LEXINGTON, Ky. – All four of Kentucky’s fall signees for the 2014 men’s basketball season have been selected to participate in the McDonald’s All-America game it was announced Wednesday evening. Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Karl Towns and Tyler Ulis were selected to the All-Star game slated for April 2 in the United Center in Chicago.
With all four of UK’s signees earning selection to the McDonald’s game, Kentucky now has 20 players named to the prestigious high school event during the John Calipari era. North Carolina is second with 15 players tabbed to the game.
Towns was selected to the East squad, while Booker, Lyles and Ulis will suit up for the West team. The game will air live on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET on April 2.
Booker, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Moss Point, Miss., was named Mississippi’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior in 2012-13, averaging 29.7 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game. Booker is rated No. 18 in the 2014 ESPN 100, No. 30 in the Rivals 150 and No. 31 according to Scout.
A 6-10 forward from Indianapolis, Ind., Lyles averaged 17.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 blocks en route to being named Indianapolis City Player of the Year for a second consecutive year as a junior at Arsenal Technical High School. Playing for Team Canada in the 2013 U19 World Championships, Lyles averaged 20.3 points per game.
Towns, a 7-0 forward from St. Joseph’s in Metuchen, N.J., was named the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year in 2012-13. Averaging 21.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.6 blocks per game, Towns was named First Team All-State and Player of the Year by The Star-Ledger in New Jersey. Entering his senior year, Towns has led his St. Joseph’s team to two consecutive state championships in New Jersey.
Ulis is a 5-8 point guard from Chicago Heights, Ill., who averaged 21.9 points, 4.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game as a junior for Marian Catholic. Ulis is ranked 29th nationally by Scout and 33rd by Rivals and ESPN. The latest in a line of highly ranked point guards to sign with Kentucky under Coach Calipari, Ulis ranks as the No. 4 point guard in the country by ESPN and No. 6 at his position according to Scout.
Kentucky has signed 52 total McDonald's All-Americans, including 20 under Calipari since the McDonald's All-America team began in 1977 with the first game featuring the top players in the nation first played in 1978.
Former and current Wildcats who played in the McDonald’s All-America game previously during Calipari’s tenure include: DeMarcus Cousins (2009), Anthony Davis (2011), Archie Goodwin (2012), Aaron Harrison (2013), Andrew Harrison (2013), Dakari Johnson (2013), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2011), Terrence Jones (2010), Brandon Knight (2010), Doron Lamb (2010), Marcus Lee (2013), Alex Poythress (2012), Julius Randle (2013), Marquis Teague (2011), Kyle Wiltjer (2011), and James Young (2013).
UK Hoops gets one McDonald's All-American:
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky women’s basketball signee Alyssa Rice of Reynoldsburg, Ohio has been selected to play in the prestigious 2014 McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball Game on Wednesday, April 2 in the United Center in Chicago. The game will feature the top 24 high school players around the country representing teams from the East and West and will be aired on ESPNU at 7 p.m. EST. Rice will suit up for the West squad.
Rice, a 6-foot-3 forward, is a standout player at Reynoldsburg High School. She is ranked the No. 3 post player in the country and 20th overall player according to ESPN.com. As a junior, Rice led the Raiders to a 24-4 overall record and averaged 15.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game, while shooting 65 percent from the floor. She was named to the MaxPreps 2013 Girls Basketball All-America Team and is the highest ranked recruit in UK’s 2014 signing class.
She chose Kentucky over Virginia, Maryland, Ohio State and West Virginia.
“Alyssa possesses all of the qualities we desire in a post player,” UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Her incredible combination of size and speed make her a perfect fit for Kentucky. She is clearly one of the top post players in the 2014 class. Her versatility makes her very difficult to defend. Alyssa is a great ball handler, a great shooter and a tough finisher around the basket. Her ability to run the floor will be very valuable to our program. Alyssa has a tremendous work ethic and I am confident that her Kentucky career will be filled with success.”
This marks the fifth consecutive year Kentucky will have a signee play in the McDonald’s All-American game and Rice is the school-record eighth high school All-American in the Mitchell era.
Next season, Rice will join five other fellow McDonald’s All-Americans on UK’s squad in Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky.), Bria Goss (Indianapolis), Linnae Harper (Chicago), Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) and Janee Thompson (Chicago).