By LARRY VAUGHT
Before I got to the McDonald’s All-American Game a few months ago I thought Kentucky had a solid chance to sign Washington’s Jaden McDaniels, a talented 6-foot-9 wing player. Once I left the McDonald’s Game I was convinced there was no way he would sign with Kentucky — and he didn’t as he ended his recruitment this week by finally picking home-state Washington.
McDaniels certainly has the skills to play at UK. But as coach John Calipari says, Kentucky is not for everybody and McDaniels’ personality was just not a fit for the Cats.
He seems like a nice enough young man but it was obvious he didn’t like the media spotlight. He refused to discuss recruiting at the McDonald’s Game and made it clear he was not comfortable doing interviews.
I thought then if the small media numbers at the McDonald’s Game intimidated him, he didn’t belong at UK because he would just not be happy. The best UK players normally are extremely confident and talkative in high school. They have to embrace the limelight.
McDaniels didn’t seem ready to embrace the Kentucky fan and media spotlight and Washington clearly was the best choice for him and probably best for UK that he also made that choice.