McDonald's All-American Game 2013: Underrated Studs Who Should Be Selected
I do not envy the people at McDonald's.
No, I'm not talking about the people who get to make the delicious McRibs and Quarter Pounders. I obviously envy them.
I'm talking about those on the McDonald's All-American Game selection committee: The people who have to select 24 high-school basketball players to compete in the nation's most prestigious prospect all-star game.
If you think picking NBA All-Stars or collegiate All-Americans is tough, trying narrowing down a field of more than 800 talented young nominees to just 24.
Not only that, but about 95 percent of those nominees boast accolades that could help them make a legitimate case for being a high-school all-star.
For the most part, the selection committee usually gets it right. But, no matter what happens, someone (well, a lot of someones) will get overlooked.
Here's a look at just a few of the potential snubs who deserve mention.
Nigel Williams-Goss, PG, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
OK, so Williams-Goss might not be underrated anymore, but 247Sports' composite rankings still has him at just No. 41 overall and No. 9 among point guards.
Despite that ranking, he undoubtedly deserves a spot on the West roster.
The future Washington Husky has done it all as a senior. First, he went all "cold-blooded" against Montverde Academy—easily one of the best teams in the country—in arguably the biggest prep game of the season:
His stats (via Max Preps) haven't been jaw-dropping, but they've been indicative of the type of player he is: 18 points, 7.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals per game; 59.2 percent from the floor, 46 percent from deep and 90 percent from the free-throw line.
He'll often go off for 40 and 10, much like many other elite prep stars, but more often he's an efficient killer—a heady point guard who will do a little bit of everything and then rise to occasion in the fourth quarter. At the risk of using a Bayless-ism, he's a winner.
Williams-Goss has been the undoubted leader of undefeated, nationally ranked Findlay Prep. He has been arguably the most impressive individual in the country not named Andrew.
He was already recognized with a Jordan Brand Classic selection, and now he deserves a McDonald's nod, as well.
Conner Frankamp, SG, North (Wichita, Kan.)
Frankamp, who missed out on a Jordan Brand Classic selection and is ranked No. 40 by 247Sports' composite rankings, is far less likely to get an invite to Chicago.
The 6'1", 165-pound Kansas signee simply isn't an "all-star game" kind of player. He isn't going to dunk on anyone, but boy can he shoot. And score. And then score a little bit more.
Most, including 247 Sports' Jerry Meyer, believe he is the best pure shooter in the class:
Top six shooters in 2013 Top247. Kansas recruit Conner Frankamp leads the group. bit.ly/VVIavK— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) February 6, 2013
And it's pretty hard to refute that notion:
In addition his limitless range, Frankamp has terrific ball-handling skills that help him vary his scoring ability.
Throw it all together, and you've got a guy who has scored 40 points seven times in his career and has a career-high of 52 (via Joanna Chadwick of The Wichita Eagle).
All-Star games need scoring, and Frankamp can provide that in absolute bunches.
Eric Mika, PF/C, Lone Peak (American Fork, Utah)
The last selection comes down to Mika and teammate Nick Emery, but no matter what, Lone Peak needs a representative for its rise to the top of the high-school rankings.
Which of these players most deserves a McDonald's All-American selection?
Winning matters, too.
Emery, who is averaging 16.8 points, 4.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds and a comedic 4.5 steals per contest, deserves mention, but I already have two guards on this list, so we'll focus on Mika.
The big man is listed as the 43rd-best prospect and second-best center according to 247 Sports, and he has been an absolute force down low.
In leading Lone Peak to a 20-1 record, the future BYU Cougar is averaging 21.5 points, 1.3 assists, 11.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
He makes a living being tough and physical on the inside, but he also runs the court extremely well for a big man and has the athleticism to get the crowd off its feet:
I'd say there's room for that.
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