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:
|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).