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Looking at how McDonald's All American point guards performed in college

What is the success rate of point guards that played in the game?


Last Wednesday Maryland commit Melo Trimble was named to the prestigious McDonald's All American team, the first Terp to play in the game since Mike Jones in 2003. Trimble will also be the first Maryland point guard recruit in it since Duane Simpkins in 1992.

The point guard position is one that Maryland has struggled to find consistency with since Greivis Vasquez graduated in 2010. Many, including myself, see Trimble, as the answer to this long-term problem.

The question I keep coming back to is, "is this fair?" Sure, he is ranked as one of the top six point guards in the class of 2014 by every major recruiting service, and sure he is one of five point guards named to the McDonald's All American team, but what does that mean? I decided to find out.

Let's look at all the point guards to play in the most prestigious high school all star game since 2006, the year the NBA instated the new age limit, meaning that all of these recruits were supposed to go to college. I won't include 2013, because we don't have enough career to glean from.

Here is the list, by year:

2012- Kris Dunn (Providence), Tyler Lewis (NC State), Yogi Ferrell (IU), Marcus Paige (UNC), Marcus Smart (Ok State)

2011- Quinn Cook (Duke), Shannon Scott (OSU), Myck Kabongo (Texas), Marquis Teague (UK)

2010- Kyrie Irving (Duke), Joe Jackson (Memphis), Kendall Marshall (UNC), Keith Appling (MSU), Brandon Knight (UK), Ray McCallum (Detroit)

2009- Maalik Wayns (Villanova), Peyton Siva (Louisville), Abdul Gaddy (UW), Tommy Mason-Griffin (Oklahoma)

2008- Tyreke Evans (Memphis), Kemba Walker (UConn), Larry Drew (UNC), Jrue Holiday (UCLA), Brandon Jennings (played in Italy), Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech), Willie Warren (Oklahoma)

2007- Jai Lucas (Florida), Derrick Rose (Memphis), Jerryd Bayless (Arizona), Chris Wright (Georgetown), Jonny Flynn (Syracuse), Nolan Smith (Duke), Nick Calathes (UF)

2006- Mike Conley (OSU), Ty Lawson (UNC), D.J. Augustin (Texas), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), Sherron Collins (KU)

That is 38 point guards to play in the game in seven years, an average of ~5 per year.

The Stars

Sherron Collins, Scottie Reynolds, D.J. Augustin, Ty Lawson, Mike Conley, Derrick Rose, Nolan Smith, Tyreke Evans, Kemba Walker, Peyton Siva, Kendall Marshall, Marcus Smart

Total: 12

For the purposes of this exercise it doesn't matter what these guys went on to do after college. We are trying to see the correlation between a point guard playing in the McDonald's game and having success as a college point guard. Side note: how awesome was that 2006 class?

The Good

Jonny Flynn, Nick Calathes, Larry Drew (at UCLA, not UNC), Iman Shumpert, Maalik Wayns, Joe Jackson, Ray McCallum, Keith Appling, Chris Wright, Willie Warren

Total: 10

All of these players made a real impact on their programs, yet never reached quite the elite level. There is definitely the most range in this category, as some of the above clearly had better careers than others. You could argue some should be included in "Stars" and some should be below. For example, I had trouble with where to put Flynn. Everyone remembers him from that incredible Big East Tournament, but it was easily the best stretch of his career. Also, both McCallum and Jackson were the Players of the Year in their conferences. I just couldn't put them on the same level as the likes of Lawson or Walker. Sue me.

The "Too Soon To Tell"

Yogi Ferrell, Marcus Paige, Quinn Cook

Total: 3

I think these three are pretty good players but it's too early to categorize their careers fairly. They could end up leading their team to a title, they could completely flame out, they could even be recruited over. So far, Ferrell seems like the best bet to be a star one day, with Paige next, then Cook. You'll find your city one day, Quinn.

The "Didn't Play Enough"

Kyrie Irving, Jerryd Bayless, Myck Kabongo, Marquis Teague, Brandon Knight, Jrue Holiday, Tommy Mason-Griffin

Total: 7

Most are just one-and-done's that would have gone pro right out of high school if they could have. They performed well for their schools, but overall their careers were short lived or forgettable. Irving was spectacular at Duke, but only played 11 games. Kabongo is the only non-one-and-done, the victim of an NCAA screw-job.

The Busts

Tyler Lewis, Shannon Scott, Abdul Gaddy, Jai Lucas

Total: 4

Pretty simple: made or are making minimal impact on their programs. Scott, Gaddy and Lucas were fine, but didn't nearly live up to the high recruiting rankings. Lewis has been dreadful for NC State.

The Ghosts

Kris Dunn, Brandon Jennings

Total: 2

Neither played a minute in college. Jennings played pro ball in Italy for a year in between high school and college. Dunn never qualified at Providence and declared for the draft.

Total Breakdown (Percentages include those that actually played in college)

- 33% program-changing players

- 69% high level college players

- 11% have/had little to no impact on their program

- 25% one-and-done

- 28% were the starting point guard on a Final Four team

Minus one-and-done players

- 33% program-changing stars

- 81% high level college players

- 15% had/have little to no impact on their program

- 22% were the staring point guard on a Final Four team

According to the trends, Trimble is between two and three times more likely to be a star than a bust. In every class besides 2012, there is at least one point guard that led their team to a Final Four, and up to four in one class (2006, did I mention how sick that class was?). Assuming he is not a one-and-done, Trimble will almost assuredly be a very impactful player at Maryland. There are no guarantees in any of this but I like the odds.


I don't know why I didn't put these in originally, but here are some more statistics I found interesting.

36% 1st team All-Conference

28% named to an All-American team