McDonald's All-American Game 2013: Kentucky Recruits Will Own Annual Showcase
The 2013 McDonald's All-American Game should probably be renamed the 2013 Kentucky Recruit Showcase.
When the top high school players in the land take the court on Wednesday night, at least six future Wildcats will be playing. And if the top recruit in the land, Andrew Wiggins, eventually chooses Kentucky, the number jumps to seven.
Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune has the breakdown of Kentucky's epic recruiting class:
[Julius] Randle, a 6-foot-9 forward ranked the No. 3 recruit in the country by ESPN, had planned for a couple of weeks to make his college announcement on March 20. The day before he committed, Kentucky suffered a shocking 59-57 loss to Robert Morris in the NIT, ending a season in which it lost star Nerlens Noel to an ACL tear en route to a 21-12 record.
Randle's announcement—spurred by his desire to win a national championship, he said—immediately turned the page and sparked debate about whether the Wildcats' recruiting class could be considered the best in history. Kentucky-bound McDonald's All-Americans in the ESPN rankings also include No. 5 Andrew Harrison, No. 6 James Young of Rochester (Mich.), No. 7 Aaron Harrison, No. 11 Dakari Johnson of Montverde (Fla.) and No. 18 Marcus Lee of Deer Valley (Calif.).
Randle and Johnson will play for the East team, while Lee, Young and the Harrison twins will play for the West squad. You can check out the full rosters here via ESPN.com.
This annual event is often a solid indication of which players will shine at the next level. In 2012, UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad was the MVP, while players such as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes, Tyreke Evans and Kevin Durant have won the award in the past 10 years, among others.
Andrew Wiggins will commit to Kentucky.
This year, however, it may very well be an indication of just how nasty Kentucky will be next season, especially if Wiggins ends up committing to the Wildcats. Just imagine that for a moment—seven of the top 18 recruits all headed to Kentucky.
There will be concerns that Kentucky has brought on too many elite recruits and will struggle to gel as a team, as most of these guys (minus the Harrison twins, obviously) are used to being the top option at the high school level.
Then again, John Calipari got 2012's stacked roster to play together and won a national championship, so he's certainly capable of convincing these kids to work with one another. Still, another thing to watch at the McDonald's All-American Game will be if the Kentucky recruits are capable of playing nice with the other kids.
One way or another, these Kentucky recruits are going to be the most intriguing aspect of this game (sans the talk of where Wiggins will commit, of course). Don't be shocked if a player like Randle or one of the Harrison twins ends up being the game's MVP.
This game may be played in Chicago, but it's going to feel an awful lot like Lexington on Wednesday.
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