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February 19, 2008Twenty four high school basketball players were officially named to the 2008 McDonald's All-American game on Tuesday evening. The best of the best will take to the court on March 26 in Milwaukee at the Bradley Center.
Feeling Carolina blue
Apparently the McDonald's All-American game is more like the North Carolina preview game. Three future Tar Heels were announced for the game on Tuesday. Center Tyler Zeller, forward Ed Davis and point guard Larry Drew all made the 2008 roster.
With the announcement of the 2008 trio, 53 McDonald's All-Americans have taken their game to North Carolina since the game's inception in 1977. That is more than any other school in the history of the game.
Ohio State will welcome a pair of McDonald's All-Americans in wing William Buford and center B.J. Mullens. UCLA also has a pair of players in the game in guards Jrue Holiday and Malcolm Lee.
There weren't too many surprises in this year's game as the majority of the players that are counted amongst the best of the best that were eligible for the game were named to the team.
There were a couple of surprises though. Most notably Drew, the UNC bound point guard, and Rutgers bound guard Mike Rosario.
Drew, the No. 76 ranked player in the class of 2008, is the lowest rated player on the Rivals150 to make the game. Rosario isn't as big of a surprise considering his continued great play with the nation's top rated team, St. Anthony in Jersey City, N.J. Rosario plays for the legendary Bob Hurley, Sr.
Delvon Roe's name is clearly missing from the list. He didn't get snubbed, however. He just couldn't play in the game. The Michigan State bound forward played in just two games this year before suffering a knee injury and ended his senior season prematurely. The rules state a player must play 50 percent of his games to be eligible.
After a tremendous summer, it was a bit surprising not to see Florida bound big man Eloy Vargas, the No. 10 ranked player in the nation, not in the game. He certainly earned a spot on the team with his play.
Other notables missing include Indiana bound forward Devin Ebanks, Wake Forest signees Tony Woods and Ty Walker, Kentucky bound DeAndre Liggins and LSU signee J'Mison Morgan.
Where the talent is coming from
California was the big winner for the game as five Golden State natives were named to the game. Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Ohio boasted a pair of home grown prospects in the game. Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia are also represented.
And where the talent is going
Eight future ACC players made the game, three more than the Pac-10. The Big East will be the future home of four of the players while the Big Ten has a pair of McDonald's All-Americans. The SEC, WAC and Big 12 all have one McDonald's All-American accounted for.
Only two players - Philadelphia's Tyreke Evans and Kentucky wing Scotty Hopson - have yet to commit to a school.
What to watch for
The match-ups are always one of the best things about the annual all-star game.
The East's point guard Kemba Walker, a Connecticut commitment, will lock horns with the West's Jennings, the Arizona bound point guard, right from the start as both project to start for their respective teams. The two met in the Arizona Cactus Classic last May with Walker's New York Gauchos team winning the tournament.
The scoring guard match-ups should be equally entertaining. The East boasts two of the most dynamic scorers in the class in Evans and Elliot Williams, a Duke signee. The West rolls out UCLA bound Holiday and Oklahoma bound Willie Warren.
The strength of the class has always been its size. This year's game has plenty of match-ups to make for a very entertaining game.
Rivals.com National Basketball Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer will be on hand for the week's practices, media sessions and other various activities.