Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon are only three candidates to appear on every ballot
Throughout the major holiday tournaments and various showcases around the country, two names remained at the top of the Mr. Basketball USA debate: small forwards Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) and Jabari Parker of Simeon (Chicago).
He wasn’t 2012’s National Junior of the Year, but Wiggins was the early Mr. Basketball USA frontrunner. Parker earned class player of the year honors each of his first three seasons at Simeon. But after Wiggins dominated in international play and grassroots competition last summer, the Canadian-born phenom rose to the top of the preseason national player of the year list — even though his actual high school accolades weren’t as strong as Parker’s.
Wiggins, who decided to reclassify back to the class of 2013 last October, did nothing to diminish his candidacy during this just-completed season. Although Huntington Prep wasn’t eligible for our Top 50 team rankings, Wiggins averaged 23.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for a 30-3 team that faced tough competition. Wiggins final tally of 93 points was four less that his previous output, but was able to hold off the late surge of Parker and another small forward — Aaron Gordon of Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.).
In the previous tracker, Parker collected 68 points and appeared on eight ballots, but he closed out his senior season strong after a slow start. He led Simeon to its fourth consecutive Class 4A state title and shined in big wins over Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.), Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and rival Whitney Young (Chicago) along the way. That final surge helped Parker gain 16 points and once again appear on all ten ballots in the final Mr. Basketball USA Tracker.
In the preseason, Wiggins and Parker were separated by five points (91 to 86).
Gordon also appeared on all ten ballots in the preseason and was the third candidate to do the same in the final the final, expanded tracker where the panel nominates its top 10 candidates and a greater emphasis is placed on the entire season instead of recent results. After leading an undermanned Mitty club to the first-ever CIF Open Division title game and dominating the McDonald’s All-American festivities with his intensity and motor, Gordon gained 10 overall points to narrow the gap between himself and the top two candidates.
Twenty-seven highly-accomplished players earned recognition as a national player of the year candidate in the final balloting, but realistically the honor will be decided between Wiggins, Parker and Gordon. Each one in that trio has an impressive individual resume.
Will the fact Parker capped his high school career with another state title be enough to overtake Wiggins and his incredible individual athletic gifts when the honor is announced?
|1||1||Andrew Wiggins (10)||Huntington Prep||5||3||2||0||93|
|2||2||Jabari Parker (10)||Simeon||4||3||1||1||84|
|3||3||Aaron Gordon (10)||Mitty||0||3||4||1||69|
|4||4||Jahlil Okafor (9)||Whitney Young||0||0||0||3||47|
|5||6||Nigel Williams-Goss (7)||Findlay Prep||0||0||1||1||41|
|6||NR||Tyus Jones (6)||Apple Valley||0||0||1||1||28|
|8||NA||Andrew Harrison (5)||Travis||0||0||0||0||23|
|9||NA||Kasey Hill (5)||Montverde||0||0||0||1||19|
|10T||NA||Nick Emery (3)||Lone Peak||0||0||0||1||16|
|10T||NA||Cliff Alexander (2)||Currie||1||0||0||0||16|
|12T||7||Aaron Harrison (4)||Travis||0||0||0||0||14|
|14||5||James Young (5)||Rochester||0||0||0||0||12|
|15||NA||Dakari Johnson (2)||Montverde||0||0||0||0||10|
|16||NA||Joel Embiid||The Rock||0||0||0||0||8|
|17T||NA||Conner Frankamp||Wichita North||0||0||0||0||5|
|17T||NA||Tyler Dorsey||St. John Bosco||0||0||0||0||5|
|19T||NA||Rondae Jefferson (2)||Chester||0||0||0||0||4|
|19T||NA||Daniel Hamilton (1)||St. John Bosco||0||0||0||0||4|
|21T||NA||Emmanuel Mudiay (1)||Prime Prep||0||0||0||0||3|
|21T||NA||Stephen Zimmerman (1)||Bishop Gorman||0||0||0||0||3|
|23T||NA||Joel Berry (1)||Lake Highland||0||0||0||0||2|
|23T||NA||Austin Nichols (1)||Briarcrest||0||0||0||0||2|
|23T||NA||Ivan Rabb (1)||Bishop O'Dowd||0||0||0||0||2|
|26T||NA||Tyler Ennis (1)||St. Benedict's||0||0||0||0||1|
|26T||NA||Josh Perkins (1)||Regis Jesuit||0||0||0||0||1|
2012-13 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker Panel
Paul Biancardi, ESPN National Director of Basketball Recruiting
Frank Burlison, BurlisonOnBasketball.com
Ronnie Flores, HighSchoolHardwood Editor
Clark Francis, Hoop Scoop Editor & Publisher
Bob Gibbons, All-Star Sports
Doug Huff, HighSchoolHardwood Senior Editor
Aran Smith, NBADraft.net President
Patrick Stanwood, Patrick Stanwood Basketball
Dave Telep, ESPN Senior Basketball Recruiting Analyst
Dinos Trigonis, Fullcourt Press Editor & Publisher
About Grassroots Hoops Mr. Basketball Tracker Panel
Grassroots Hoops’ panel of 10 experts, which includes six McDonald’s All-American selection committee members, casts its vote each week for the top national player of the year candidates. For the final tracker, each panelist lists his top 10 candidates regardless of class. The votes are then tabulated on a 10-point scoring system with a first-place vote equaling 10 points, a second-place vote earning nine points and down to one point for a tenth-place vote. The number in parenthesis refers to the numbers of ballots on which a player appeared and previous ranking refers to position in the previous tracker.