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Mr. Basketball USA Tracker: No Snubs

All top candidates are selected to play in this year’s McDonald’s All-American Game, including newcomer Nigel Williams-Goss of Findlay Prep. Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep is a near consensus front-runner.

This has traditionally been the time to use the GrassrootsHoops.net USA Mr. Basketball Tracker to break down the McDonald’s All-American selections and discuss deserving players who may have been left off the prestigious team.

For the second consecutive year, the McDonald’s All-American selection committee didn’t come under heavy criticism for the 24 players who made the team following its exhaustive selection process.

Last season, some members of GrassrootsHoops.net’s 10-man Mr. Basketball USA Tracker panel felt Sam Dekker of Sheboygan Lutheran (Sheboygan, Wis.), currently averaging just a shade over nine points per game for Wisconsin, was worthy of selection. This year, most of the discussion surrounded two players from the Memphis area: forwards Jonathan Williams of Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) and Austin Nichols of Briarcrest (Eads, Tenn.). Williams has consistently appeared on one ballot this season, while Nichols has yet to appear. The Twitter World lit up with chatter after this year’s selections were made last week, but there certainly wasn’t an uproar comparable to the 2010-2011 season when Dorian Finney-Smith (Florida) and B.J. Young (Arkansas) and Nick Johnson (Arizona) were snubbed.

Nichols was one of the most discussed selections to last summer’s Under Armour Elite 24, as was Nigel Williams-Goss of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.). Some high school hoops experts and analysts questioned Williams-Goss’ credentials to be included in that premier summer event, but he has silenced those critics with his play this season. As the leader and go-to player of the nation’s top-ranked team, Williams-Goss has seen his candidacy soar because team success traditionally is a huge factor in the Mr. Basketball USA selection process.

He did not appear on a single ballot on the previous tracker, but this time around the Washington commit collected 30 points, good for sixth place. Williams-Goss appeared on four ballots, including two second place votes behind clubhouse leader Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.).

“I have always been  team player and individual recognition has always taken a back seat to team success,” Williams-Goss said. “I play this game because I love to compete and win. Being a candidate for an award like this with so many great players in the country is an indescribable honor and blessing and a true validation that hard work does indeed pay off.”

The 6-foot-7 Wiggins was the only player to appear on every single ballot. He was the top vote-getter on all but two of them. His point total of 97 is one point shy of the Mr. Basketball USA Tracker all-time record set by Milwaukee Bucs point guard Brandon Jennings. The only consensus national player of the year Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) has ever produced, Jennings tallied 98 points in the February 8, 2008 tracker.

Needless to say, Jennings went on to earn Mr. Basketball USA honors for the 2007-08 season.

Stay logged in to GrassrootsHoops.net to track the progress of the top individual players and the nation’s Top 50 teams.

Updated Grassroots Hoops Mr. Basketball USA Tracker (Feb.21)
Rank Prev. Name Pos High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total
1 1 Andrew Wiggins (10) SF Huntington Prep 8 1 1 0 0 97
2 3 Jabari Parker (8) SF Simeon 1 4 2 0 1 68
3 2 Aaron Gordon (8) SF Mitty 1 0 3 2 1 59
4 4 Jahlil Okafor (7) C Whitney Young 0 2 1 3 1 53
5 NR James Young (7) SF Rochester 0 0 0 0 2 35
6 NR Nigel Williams-Goss (4) PG Findlay Prep 0 2 0 1 0 30
7 7 Aaron Harrison (4) SG Travis 0 0 1 0 1 24

Others Receiving Votes:

Cliff Alexander (Currie, Chicago, Ill.) 16 pts. (2)
Kasey Hill (Montverde Academy, Montverde, Fla.) 14 pts. (3)
Dakari Johnson (Montverde Academy, Montverde, Fla.) 13 pts. (2)
Andrew Harrison (Travis, Fort Bend, Texas) 12 pts. (2)
Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif.) 11 pts. (2)
Emmanuel Mudiay (Prime Prep, Arlington, Texas) 11 pts. (2)
Noah Vonleh (New Hampton, New Hampton, N.H.) 8 pts. (2)
Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Apple Valley, Minn.) 8 pts. (1)
Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian, Plano, Texas) 8 pts. (1)
Rondae Jefferson (Chester, Pa.) 6 pts. (1)
Tyler Dorsey (St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif.) 5 pts. (1)
Nick Emery (Lone Peak, Highland, Utah) 4 pts. (1)
Daniel Hamilton (St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif.) 4 pts. (1)
Jonathan Williams (Southwind, Memphis, Tenn.) 4 pts. (1)

About Grassroots Hoops Mr. Basketball Tracker Panel
GrassrootsHoops’ panel of 10 experts, which includes six McDonald’s All-American selection committee members, casts its vote for the top national player of the year candidates. Each panelist lists his top seven candidates regardless of class. The votes are then tabulated on a 10-point scoring system with a first-place vote equaling 10 points, a second-place vote earning nine points and down to four points for a seventh-place vote. The number in parenthesis refers to the numbers of ballots on which a player appeared and previous rankings refers to position in the previous tracker.

Ronnie Flores is the Publisher and Editor of GrassrootsHoops.net. He can be reached at ronlocc1977@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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