Tonight the McDonald’s All-American rosters were selected and all four Kentucky commits made the cut (Devin Booker, Karl Towns, Tyler Ulis and Trey Lyles). Also making the 24-man roster was Duke, UNC, Kansas and SMU’s entire recruiting classes in addition to Kentucky’s. The All-American game is essentially a “who’s who” of prospective college basketball players- the best of the best. Naturally, when a MCDAA commits to your school, or your school’s commit is chosen as MCDAA your expectations for them heighten. After all, playing on a national stage with opponents that will soon be teammates or competition seems like a pretty good determiner of how they will play at the next level, right? Not quite.
John Calipari has coached 17 McDonald’s All-Americans (recruiting 16 of them) at Kentucky, including a 7 on this year’s squad alone (Randle, Johnson, Young, Harrison x2, Poythress and Lee). That puts Calipari with 20 of his recruits selected in this game- a record- and UNC in second with 15. Some of these guys won national titles, some got dangerously close and some fell very short. Last season Kentucky fans (myself included) used the McDonald’s All-American game as a coping mechanism for a painfully underwhelming season. UK had a whopping six players on the MCDAA roster. Who had more talent on that court than Kentucky? No one. That’s who.