We know who’s there. Now let’s talk about who should have been there.
The boys’ rosters for the 2023 McDonald’s All-American Games in March were announced Tuesday, and today we’re going to target some glaring snubs.
In the spirit of the NCAA tournament, we call this group of 12 the Midwest South team, worthy of taking on the East and West squads.
To be selected for our All-Snubs team, the player had to be among the 722 nominated girls’ and boys’ basketball players.
Darrin “Dai Dai” Ames, Kenwood, Illinois
Ames had one of the best performances of the season at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament, scoring a tournament-record 65 points and the point guard scored 27 points on Friday when he faced DJ Wagner and Camden (New Jersey). Kansas State Commitment is averaging 23.3 points and 4.4 assists for the #1 team in the SBLive Illinois Top 25 this season.
Layden Blocker, Sunrise Academy (Kansas)
A Little Rock native, Blocker transferred to Sunrise Academy for his final high school season. He’s a fierce dunker and formidable defenseman who will return to his home state in a few months to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Gabe Cupps, Centerville, Ohio
He might not have the flashiest numbers, but Cupps is a passing first-point guard you’d love to see in an All-Star game full of high-flying dunkers. The defending Ohio Mr. Basketball will play for Indiana next season.
Brady Dunlap, Harvard-Westlake (California)
The 6-foot-7 Dunlap has one of the purest shooting shots in the country. The Notre Dame signee recently scored 38 points in a treble in overtime against Bishop Montgomery.
Caleb Foster, Notre Dame (California)
Arguably the biggest snub, Foster is the class of 2023 ranked 17th overall by 247Sports. The Duke signee has been among the top recruits in the country since a sophomore breakout season and has made several big offensive performances this winter.
DeShawn Harris-Smith, St. Paul VI (Virginia)
One of the brightest stars at an invited Catholic sports conference in Washington, Harris-Smith is a playmaker at both ends of the court. The Maryland signee was one of the top performers at the Hoophall Classic, nearly hitting a triple-double (23 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists) in a win over Roselle Catholic. Hours after his snub at McDonald’s, Harris-Smith had 23 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and six steals in a 69-60 win over St. John’s.
Jamie Kaiser, IMG Academy (Florida)
Much like DeShawn Harris-Smith, Kaiser is a Maryland signee who caused quite a stir with his performance at the Hoophall Classic. The 6-foot-6 winger scored 17 points in a win over AZ Compass Prep, showing off his athleticism and ball touch.
Jackson Shelstad, Westlinn, Oregon
All we can say here is that no one on the selection team watched the Les Schwab Invitational. The Oregon commit was the best player on the floor against Sierra Canyon and Duncanville, both of whom will feature in March’s McDonald’s All-American Game.
Jaylin Stewart, Garfield (Washington)
Stewart has guided Garfield to a 15-0 start, including a big comeback win earlier this month over rival O’Dea while playing his way through foul trouble. The 6-foot-7 slasher will be looking to finish his high school career with a Class 3A state title before heading to UConn.
Simeon Wilcher, Catholic of Roselle, New Jersey
The North Carolina signee scored his 1,000. Career point in a recent win over Timber Creek. Wilcher is a versatile guard, averaging 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists for a Roselle Catholic team looking to defend their state championship in New Jersey.
Mikey Williams, San Ysidro (California)
Williams is another odd omission as a dynamic lead guard, averaging 24.8 points and 9.2 assists this season. The Memphis signer famously scored 77 points in a game as a freshman and played alongside JJ Taylor, who also signed with Memphis, at San Ysidro.
Wesley Yates III, Beaumont United (Texas)
Yates III defeated Pine Bluff by a buzzer-beater at the King Cotton Holiday Classic in late December and became Beaumont United’s top scorer a week later. The signer from Washington broke the record with a spectacular dunk.