was hopeful that the McDonald’s committee would waive its requirement that players must play for the high school at which they are enrolled to be eligible for the game. That did not happen.
Labissiere plays for Reach Your Dream but attends Lausanne Collegiate School.
(Update: The McDonald’s All-American folks tweeted this to us Wednesday afternoon: “The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association ruled him ineligible so he was not able to be nominated.”)
All eight of the remaining uncommitted players scholarship offers from John Calipari are on the list of nominees.
On the women’s side, UK signees Maci Morris, Taylor Murray and Morgan Rich are all nominated. Fellow signee Batouly Camara was not on the list because she is a fifth-year prep player, the same rule that kept UK’s John Wall out of the McDonald’s game in 2009.
Morris and Rich join Ashland Blazer’s Alexis Robinson, who has signed with Colorado, as the only three girls’ players from Kentucky to be nominated.
Four boys’ players from Kentucky were nominated: Beetle Bolden, Aric Holman, Camron Justice and Ray Spalding, who has signed with Louisville.
The final McDonald’s All-American rosters will be announced live on ESPNU at 6 p.m. on Jan. 28. This year’s game will be played at the United Center in Chicago on April 1.