The rosters for the annal much-hyped McDonald’s All-American game were announced yesterday, with North Carolina commits PJ Hairston and James McAdoo landing on the East squad and Duke commits Quinn Cook and Marshall Plumlee also playing for the East, with Austin Rivers suiting up for the West. Duke and UNC have the second and third-most players in the game, respectively, as Kentucky has the most, with four McD’s All-Americans.
Marshall Plumlee appears to be getting some flack from the media and recruiting analysists as one of the less-deserving players to make this list (and I don’t just say that to bash Duke; the Wear twins and Larry Drew II held similar speculation in their respective McD’s years), but it appears that more and more every year people are coming around on the idea that this is just a ridiculously overhyped game that sets up unrealistic expectations for the college teams that are getting these players. Often times rosters are measured by how many McD’s players are on them (this gets talked about a lot in the Duke-Carolina rivalry, relative to how each team is doing) when that’s not really a completely fair assesment of how a coach recruits not only talent, but players who will fit into his system well.
Still, it is really nice to have two coaches on either side of the rivalry who recruit these players better than anyone else in the country. Via recruiting expert Dave Telep on ESPN:
Coach K signed an astonishing 41 kids from this game and Roy Williams is second after signing 33 during his time at Kansas and North Carolina. The next tier, with 13 apiece, is John Calipari, Rick Barnes, Billy Donovan and Dean Smith (he contributed countless more before 1990).
Now granted, both Williams and Krzyzewski have probably landed some players in the game by virtue of their programs’ pedigree, as mentioned above, but that is a pretty astonishing gap between those two and the next tier of coaches. (Of course, the way Calipari manages to snatch up one-and-done players, he may start to close that gap eventually.)
The other interesting thing to note is the lack of representation from the West Coast in this game: not a single player from California, which is kind of shocking, and just two overall that play west of the central time zone. I guess it’s a good time to be an East Coast school.
The McDonald’s All-American game will be played on March 30th at the United Center in Chicago.