BOZICH | McDonald's all-Americans optional in college basketball's Top 10
How many teams in college basketball's top 10 do not have a McDonald's all-American or a jumbo home arena this season? You'd be surprised.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – In college basketball the lecture is always the same: Bigger is better.
You certainly want the largest arena. You want the nicest practice facility. You want the highest-paid coach. You want the flashiest pre-game introduction video.
And, you absolutely want the most McDonald’s all-Americans.
Except this season is ignoring the script.
Three of the top five teams in the current Associated Press poll, as well five of the top 10, don’t have a McDonald’s all-American on their rosters.
Only three of the top 10 – North Carolina (6), Kansas (3) and Maryland (3) – have more than one guy who played in high school basketball’s most prestigious all-star game.
The arena thing?
One program with one of the nation’s 15 largest home courts currently sits in the top 10. That would be the North Carolina Tar Heels.
In fact, six of the top 10 teams don’t have a Top 40 facility, ranked by capacity, according to Ken Pomeroy.
Wonder how they do it?
Time to take a stroll through the current Top 10.
1. Oklahoma – No McDonald’s all-Americans. Oklahoma’s best player is Buddy Hield. Scout.com ranked Hield the 86th best player in the Class of 2012.
Oklahoma plays in the Lloyd Noble Center, which has a capacity of 11,562, the nation’s 64th largest.
Take a bow, Lon Kruger.
2. North Carolina – Six McDonald’s all-Americans: Joel Berry; Justin Jackson; Theo Pinson; Isaiah Hicks; Kennedy Meeks; Marcus Paige.
But the Tar Heels best player has been forward Brice Johnson. He was a top recruit in 2012, but not a McDonald’s all-American. UNC plays in the Smith Center, 21,750, 4th largest.
3. Iowa – The Hawkeyes have not signed a McDonald’s all-American since 1993 – Chris Kingsbury. The Hawkeyes top player is Jarrod Uthoff, who signed with Wisconsin in 2012 when Rivals.com ranked Uthoff the 149th best player in America.
Iowa’s Carver Hawkeye Arena seats 15,400, the nation’s 26th largest.
4. Kansas – Bill Self has four McDonald’s all-Americans -- Carlton Bragg; Cheick Diallo; Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis. Allen Fieldhouse seats 16,300, the nation’s 22nd largest.
5. Texas A&M -- Coach Billy Kennedy, formerly of Murray State, does not have a McDonald’s all-American in College Station. His leading scorer, Jalen Jones, was not ranked nationally when he signed with SMU in 2011.
Texas A&M plays in the Reed Arena, which seats 12,989, 49th largest in college basketball.
6. Villanova – Jay Wright has one McDonald’s all-American – freshman guard Jalen Brunson, Nova’s fourth-leading scorer. The Wildcats plays most of their home games at The Pavilion. It seats 6,500, the nation’s 187th largest. Villanova plays some Big East games at Wells Fargo Center, which seats 21,600.
7. Xavier – The Musketeers are without a McDonald’s all-American. Their leading scorer is Trevon Bluiett, a four-star recruit from Indianapolis who was ranked the 34th best player in the 2014 class by Rivals.
Xavier plays at the Cintas Center, which seats 10,250, the nation’s 92nd largest.
8. Maryland – Maryland has a trio of McDonald’s all-Americans – guard Melo Trimble, forward Rasheed Suliamon and center Diamond Stone. The Terps play in the Xfinity Center, which seats 17,950, the nation’s 16th largest.
9. West Virginia – As expected, Bob Huggins does not have a McDonald’s all-American in Morgantown. His leading scorer is Jaysean Paige, who made a series of stops, including Perry County Central in Kentucky, before getting to WVU.
The WVU Coliseum seats 14,000, the nation’s 42nd largest.
10. Providence – Ed Cooley has one McDonald’s all-American – Kris Dunn, his best player. The Friars play in the Dunkin Donuts Center. It seats 12,410, 56th largest in college hoops.
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