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Kentucky will be well represented at the 2019 Jordan Brand Classic

Kentucky and Duke will lead all schools with 3 commitments each for the game in Las Vegas.

USA Today

The 2019 Jordan Brand Classic will take place April 20th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be the first time that the game will be played in Las Vegas since the event began back in 2002.

The rosters will include 16 of the top-25 ranked players in the country, headlined by Cole Anthony, James Wiseman, and Vernon Carey, Jr.

Despite not landing the top tier guys in the class of 2019, Kentucky will still be very well represented at 18th annual Jordan Brand Classic.

Kahlil Whitney, Tyrese Maxey, and Keion Brooks will all participate in the nationally televised game. The three future Cats were all placed on the same team and will be competing together. This will be one of the last opportunities for the Big Blue Nation to see these guys play before the fall, so it was nice to see them get placed on the same side.

Here is the full list of all the the players that were selected for Friday’s game:

Duke vs. Kentucky?

As you can see above, Duke will also have 3 players participating in the Jordan Brand Classic. Wendell Moore, Boogie Ellis, and Vernon Carey, Jr. will be on the opposite team as the Kentucky commits. That should be fun.

The official rosters were actually announced before Keion Brooks made his decision, but nonetheless, that division of blue-bloods will make for an interesting storyline.

With 3 commits each, Kentucky and Duke are tied for the most players represented by their school.

UK is no stranger to the Jordan Brand Classic

Four former Kentucky players have won Co-MVP honors at the Jordan Brand Classic:

Anthony Davis - 2011

Julius Randle - 2013

Malik Monk - 2016

De'Aaron Fox - 2016

Tyrese Maxey will be coming off of a solid performance in last week’s Nike Hoop Summit where he scored 8 points and dished out 3 assists in 23 minutes of play. He didn’t fill up the stat sheet but did provide considerable contribution to a 93-87 comeback win for Team USA. This time at the Jordan Brand Classic, he will be playing opposite of Cole Anthony which will not only provide a challenge, but also allow Maxey to get the ball in his hands more.

Kahlil Whitney participated in March’s McDonald’s All-American Game and scored 2 points on 1-5 shooting in just 15 minutes of play. Hopefully this time around, Whitney gets a chance to show more of his athletic ability and skill to finish at the rim. I would assume he will work with Tyrese Maxey to get some more touches for himself.

Keion Brooks just played several games on ESPN recently in the Dick’s High School National Championships, but he has yet to have the opportunity to play in a big all-star game like the Jordan Brand Classic. After being skipped over for the McDonald’s All-American Game, Brooks will now get to complete against some of the best players in the class of 2019.

An “almost” Cat will be playing on Friday night

One-time Kentucky pledge and power forward D.J. Jeffries will be suiting up in the Jordan Brand Classic. Jeffries decommitted from UK to follow Penny Hardaway at Memphis. His soon-to-be teammate James Wiseman will join him on the same squad as the Kentucky-bound players for Friday’s game in Las Vegas.

Most fans seem to think that Jeffries deciding to flip to Memphis was a good thing for Kentucky and that the class shaped out better the way that it is now. It sure didn’t take John Calipari long to fill his spot, and if nothing else, you have to assume that both parties are happy with the way things are now.

I had the chance to see Jeffries play in December and left impressed with his size and skill set. When he is going full speed, he’s a load to deal with. I have a feeling most Cats fans will be pleased to see him not play well after the way things went down with his recruitment.

Lots of storylines to follow at the 2019 Jordan Brand Classic.