McDonald's All-American Game: Video and Recruiting Updates for Each Prep Stud
It's always a blast to watch the annual McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Game, but which college-bound young men are participating in the 2012 version of the prep showcase on Wednesday night?
In the following slides, we'll take a look at each of the talented participants—like Shabazz Muhammad (pictured, right)—let you know where they're heading off to college this fall and allow you a brief glance at their talents on the court.
Be sure to watch the video of each player as well. They make you appreciate what coaches like Roy Williams, Bill Self and Ben Howland see in these talented kids.
Who knows? Maybe a year from now, we'll see several of these youngsters cutting down the nets in the NCAA tournament.
For now, appreciate the goods they'll bring to court on Wednesday, and we'll all look forward to seeing them under the bright lights of the college game next season.
Let's begin with the East Team, coached by Billy Hicks of Scott County High in Georgetown, Ky. At his side will be Scott County assistants Tim Glenn and Chris Willhite.
High School (Hometown): St. Anthony (North Bergen, N.J.)
The skinny: ESPN's fourth-best recruit in the class of 2012, Anderson is an athletic player, solid shooter and great passer who can play all three perimeter positions. He presents matchup problems at the 1, 2 and 3 because of his size.
High School (Hometown): Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt, N.Y.)
The skinny: ESPN's 13th-best recruit in the class of 2012, Coleman is a big body with the talent to score and rebound immediately at the college level.
High School (Hometown): New London (New London, Conn.)
The skinny: Ranked 24th in the nation by ESPN, Dunn is a talented perimeter player with the ability to distribute like a point guard and the skill to play shooting guard. He needs to work on his decision-making, but he's quick to the hoop, and ESPN projects him as a scoring 2 along the lines of Mario Chalmers.
High School (Hometown): Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.)
The skinny: A long, lean power forward who ESPN says "runs the floor very well and can catch and finish on the move in transition," Ellis is ranked as the nation's 31st-best recruit of 2012.
William 'Shaquille' Goodwin
High School (Hometown): Southwest DeKalb (Decatur, Ga.)
The skinny: An amazing athlete and football star in high school, Goodwin has had reported maturity issues that have hurt his stock. He is ranked 26th among ESPN's top recruits of 2012.
High School (Hometown): Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.)
College: Michigan State
The skinny: Seen by many as the top shooting guard in the class—he's ranked 11th overall—Harris already has great size and strength. He is "constantly in attack mode," according to ESPN's experts, and is rugged on the defensive end as well.
High School (Hometown): Friends Central (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The skinny: Ranked 18th in ESPN's top 100 prospects, Jefferson is an energetic and legitimate power forward with length and skill around the hoop.
In terms of where he'll end up:
Hearing Amile Jefferson likely to announce in next 48 hours. Vibes very strong for Duke, but NC State, Villanova also in the picture.— Clint Jackson (@clintjackson1) March 7, 2012
High School (Hometown): Oak Hill Academy, Va. (Statesville, N.C.)
College: North Carolina State
The skinny: Though he might seem a bit low to be playing in the McDonald's Game—he's ranked the 44th-best prospect on ESPN's list—Lewis is seen as a pure point guard with a great handle, creativity with the ball and an amazing ability to get the ball to teammates in good spots.
High School (Hometown): Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
The skinny: He might share a name with the sinewy Spurs point guard, but the game of this Tony Parker is considerably different. ESPN sees the nation's 21st-ranked prospect as "one of the elite big men in the 2012 class."
With size and strength to burn, a soft touch down on the post, great hands and a solid mid-range game, Parker has the skills to make a difference as a freshman at the next level.
Reportedly still in the mix to land Parker next fall are Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, UCLA, Memphis, Georgetown and hometown option Georgia.
High School (Hometown): Northeast (Clarksville, Tenn.)
The skinny: No. 16 on ESPN's list and another of John Calipari's fabled recruits, Poythress is a big body with shooting range and a great defensive motor. A great ball-handler and passer as well, he thrives most, experts say, in his rebounding at both ends.
Seems like Coach Cal has himself another winner.
High School (Hometown): Upper Room Christian (Raleigh, N.C.)
College: North Carolina State
The skinny: An early commit to Louisville, Purvis changed his mind to N.C. State, and Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried couldn't be happier. A wonderful slasher to the hoop, Purvis is big enough at the 2 to outmuscle his opponents and score nearly at will. He's also an excellent passer and is a "big finisher" in transition, according to ESPN, which has him ranked as the nation's No. 20 recruit.
High School (Hometown): Brewster Academy, N.H. (Durham, N.C.)
College: North Carolina State
The skinny: At his size, ESPN's No. 29 recruit is a surprisingly good athlete and an intelligent, versatile player. Though he does a lot of things well, his natural scoring ability will undoubtedly translate well to the next level.
