January 29, 2014

Kentucky signees named McDonald's All-Americans

All four Kentucky commits had dreams come true Wednesday evening when they were selected to participated in the 37th McDonald's All-American game.

The game will be played in Chicago on April. Kentucky signeeKarl Towns was selected to the East team while future UK teammates Devin Booker, Trey Lyles and Tyler Ulis will represent the West.

John Calipari now has had 20 McDonald's All-Americans since he's been the head coach at UK.

"People love Coach Cal," Towns texted Cats Illustrated. "There's a reason for all of his success and it ain't all from his hair."

It appeared both five-stars Lyles and Towns were locks to make the game, but four-stars Booker and Ulis weren't guarantees.

"I was nervous for him," Ulis' Marian Catholic coach Mike Taylor said in a text message to Cats Illustrated. "I am biased, but I truly believe he is the best point guard in the country.

"The nice thing is that he accomplished this as an undersized guard with tremendous talent and the ability to make those around him better."

The 5-foot-9, 150 pound Ulis was one of five point guards selected to play in the game. He's known for his passing but is also averaging 23.3 points per game this season.

"I'm very happy and extremely proud," Taylor said. "He has worked and worked to get where he is. It's an honor that is richly deserved."

No Kentucky commit is a better scorer than Booker. He's averaging 31.7 points per game for Moss Point (Miss.) this season, and had a streak of 12 games this season where he scored over 30 points per game.

And while some nationally might have been surprised to see No. 30 player in the Rivals 150 make the roster, future teammate Towns wasn't.

"Not (surprised) at all," Towns said via text. "(He's) an excellent player and is putting up tremendous numbers this year. There's a reason he got an offer from Kentucky and he shows it every night he steps on the court."

Towns will fit right in with all-star talent. He's used to playing against the best, whether it's in his high school class or even his with the national team of his native Dominican Republic.

He played for his country two years ago when Calipari was the head coach. And while it seems Towns has accomplished a lot, he's excited to join his teammates in Chicago for this honor.

"It's such a great honor to be able to play in some of the footsteps of my idols such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Kevin Durant," Towns said. "It's such a blessing."

In recent interviews with Cats Illustrated Towns has raved about Lyles, the highest ranked UK player at No. 8 in the Rivals 150.

Lyles is averaging 25.4 points and 13.3 rebounds per game, as his Indianapolis Arsenal Tech team is ranked No. 4 nationally by MaxPreps.

"Just happy to have this opportunity," Lyles texted. "It means a lot."

Lyles will hope to show his versatility in the all-star game, being able to score on the block but also show his range. In a game earlier this season in front of Calipari Lyles dropped 29 points and secured 15 rebounds.

"I'm so proud of him," Lyles' coach Jason Delaney said. "What he's done for Tech is beyond words. He represents everything associated with a McDonald's All American. He works so hard on his game and has earned this honor."

Last season Kentucky set a record with six McDonald's All Americans.

For the entire 24 man roster click here.


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