March 28, 2012

Muhammad, Poythress, Goodwin stand out in McD's game

CHICAGO - Kentucky's top recruiting target was the MVP. Kentucky's two signees were among the game's other top performers.

If the McDonald's All-American game on Wednesday was any indication - and if the pieces fall his way in the coming weeks - it could be very good to be John Calipari next season.

Top target Shabazz Muhammad, a Las Vegas wing ranked No. 1 in 2012, scored 21 points en route to winning the MVP and leading the West team to a 106-102 victory in the McDonald's game at the United Center.

Muhammad, who said he's narrowed his list of college choices to UK, Duke and UCLA, scored nine points in the first three minutes of the game. He made 10 of 18 shots, scoring primarily on fast-break dunks and alley-oops. He also had six rebounds.

"It means a lot (to win MVP)," Muhammad said. "There are a lot of talented players out here. It was just fun to play with all those guys. ... To win the MVP was a really good thing for me, and our team played really well also."

UK signee Alex Poythress, a 6-foot-8 forward from Clarksville, Tenn., had a team-high 19 points to lead the East team, making 8 of 12 shots and showcasing a versatile repertoire of dunking, outside shooting and penetration.

Poythress fouled out, but he also was among the most effective defenders who tried to stop Muhammad, who had six turnovers.

UK's other signee in the game, Archie Goodwin, scored 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting for the West. He missed a breakaway layup in the second half but redeemed himself with fast-break slams on his next two touches.

Another UK target in the game, five-star power forward Anthony Bennett, had nine points and six rebounds for the West.

East forward Amile Jefferson, who is considering UK, Duke, North Carolina State, Ohio State and Villanova, had eight points.

Muhammad said after the game that he thinks he'll likely announce his decision on April 14 during the national broadcast of the Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte. April 10 and April 11 are other possible decision dates.

Goodwin, Poythress and Bennett are also participating in the Jordan game.

Muhammad said it's a "great possibility" he joins Goodwin and Poythress as UK commitments and said they could "make a really sick trio" if the Cats are his pick.

UK signee in girls' game
UK women's signee Janee Thompson, a 5-foot-7 guard who led Chicago's Whitney Young High School to a state title and undefeated season, had seven points for the East team, which beat the West 79-78 in the early-evening girls' game.

Thompson was 3 of 6 from the field with two assists and two steals.


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