Had David Stern not enacted the NBA age minimum prior to this season, Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.) senior center Greg Oden would likely be readying himself to be picked first in the 2006 NBA Draft. Instead, he'll have to settle for headlining the 2006 McDonald's All-American Game on March 29 in San Diego.
Oden, the consensus top recruit in the Class of 2006, was one of 24 players selected for the boys' game Wednesday. In addition to Oden, Lawrence North teammate Mike Conley and Dunbar (Dayton, Ohio) shooting guard Daequan Cook are McDonald's All-Americans bound for Ohio State.
North Carolina will also have three recruits at the game: Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) point guard Tywon Lawson, Episcopal Academy (Merion, Pa.) shooting guard Wayne Ellington and Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.) power forward Brandan Wright.
Chase Budinger, a small forward out of La Costa Canyon in the San Diego suburb of Encinitas, Calif., will get to play in front of a hometown crowd since this year's game will be hosted by San Diego State University.
Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) coach Doug Lipscomb and Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.) coach Harvey Kitani were named coaches for the boys' game.
One glaring omission from the McDonald's roster is the nation's No. 7 recruit, Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, Mass.) shooting guard Paul Harris. Harris was voted in by the selection committee, but committee chairman Morgan Wootten vetoed the other 32 voters to force Harris out of the game.
"I thought he deserved to make the game," Notre Dame coach Bill Barton said. "I've seen a lot of these kids play and he's just as good."
Harris was selected to both the Jordan All-American Classic and the Roundball Classic, but Barton said Harris' troublesome past will prevent him from playing in the McDonald's game, the pre-eminent all-star hoop game.
Harris, who turned 19 Oct. 15, repeated his freshman year at Niagara Falls (Niagara Falls, N.Y.). Though Harris has battled various legal issues during his high school career, Barton said he has turned into an exemplary student-athlete since coming to Notre Dame for his senior year. Harris has signed with Syracuse.
"It's become a political thing," Barton said. "Morgan Wootten decided some stuff in his past warranted removing him from the team."
Other surprising omissions include Top 10 power forward Derrick Caracter, Harris' teammate at Notre Dame Prep, and Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) power forward Alex Stepheson, who is averaging 20.4 points and 17.7 rebounds per game this season and is headed to North Carolina.
The girls' roster is headlined by Murry Bergtraum (New York, N.Y.) guard Epiphanny Prince, who earlier this season scored 113 points in a single game. Prince will be joined by Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) forward Tina Charles, who is rated the nation's No. 1 girls' hoop recruit by SchoolSports.com.
Leta Andrews of Granbury (Granbury, Texas) and Wade Vickery of Santana (Santee, Calif.) were named coaches for the girls' game.
Earl Clark, SF, 6-9, 220, Rahway (N.J.), Louisville
Mike Conley, PG, 6-1, 175, Lawrence North (Indianapolis), Ohio State
Javaris Crittenton, SG, 6-5, 195, SW Atlanta Christian (Ga.), Ga. Tech
Wayne Ellington, SG, 6-4, 185, Episcopal Acad. (Merion, Pa.), UNC
Gerald Henderson, SF, 6-5, 190, Episcopal Acad. (Merion, Pa.), Duke
Tywon Lawson, PG, 6-0, 190, Oak Hill Acad. (Va.), UNC
Vernon Macklin, C, 6-9, 225, Hargrave Military (Va.), Georgetown
Greg Oden, C, 7-0, 254, Lawrence North (Indianapolis), Ohio State
Scottie Reynolds, SG, 6-1, 185, Herndon (Va.), Oklahoma
Lance Thomas, PF, 6-8, 200, St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.), Undecided
Brandan Wright, PF, 6-9, 200, Brentwood Acad. (Tenn.), UNC
Thaddeus Young, SF, 6-8, 215, Mitchell (Memphis), Georgia Tech
Darrell Arthur, PF, 6-9, 220, South Oak Cliff (Dallas), Undecided
D.J. Augustin, PG, 6-0, 180, Hightower (Sugar Land, Texas), Texas
Chase Budinger, SF, 6-8, 200, La Costa Canyon (Calif.), Arizona
Demond Carter, SG, 5-11, 170, Reserve Christian (La.), Baylor
Sherron Collins, PG, 5-11, 195, Crane Tech (Chicago, Ill.), Kansas
Daequan Cook, SG, 6-5, 200, Dunbar (Dayton, Ohio), Ohio State
Kevin Durant, SF, 6-10, 205, Montrose Christian (Md.), Texas
James Keefe, PF, 6-8, 220, Santa Margarita (Calif.), UCLA
Spencer Hawes, C, 7-0, 230, Seattle Prep (Wash.), Washington
Brook Lopez, PF, 7-0, 245, San Joaquin (Fresno, Calif.), Stanford
Robin Lopez, C, 7-0, 245, San Joaquin (Fresno, Calif.), Stanford
Jon Scheyer, SG, 6-6, 180, Glenbrook North (Northbrook, Ill.), Duke
Jessica Breland, F, 6-3, Bertie (Windsor, N.C.), North Carolina
Tina Charles, F, 6-4, Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), UConn
Joy Cheek, F, 6-1, South Mecklenburg (Charlotte, N.C.), Duke
Amber Harris, F/C, 6-5, North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.), Purdue
Ashley Houts, G, 5-6, Dade County (Trenton, Ga.), Georgia
Kaili McLaren, F, 6-3, Good Counsel (Washington, D.C.), UConn
Bridgette Mitchell, F, 6-0, The Peddie School (Hightstown, N.J.), Duke
Porsha Phillips, F, 6-1, Redan (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Undecided
Epiphanny Prince, G, 5-9, Murry Bergtraum (New York, N.Y.), Rutgers
Amber White, G, 5-7, Coatesville (Coatesville, Pa.), N.C. State
Danielle Wilson, C, 6-3, St. John the Baptist (Bay Shore, N.Y.), Baylor
Monica Wright, G, 5-11, Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.), Virginia
Jayne Appel, F/C, 6-4, Carondelet (Concord, Calif.), Stanford
Jacki Gemelos, F, 6-0, St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.), USC
Michelle Harrison, F, 6-2, Mountain View (Orem, Utah), Stanford
Allison Hightower, G, 5-11, Juan Seguin (Arlington, Texas), LSU
Dela Quese Jernigan, F, 6-0, East Chicago (Ind.), Purdue
Adrian McGowen, G, 6-1, Goodrich (Goodrich, Texas), Texas A&M
Morghan Medlock, G/F, 6-0, Narbonne (Hawthorne, Calif.), USC
Jordan Murphree, F, 6-0, Brock (Weatherford, Texas), Texas Tech
Abi Olajuwon, C, 6-3, Marlborough (Los Angeles, Calif.), Oklahoma
Brittainey Raven, G, 6-0, North Crowley (Fort Worth, Texas), Texas
Dymond Simon, G, 5-5, St. Mary's (Phoenix, Ariz.), Arizona State
Amanda Thompson, F, 6-0, Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.), Oklahoma