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Final Mr. Basketball USA Tracker

Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon are only three candidates to appear on every ballot

Throughout the major holiday tournaments and various showcases around the country, two names remained at the top of the Mr. Basketball USA debate: small forwards Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) and Jabari Parker of Simeon (Chicago).

He wasn’t 2012’s National Junior of the Year, but Wiggins was the early Mr. Basketball USA frontrunner. Parker earned class player of the year honors each of his first three seasons at Simeon. But after Wiggins dominated in international play and grassroots competition last summer, the Canadian-born phenom rose to the top of the preseason national player of the year list — even though his actual high school accolades weren’t as strong as Parker’s.

Wiggins, who decided to reclassify back to the class of 2013 last October, did nothing to diminish his candidacy during this just-completed season. Although Huntington Prep wasn’t eligible for our Top 50 team rankings, Wiggins averaged 23.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for a 30-3 team that faced tough competition. Wiggins final tally of 93 points was four less that his previous output, but was able to hold off the late surge of Parker and another small forward — Aaron Gordon of Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.).

In the previous tracker, Parker collected 68 points and appeared on eight ballots, but he closed out his senior season strong after a slow start. He led Simeon to its fourth consecutive Class 4A state title and shined in big wins over Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.), Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and rival Whitney Young (Chicago) along the way. That final surge helped Parker gain 16 points and once again appear on all ten ballots in the final Mr. Basketball USA Tracker.

In the preseason, Wiggins and Parker were separated by five points (91 to 86).

Gordon also appeared on all ten ballots in the preseason and was the third candidate to do the same in the final the final, expanded tracker where the panel nominates its top 10 candidates and a greater emphasis is placed on the entire season instead of recent results. After leading an undermanned Mitty club to the first-ever CIF Open Division title game and dominating the McDonald’s All-American festivities with his intensity and motor, Gordon gained 10 overall points to narrow the gap between himself and the top two candidates.

Twenty-seven highly-accomplished players earned recognition as a national player of the year candidate in the final balloting, but realistically the honor will be decided between Wiggins, Parker and Gordon. Each one in that trio has an impressive individual resume.

Will the fact Parker capped his high school career with another state title be enough to overtake Wiggins and his incredible individual athletic gifts when the honor is announced?

RankPrev.NameHigh School1st2nd3rd4thTotal
11Andrew Wiggins (10)Huntington Prep532093
22Jabari Parker (10)Simeon431184
33Aaron Gordon (10)Mitty034169
44Jahlil Okafor (9)Whitney Young000347
56Nigel Williams-Goss (7)Findlay Prep001141
6NRTyus Jones (6)Apple Valley001128
7NRJulius RandlePrestonwood011124
8NAAndrew Harrison (5)Travis000023
9NAKasey Hill (5)Montverde000119
10TNANick Emery (3)Lone Peak000116
10TNACliff Alexander (2)Currie100016
12T7Aaron Harrison (4)Travis000014
145James Young (5)Rochester000012
15NADakari Johnson (2)Montverde000010
16NAJoel EmbiidThe Rock00008
17TNAConner FrankampWichita North00005
17TNATyler DorseySt. John Bosco00005
19TNARondae Jefferson (2)Chester00004
19TNADaniel Hamilton (1)St. John Bosco00004
21TNAEmmanuel Mudiay (1)Prime Prep00003
21TNAStephen Zimmerman (1)Bishop Gorman00003
23TNAJoel Berry (1)Lake Highland00002
23TNAAustin Nichols (1)Briarcrest00002
23TNAIvan Rabb (1)Bishop O'Dowd00002
26TNATyler Ennis (1)St. Benedict's00001
26TNAJosh Perkins (1)Regis Jesuit00001

2012-13 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker Panel
Paul Biancardi, ESPN National Director of Basketball Recruiting
Frank Burlison, BurlisonOnBasketball.com
Ronnie Flores, HighSchoolHardwood Editor
Clark Francis, Hoop Scoop Editor & Publisher
Bob Gibbons, All-Star Sports
Doug Huff, HighSchoolHardwood Senior Editor
Aran Smith, NBADraft.net President
Patrick Stanwood, Patrick Stanwood Basketball
Dave Telep, ESPN Senior Basketball Recruiting Analyst
Dinos Trigonis, Fullcourt Press Editor & Publisher

About Grassroots Hoops Mr. Basketball Tracker Panel 
Grassroots Hoops’ panel of 10 experts, which includes six McDonald’s All-American selection committee members, casts its vote each week for the top national player of the year candidates. For the final tracker, each panelist lists his top 10 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 one point for a tenth-place vote. The number in parenthesis refers to the numbers of ballots on which a player appeared and previous ranking 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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