The nation’s top high school basketball stars strutted their stuff on Wednesday night in the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game, but some of those stars looked a lot more impressive than others.
A big showing in this elite company is always a good way to create massive hype heading into a player’s freshman season.
One of the many impressive performances at the United Center came from Kansas commit Wayne Selden. While most players on both rosters were taking (and missing) three-pointers from the NBA line, Selden knocked down 2-of-4 from deep in scoring 13 points.
Herein, a closer look at the future Jayhawk and seven more players (and college teams) who have the most to be happy about after the West team’s 110-99 win.
Guard Keith Frazier, SMU’s lone representative on Wednesday night, played a perfectly respectable game for the East. He finished with six points and four rebounds, even if his shooting accuracy (2-of-7) left a bit to be desired.
However, the remarkable thing about Frazier wasn’t that the future Mustang played especially well, but that he was a future Mustang at all.
Recruited by lightning-rod coach Larry Brown, Frazier was a major coup for a largely no-name basketball program.
Bird (far left) on defense for the West.
In the unique position of being “the other Jabari” on his own team, Jabari Bird didn’t let West teammate Jabari Parker get all the attention. Bird added yet another scorer to the balanced West attack, scoring nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field.
That kind of effort makes the Cal commit look like a pretty decent prospect to replace Allen Crabbe, should the Pac-12 scoring leader jump to the NBA.
Like Crabbe, the 6’6” future Golden Bear knows how to use his length, pulling in three rebounds even in this towering company.
In all probability, Kansas will have to replace its entire starting backcourt next season. With Wayne Selden in the fold, the Jayhawks are off to a very nice start.
The 6’5” Selden flashed the most impressive long-range shot on either roster (though that isn’t saying much), knocking down two three-pointers in four tries on his way to 13 points.
He also used his size well, hauling in five rebounds from the perimeter.
All-star games, almost by definition, are offense-driven affairs. Anyone who shows up on the defensive end tends to stand out.
Jabari Parker wasted no time sending the message that he isn’t just a scorer: The Duke commit recorded two blocked shots in the first 80 seconds of game action.
The hometown product from Simeon High also tied for the team lead with eight rebounds for the West. Despite a rough shooting night (largely courtesy of Andrew Wiggins’ own outstanding D), Parker did finish with a quiet 10 points.
The only player from celebrated Findlay Prep to appear in this year’s game, Nigel Williams-Goss was the most impressive guard on the floor not named Harrison.
Like the famed Texan twins, the 6’3” point guard recognized what a great opportunity he had in playing with a roster full of outstanding finishers.
The Washington commit dished out a game-high six assists, including setting up some highlight-reel dunks for future conference rival Aaron Gordon (Arizona).
Williams-Goss also scored 10 points of his own, showing an ability to finish over bigger defenders.
Arizona’s younger-sibling brigade didn’t get to play on the same team on Wednesday night, but the future Wildcats still looked awfully impressive.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (younger brother of Temple standout Rahlir) was one of the few East players who showed some physicality (his nine points included 3-of-4 from the charity stripe), and he was just the warm-up act.
Aaron Gordon (whose older brother Drew starred for New Mexico two years ago) took home game MVP honors by racking up 24 points and eight rebounds.
Gordon’s scoring totals included nine of the game’s 26 dunks (though he also added one embarrassing miss on an uncontested transition jam).
The top-ranked recruit in the nation did not disappoint, carrying the struggling East offense with a team-high 19 points. He also showed his unselfishness, dealing out four assists despite long stretches when his teammates were struggling to finish.
Just as impressive, Wiggins played hard-nosed defense on hometown hero Jabari Parker and led all players with 7-of-8 foul shooting.
That level of dedication to the little things says that whenever Wiggins does make his college decision, he’s going to be a game-changer for the program he joins.
It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that, no matter how Wednesday’s performances shook out, Kentucky’s recruiting class would shine. A mind-boggling total of six soon-to-be Wildcats took the floor for the two teams.
The Harrison twins led the charge for the West’s Lexington contingent, with guards Aaron and Andrew combining for 16 points and nine assists on the night.
Kentucky’s also getting some serious size, courtesy of 6’10" Dakari Johnson and 6’9” Julius Randle. They totaled 23 points and 12 boards for the East.