UK signees shine in McDonald’s All-American Game

Box score

Although the 2012-13 season didn’t go as planned, the next wave of Kentucky greats re-ignited the excitement level of the Big Blue Nation with strong performances at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago.

Kentucky signees Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Marcus Lee and James Young, who all suited up for the West team Wednesday night, flashed signs of brilliance against the nation’s top high school talent in the annual all-star game at the United Center. UK can only discuss prospective student-athletes who signed a national letter of intent with Kentucky during the fall signing period, per NCAA rules.  

The Harrison twins quickly lived up to their reputation as two of the best guards in the country with an alley-oop from Andrew Harrison (No. 1 point guard according to Rivals) to Aaron Harrison (No. 1 shooting guard according to Rivals) just a few minutes into the game. The duo continued to selflessly distribute the ball throughout the first half, giving the West a 56-44 lead at halftime.

Andrew Harrison impressed UK fans with his court vision and passing ability, along with some aggressive moves to the hole and outside jumpers. The 6-foot-5 guard did not let up in the second half, showing toughness on both ends of the court. Hitting all five of his shots, Andrew Harrison finished with 10 points and four assists to lead the West to a 110-99 victory over the East.

Andrew’s brother, 6-5 shooting guard Aaron Harrison, dished out five assists to go along with six points in the paint. The Harrisons’ performance helped prove to the nation why UK boasts the No. 1 recruiting class in 2013, and they’re only part of the equation.

Although James Young got off to a slightly later start than his future teammates (Young was battling an injury earlier in the week and was a game-time decision), the 6-6 guard from Rochester Hills, Mich., came up with a steal and finished the play on the other end to get in the scoring column. With momentum on his side, Young gave the West its first bucket of the second half with another layup. Young, who Rivals ranks as the second-best shooting guard in the nation, finished the game with six points, four rebounds and an assist.

Marcus Lee (No. 5 power forward according to Rivals) only scored two points, but he capped the game with a powerful dunk with 10 seconds left. Lee, at 6-9, added two rebounds, one block and one assist.

The four signees, alongside signee Derek Willis, other prospective student-athletes that UK cannot discuss at this time, and the return of Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Kyle Wiltjer, are expected to form one of the top teams in the country next season.