Commentary

2010 ESPNHS All-American 1st team

Mr. Basketball USA Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger highlight All-American first team

Originally Published: April 22, 2010
By Ronnie Flores | ESPNHS.com

Announcing the 2009-10 ESPNHS
All-American Boys Basketball Team

The 2010 ESPNHS All-American first team fields eighteen of the nation's very best seniors and two special juniors.

A 30-player second team has also been chosen.

The editors of this team have chosen All-American teams and compiled national rankings in numerous sports for over 20 years. Input from other Mr. Basketball USA panelists was also key in final player selections.

The format for the team calls for it to be selected after every player finishes his season, which makes ESPNHS honors more reflective of players who led teams to state championships. The teams also are chosen after nearly every all-state team around the country has been released.

FIRST TEAM

(20 players)

Harrison Barnes, Ames (Ames, Iowa) 6-7 Sr. F
Stats: 26.1 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 3.6 apg
College: North Carolina
The Lowdown: The ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA, Barnes is the most well-rounded player of this class. He is a prolific scorer who can beat a team inside, from mid-range or outside. A four-year letter winner and three-year starter, Barnes scored 1,787 points and did not lose a high school game -- or all-star game -- the past two seasons.

Reggie Bullock, Kinston (Kinston, N.C.) 6-7 Sr. G
Stats: 27.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.2 spg
College: North Carolina
The Lowdown: The top prep player in North Carolina capped a four-year career with over 1,900 points. The versatile future Tar Heel led his team to a 28-4 record as a senior and a second state title in three years. One of the nation's best tall guards, Bullock is Kinston's most highly-regarded talent since Jerry Stackhouse played there through his junior season in the early 1990's.

Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) 6-7 Jr. F
Stats: 16.4 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 3 bpg
College: Kentucky
The Lowdown: A repeat first-team selection, Gilchrist has been one of the nation's best players, regardless of class, the past two seasons. Gilchrist was the Gatorade State Player of the Year as a sophomore, but this year fought off nagging injuries for a highly ranked, 24-3 team. The bigger the game, the better Gilchrist performed -- netting a combined 69 points against FAB 50-ranked Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.).

Tobias Harris, Half Hollow Hills West (Dix Hills, N.Y.) 6-8 Sr. F
Stats: 24.7 ppg, 14.4 rpg, 3 bpg
College: Tennessee
The Lowdown: Perhaps no player in the country did more to elevate himself into a national player of the year candidate. Harris, one of Long Island's most decorated athletes, became the second player from the region named Mr. New York Basketball by the state's coaches association, joining Jason Fraser from Amityville (2002). Harris led his team to the Class AA state final and collected several triple-doubles of points, rebounds and blocks along the way.

Ryan Harrow, Walton (Marietta, Ga.) 6-0 Sr. G
Stats: 31.6 ppg, 5.2 apg, 4.1 rpg
College: North Carolina St.
The Lowdown: If any player in the country was a McDonald's All-American snub, it was this high-scoring guard. Harrow impacted the game on both ends of the floor (31.6 ppg with 3.1 spg) and overcame two bouts of severe dehydration to turn in a spectacular season for Walton. In a great year for individual talent in the Peach State, Harrow was named Class AAAAA Player of the Year and repeated as an all-state selection.

Kyrie Irving, St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) 6-2 Sr. G
Stats: 24.5 ppg, 6.5 apg, 4.5 rpg
College: Duke
The Lowdown: Irving stepped out of the shadows of former teammate Dexter Strickland and a current teammatee Mike Gilchrist to become arguably the most complete guard in the country. The team's emotional leader and top defender (2.0 bpg) was named Gatorade State Player of the Year. A four-year varsity performer, Irving scored over 2,100 points and capped his career with a MVP performance at the Jordan Brand Classic.

Joe Jackson, White Station (Memphis, Tenn.) 6-0 Sr. G
Stats: 32.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.0 apg
College: Memphis
The Lowdown: Memphis has long been a sleeping giant for hoops talent and Jackson is considered one of the city's best ever. The Gatorade State Player of the Year and Class AAA Mr. Basketball finished with 3,451 career points -- No. 2 on the Shelby County all-time list behind Melrose's Bobby Smith, who netted 3,640 between 1962-65. Jackson led White Station to three consecutive state title games, including the 2009 state title when he scored 82 tournament points in three games.

Terrence Jones, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 6-8 Sr. F
Stats: 32 ppg, 13 rpg, 5 apg
College: Undecided
The Lowdown: Long known for his natural ability, Jones stepped up his defensive intensity (3 bpg, 3 spg) and work ethic this season. That helped Jefferson to a 25-2 record and an unprecedented third-consecutive Class 5A state title. Jones was named the Oregonian Class 5A Player of the Year, the third multiple honoree following Barlow's Fred Jones (1997-98) and Lake Oswego's Kevin Love (2005-07).

Cory Joseph, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-3 Sr. G
Stats: 18.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 5.1 apg
College: Undecided
The Lowdown: The floor leader for a team that played one of the toughest schedules in the country, Joseph capped his career by leading the Pilots to a second-straight ESPNHS NHSI title. He averaged 20.3 ppg in three NHSI wins and is Findlay Prep's all-time leader in points, assists, steals and 3-pointers. A 54-percent shooter from the field, Joseph is also a top-flight defender (2.5 spg) and a fearless rebounder from the point.

