2 KU targets deliver solid showings at annual McDonald's All-American game
Generally speaking, the annual McDonald’s All-American game featuring some of the top talent in high school basketball, is not confused for a regular basketball game.
From the style of play to the final score and the highlight-reel moments that fill the court, the game is more of a showcase of the talents and skills the players possess, a reward of sorts for earning the honor and playing in one of the most famous all-star events in the country.
Such was the case Wednesday night, when the East squad knocked off the West squad, 115-100 in Atlanta.
Most years the game features at least a future Jayhawk or two, which makes tracking the stats and signature moments enjoyable for fans of Kansas basketball.
And while this year’s game may ending up falling in that category, nobody currently committed to Kansas played in the game on Wednesday.
That said, there was still plenty of reason for KU fans to pay attention, with a pair of 2019 prospects playing big roles for their teams.
Top 10 prospect Matt Hurt played 16 minutes for the West squad and made 4-of-7 shots for 8 points and 5 rebounds in 16 minutes. Hurt flashed some of his versatility and athleticism in dropping in those buckets but did not do much to stand out.
Still, he’s long been considered one of the top players in the class — ranked No. 7 overall by Rivals.com — and remains a major target for Kansas.
Hurt said this week, while preparing for the McDonald’s game, that he would announce his college decision on April 19 — a day before his 19th birthday — and he will be choosing between KU, Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Another McDonald’s All-American on KU’s radar who has been mostly under the radar during his recruitment is 6-9, 215-pound forward Precious Achiuwa, of Montverde Academy in Florida.
And Achiuwa absolutely tore it up on Wednesday night. He finished with 22 points and 9 rebounds on 10-of-20 shooting in 17 minutes and took advantage of the game’s style and format to show his all-around game, finishing with five offensive rebounds, a couple of highlight dunks, a 3-pointer, a steal and equal time playing on the perimeter and in the post.
There’s little doubt that Achiuwa would play the 4 in college, wherever he decides to play, and his versatility and athleticism make him an option to fit into any lineup and any style.
This week, Achiuwa told Evan Daniels of 247 Sports that his recruitment remained wide open but also named Kansas, North Carolina, Memphis, Georgia and UCLA when talking about the programs that have given him the most attention.
Achiuwa made an official visit to KU late during the 2018-19 season and he told Daniels that the visit went “great.”
“The fanbase was really amazing,” he said. “The fans are really energetic during the game, and that’s something you don’t see every place.”
As for a decision day for Achiuwa, that could come much later this spring. The forward who is ranked No. 16 in the 2019 class by Rivals.com, told Daniels that he expected to make a decision in late May.
“No rush at all,” he told Daniels. “I’m very confident. I’m going to let everything play out and see how situations (are) going to be in the first place and then myself and my family we will sit down and make a decision.”