Friday, February 25, 2005

Grimace was a Power Forward | by Mike

On Wednesday, incoming basketball recruit Luke Zeller was named to the 2005 McDonald’s All-American Team. This year’s game will be played on March 30 at Notre Dame’s own Joyce Center. The game itself invariably degenerates into one-on-one (or none) play rife with showboating, and there is thus no point in attempting to evaluate players based on their performance in the game. Nonetheless, selection for the game is quite prestigious, political as it is rumored to be.

Using the methodology of the game's organizers, Zeller is Notre Dame’s 15th All-American. We decided to take a look at how that stacks up against other schools around the country. Note that this count is based on McDonald’s listings, which lists transfers at the school to which they transferred. Thus Joe Kleine counts for Arkansas rather than Notre Dame. On the other hand, Dan Miller counts for Notre Dame, and not Maryland (I can hear the howls of protest from Rochester now).

Only eighteen schools have had more than ten McDonald’s All-Americans. As one would expect, North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky are at the top of the heap. But there are only three other schools that have had more All-Americans than Notre Dame. Solid company. This demonstrates the mojo that Notre Dame basketball can have, despite the assertions of Notre Dame haters that “No basketball star would ever want to go to a football school.” If Brey can keep Notre Dame in the tournament a few more years, the malaise of the Nineties will recede from the memory of recruits and analysts – a critical step in getting our mojo back.

Most McDonald’s All-Americans, by school

North Carolina   47
Duke 38
Kansas 25
Kentucky 25
Michigan 17
Louisville 16
Notre Dame 15
Indiana 15
Arizona 13
Georgia Tech 13
LSU 13
Maryland 13
St. John’s 13
Illinois 12
Michigan State 12
Arkansas 11
Syracuse 11

Notre Dame’s McDonald’s All-Americans
Tracy Jackson     1977
Tim Andree 1979
John Paxson 1979
Tom Sluby 1980
Barry Spencer 1980
Ken Barlow 1982
Tim Kempton 1982
David Rivers 1984
Keith Robinson 1986
LaPhonso Ellis 1988
Ryan Humphrey 1997
Danny Miller 1998
Chris Thomas 2001
Torin Francis 2002
Luke Zeller 2005