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Two Arizona signees selected as McDonald’s All-Americans

Brandon Ashley

Brandon Ashley at the Boost Mobile Elite in Venice Beach, Calif., this summer. Photo by Gary Randazzo, Wildcat Sports Report

Two Arizona basketball recruits have been selected to the prestigious McDonald’s All-America team, the first time since 2007 that a future Wildcat has been so honored.

Forwards Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley made the 12-player West squad for the McDonald’s game, which will be played March 28 at the United Center in Chicago.

They are part of Arizona’s top-ranked recruiting class, which also includes 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski and guard Gabe York, two more national top 50 recruits. Tarczewski, in fact, is rated No. 5 by ESPN.

He very well could have earned McDonald’s All-America honors, but Tarczewski wasn’t eligible because he was recently reclassified as a fifth-year senior, according to the Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe.

York, rated 36th by ESPN, missed time this season after an appendectomy and a two-game suspension for playing in an unauthorized game.

For what it’s worth, Jerrett and Ashley will give Arizona a McDonald’s All-American on the roster for the first time since 2008-09, when Chase Budinger was a junior.

Does it matter?

Consider that since 1979, only one team has won the national championship without having a McDonald’s All-American on its roster. That was Maryland in 2002. McDonald’s has sponsored an All-American team since 1977.

Arizona, which has a scholarship to give because of the transfer of center Sidiki Johnson, is one of six schools in the mix for 6-6 Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas. Muhammad, rated the No. 2 player in the nation by ESPN, told ESPNU on Thursday afternoon that he is likely to announce a decision in April.

Here is a list of McDonald’s All-Americans who have played at Arizona, including transfers:

Player Year High School
Craig McMillan 1984 Coverdale, Coverdale, Ca.
Sean Elliott 1985 Cholla, Tucson
Brian Williams 1987 St. Monica Catholic, Santa Monica, Ca.
Chris Mills 1988 Fairfax, Los Angeles
Khalid Reeves 1990 Christ the King, Middle Village, N.Y.
Ben Davis 1991 Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.
Mike Bibby 1996 Shadow Mountain, Phoenix
Loren Woods 1996 Cardinal Ritter College Prep, St. Louis
Richard Jefferson 1998 Moon Valley, Phoenix
Jason Gardner 1999 North Central, Indianapolis
Hassan Adams 2002 Westchester, Los Angeles, Ca.
Mustafa Shakur 2003 Friends Central, Wynnewood, Pa.
Jawann McClellan 2004 Charles H. Milby, Houston
Chase Budinger 2006 La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad, Ca.
Jerryd Bayless 2007 St. Mary’s, Phoenix
Grant Jerrett 2012 Lutheran, La Verne, Calif.
Brandon Ashley 2012 Findley Prep, Henderson, Nev.

Note: Two other McDonald’s All-Americans signed with Arizona but went straight to the pros – Ndudi Ebi (2002 All-American) and Brandon Jennings (2008).

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