Now let's move on to the West Team, which is being coached by Gordon Kerkman of Aurora West High in Aurora, Ill. Next to him on the bench will be his assistants, Curtis Shaw and Rick Thompson.
High School (Hometown): Findlay Prep, Nev. (San Francisco, Calif.)
The skinny: No. 10 on ESPN's top 100 prospects list, Ashley is a long, lean power forward with broad shoulders. He's a big-time shot-blocker and rebounder, as you'd probably imagine, but he also has solid ball skills and a decent shot from up to 17 feet out.
High School (Hometown): Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas)
The skinny: Long seen as the top big man in the class until the entry of Nerlens Noel, Austin is a huge signing coup for Scott Drew at Baylor. A huge body and an "eraser" on the defensive end, according to ESPN, Austin is "basically a freak" due to his ball skills, handle and shot. Keep an eye on this guy.
High School (Hometown): Findlay Prep, Nev. (Brampton, Ontario)
The skinny: Bennett is a legit power forward with a body ready for major D-I ball. Writes ESPN:
[Bennett] has a great combination of power and finesse. He can step out and nail the 3-point shot or go inside and impose his will. He's explosive around the rim and uses his thick frame and impressive lift to convert in traffic. He is a terrific rebounder in traffic due to his instincts and power.
The big question surrounding the No. 7-ranked prospect is what school he'll be attending in the fall. He has reportedly narrowed his choices down to UNLV, Oregon, Washington, Florida and Kentucky, and he's set to make his decision after the Jordan Brand Classic in mid-April.
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell
High School (Hometown): Park Tudor (Indianapolis, Ind.)
The skinny: A bit undersized for a big-time prospect (No. 33 in ESPN's top 100), Ferrell has good strength for a true point guard and will be a great addition for Tom Crean, Cody Zeller and Indiana next fall. His excellent court vision and ability to get to the rim make him a definitive dual threat in the half-court offense and on the break.
High School (Hometown): Sylvan Hills (Little Rock, Ark.)
The skinny: No. 15 on ESPN's list, Goodwin is a pure 2 with a great handle, great athleticism and an improving outside shot. He's drawn comparisons to fellow Arkansan Joe Johnson for his smooth style and versatility on the floor.
High School (Hometown): Lutheran (Chino Hills, Calif.)
The skinny: The No. 9 prospect in the country, Jerrett is a "rangy hybrid" of a power forward who's continuing to grow into his frame. He's a good athlete with soft hands and impressive range for a big man.
High School (Hometown): Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
The skinny: The No. 1 prospect in the nation before Nerlens Noel's entry, Muhammad has drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant for his versatility and pure scoring ability. He doesn't have quite the shooting range of Durant, but he's an incredible slasher and finisher within 15 feet, and he has an incredible will to win.
Again, the question of where he'll matriculate this fall is the issue surrounding Muhammad. UCLA, Duke and Kentucky seem the likeliest choices, according to ESPN, though Kansas and UNLV lurk just behind those top three.
High School (Hometown): Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa)
College: North Carolina
The skinny: Another pure point guard who may lack a bit size-wise, Paige more than makes up for it with his handle and his outside shooting ability. A great scorer both from the outside and driving to the hoop, Paige is a good decision-maker, is very active on the defensive end and is smart in his approach to the game.
High School (Hometown): Kemper County (Porterville, Miss.)
The skinny: Tall, skinny and with the ability to jump out of the gym, Pollard's athleticism appears to be his forte at this point. He can finish with both hands, though, and has shown an excellent improvement in his mid-range game.
Reportedly atop Pollard's list of schools are Kentucky, Missouri and Georgetown, though Alabama and Mississippi State both hold out hope for landing the youngster when he announces his decision in April.
High School (Hometown): George Bush (Houston, Texas)
The skinny: No. 8 on ESPN's list of recruits, Ridley has the body of a grown man and displays a good touch around the rim. He's a tenacious rebounder, and if he gets into better shape, the sky's the limit for this Longhorns signee.
High School (Hometown): Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas)
College: Oklahoma State
The skinny: No. 12 on ESPN's list, Smart is a talented swingman with a solid frame and impressive athleticism. He's quick off the dribble, can finish in traffic and will present matchup problems for opposing defenders at the 2 or 3.
High School (Hometown): Strake Jesuit (Houston, Texas)
The skinny: No. 14 on ESPN's top 100 prospects list, Sulaimon is a "high energy shooting guard...[who] can get to the rim in transition or stop and knock down a pull-up jumper."
A solid but streaky outside shooter, he plays the game intelligently and "probes the defense looking for an opening to attack to score or draw and kick to an open teammate."