Before the NBA All-Star Game’s hottest debate turned into a LaMarcus Aldridge celebration — I think the people of Portland are vying to get LMA awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom as we speak — the big argument was over Yao Ming being voted in as an All-Star starter despite playing only five games this season.
In high school basketball, a similar situation has surfaced with today’s unveiling of the Jordan Brand Classic rosters. The annual prep all-star game, played April 16 at the Charlotte Bobcats’ arena, is one of the most popular postseason showcases where college fans get their first look at next year’s freshmen.
Quincy Miller was named to the JBC’s East roster. Though clearly one of the most talented players in the country — he was ranked as high as No. 2 on the High School Hoop national Top 50 — Miller only played in eight games this season before a torn ACL suffered on Dec. 10 sidelined him for the duration of the schedule.
Does Miller deserve a spot in the Jordan Classic over notable snubs who have been playing, like Wayne Blackshear (Morgan Park, Ill.), LeBryan Nash (Lincoln, Texas) and Cody Zeller (Washington, Ind.)? Although the traditional accusations of a player’s future college swaying the opinion of selection committees wouldn’t work in this case — Miller is headed to Baylor, and got the nod over snubbed players headed to Duke, Louisville, and Indiana, among others — this does look like a simple popularity contest. Miller is a big name on the high school scene, and if he is healthy enough to play, people want to see what he can do.
And I will admit, I am one of those people who wants to see Miller play. But at the same time, if he he’s only played a fraction of the schedule and other players have excelled all season, Miller shouldn’t take one of their spots just because he’s a high-profile player. There was a reason, after all, why Miller was left off the 2011 McDonald’s All-American Game roster.
Other Jordan Brand snubs include Duke-bound point guard Quinn Cook (Oak Hill Academy, Va.), Duke-bound center Marshall Plumlee (Christ School, N.C.), Michigan State-bound wing Branden Dawson (Lew Wallace, Ind.), and Ohio State-bound center Amir Williams (Detroit Country Day, Mich.). The complete rosters:
* Khem Birch, F/C, Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) – Pittsburgh
* Michael Carter-Williams, G, St. Andrew’s (R.I.) – Syracuse
* Rakeem Christmas, C, Academy of New Church (Pa.) – Syracuse
* Michael Gbinije, F, Benedictine (Va.) – Duke
* Michael Gilchrist, F, St. Patrick (N.J.) – Kentucky
* P.J. Hairston, G, Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) – North Carolina
* James McAdoo, F, Norfolk Christian (Va.) – North Carolina
* Quincy Miller, F, Westchester Country Day (N.C.) – Baylor
* Austin Rivers, G, Winter Park (Fla.) – Duke
* Shannon Scott, G, Milton (Ga.) – Ohio State
* Marquis Teague, G, Pike (Ind.) – Kentucky
* Brad Beal, G, Chaminade College Prep (Mo.) – Florida
* Jabari Brown, G, Oakland (Calif.) – Oregon
* Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, G, Greenville (Ga.) – Georgia
* Anthony Davis, F, Perspectives Charter School (Ill.) – Kentucky
* Myck Kabongo, G, Findlay College Prep (Nev.) – Texas
* Johnny O’Bryant, F, East Side (Miss.) – LSU
* Sir’Dominic Pointer, F, Quality Education Academy (N.C.) – St. John’s
* Otto Porter, F, Scott County Central (Mo.) – Undecided
* Adonis Thomas, F, Melrose (Tenn.) – Memphis
* Kyle Wiltjer, F, Jesuit (Ore.) – Kentucky
* Tony Wroten, G, Garfield (Wash.) – Washington