Now in its eighth year, the Mr. Basketball USA Tracker tracks the progress of the nation’s top national player of the year candidates. We take a look back at the first seven preseason favorites and where they finished at the end of the season.
The tope vote-getter in each of the first seven preseason Mr. Basketball USA Trackers went on to have stellar seasons. That trend bodes well for forward Ben Simmons of Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), the top vote-getter in this year’s preseason Mr. Basketball USA Tracker and the first ever unanimous choice (first place on all 10 ballots).
All seven of those players were seniors and five of them finished no lower than third place in the final tracker. Emmanuel Mudiay, last season’s top-vote getter, is the only one to finish outside the top three. It should also be noted he had the lowest point total of any of the seven preseason front-runners. In its inaugural year, Samardo Samuels was the top vote-getter, but as the season wore on Brandon Jennings (Detroit Pistons) emerged as the top candidate and went on to become Oak Hill Academy’s only consensus national player of the year.
In 2010-11, Austin Rivers (New Orleans Pelicans) was in a three-horse race all season long with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Bobcats) and Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards). In that season’s final tracker, Rivers and Beal of Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) both collected 75 points to Kidd-Gilchrist’s 76, but Beal was the only candidate to appear on all 10 ballots. That placed Rivers, the national junior player of the year in 2009-10, in third place. Kidd-Gilchrist of St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) was the eventual winner.
What will be Simmons’ fate? If the last seven years are any indication, he has a good shot to earn Mr. Basketball USA and barring injury, will be in the thick of the race until the end of the season.
Mr. Basketball USA: All-Time Preseason Top Vote-Getters
2007-08: Samardo Samuels, St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 80 pts. (9) – 2ND PLACE
2008-09: Derrick Favors, South Atlanta (Atlanta, Ga.) 89 pts. (10) – WINNER
2009-10: Harrison Barnes, Ames (Ames, Iowa) 92 pts. (10) – WINNER
2010-11: Austin Rivers, Winter Park (Winter Park, Fla.) 93 pts. (10) – 3RD PLACE
2011-12: Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 93 pts. (10) – WINNER
2012-13: Andrew Wiggins, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) 91 pts. (10) – WINNER
2013-14: Emmanuel Mudiay, Prime Prep (Dallas) 76 pts. (9) – 4TH PLACE