Brandon Knight, Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 6-3 Sr. G
Stats: 32.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.9 apg
College: Kentucky
The Lowdown: The two-time Gatorade National Player of the Year and two-time Florida state POY ended his five-year varsity career with 3,515 points, second best in state history. He also charted 1,166 rebounds and 708 assists and twice led Pine Crest to state titles. His best point outing this season was 48 points, seven under his career best. After earning class POY honors as a freshman and junior, Knight capped his prep career with the game-winning 3-pointer in the McDonald's All-America Game.

Doron Lamb, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-4 Sr. G
Stats: 23 ppg, 6 rpg, 4 apg
College: Kentucky
The Lowdown: The New York native capped his Oak Hill career with some prolific games during a 29-4 season where the Warriors played their typically tough national schedule. A late commit to Kentucky, his top effort of 49 points came in a loss to St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.). A good mid-range shooter and one of the nation's better perimeter defenders, he scored 12 points in the McDonald's All-America Game.

C. J. Leslie, Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) 6-9 Sr. F
Stats: 23 ppg, 12 rpg, 4 bpg
College: Undecided
The Lowdown: The rangy forward remains uncommitted on a college after a solid season at the North Carolina private school. An aggressive player who attacks the basket on offense and plays solid defense, Leslie is a spectacular shot-blocker and arguably the best offensive rebounder in the country. When his college decision is announced, it won't be the last time his name is in the news.

Austin Rivers, Winter Park (Winter Park, Fla.) 6-3 Jr. G
Stats: 24.3 ppg, 4 rpg
College: Undecided
Our National Junior Player of the Year, Rivers has 1,904 career points with a season remaining. Rivers gave Florida a verbal commit last year, but has since re-opened his recruitment to include Duke and North Carolina.

Josh Selby, Lake Clifton (Baltimore, Md.) 6-3 Sr. G
Stats: 28 ppg, 7 rpg, 6 apg
College: Kansas
The Lowdown: This prolific guard displayed elite scoring, passing and defensive skills this season. The Kansas-bound backcourt ace scored over 40 points four times this year and specializes in the transition game where his quick hands and aggressiveness pay off the most. He scored 13 points in the McDonald's All-America Game, won its dunk contest and is highly respected by his peers.

Jared Sullinger, Northland (Columbus, Ohio) 6-9 Sr. C
Stats: 24 ppg, 12.1 rpg
College: Ohio State
The Lowdown: The two-time Ohio Mr. Basketball honoree, and PARADE National Player of the Year is a repeat first-team selection. The nation's top rebounder shot over 75-percent from the floor while dominating the paint, as Northland lost only four games during his career. The co-MVP of the McDonald's All-America Game and Mr. Basketball USA runner-up, Sullinger will attend hometown Ohio State.

Deshaun Thomas, Bishop Luers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) 6-7 Sr. F
Stats: 31.8 ppg, 15 rpg, 3 bpg
College: Ohio State
The Lowdown: The left-handed wing wound up as the third leading scorer in Indiana history while racking up 3,018 career points. Thomas dropped 52 in one game and shot 51-percent from the floor for the year. The Ohio State recruit was also a force on the backboards the last four seasons, is an underrated passer and displayed improved shooting range as a senior.

Tristan Thompson, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-9 Sr. F
Stats: 16.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg
College: Texas
The Lowdown: After transferring to Findlay Prep mid-season in 2009, Thompson became the Pilots' prime low-post threat this season. He led the team in rebounding and racked up nearly two blocks and steals per game, while steadily improving his ball-handling and shooting range. Thompson shot over 60-percent from the field and made teams pay dearly if they chose not to double-team him.

Marcus Thornton, Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.) 6-7 Sr. F
Stats: 24 ppg, 12 rpg
College: Undecided
The Lowdown: Thornton had a memorable senior campaign, expanding his all-around game while leading Westlake to the Class AAAAA title game. Although he missed the state final with injury, he was still named to the all-tournament team. An even bigger individual honor for Thornton was earning Georgia Mr. Basketball honors from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Atlanta Tipoff Club in a strong year for in-state hoops. He originally signed with Clemson, but was recently released from his LOI.

Joseph Young, Yates (Houston, Texas) 6-2 Sr. G
Stats: 25.6 ppg, 4 apg, 4 spg
College: Providence
The Lowdown: He was the leading scorer for the nation's No. 1-ranked team, which averaged a national-record 116.2 points per game in a 34-0 campaign. Young's season-high total is 43 points, which includes 24 in a five-minute span, and helped Yates stretch its win streak to 58 games. The all-state player was a constant threat from 3-point range and is known for his tireless work ethic.

Patric Young, Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) 6-9 Sr. F
Stats: 14.9 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 3.2 bpg
College: Florida
The Lowdown: Young was the anchor of a 31-1 team that won its first state title this season after eight straight playoff trips. Young was a defensive force, including seven blocked shots in the state title game. The future Gator was an aggressive force from his power forward position and proved why he's one of the country's best post players on the post-season circuit.

Note: All selections based on high school accomplishment, not future college/pro potential, and are reflective of those that lead their teams to state championships. ESPNHS does not knowingly select fifth-year players, and those ineligible due to age or academics, as Mr. Basketball USA or to its various All-American teams.