The rosters for the class of 2004 McDonalds All-American game were released on Thursday afternoon. Dwight Howard headlines the East squad while Shaun Livingston leads the team from the West. Here is a look at all 24 players that made the post-season all-star game rosters in Oklahoma City at the Ford Center on March 31.
Interesting facts about this year's game: The Texas Longhorns have had four McDonalds All Americans in their school's history (Kris Klack '95, Brian Boddicker '00, T.J. Ford '01, Brad Buckman '02). In 2004, they will have three future players in the game at the same time. And what is even more impressive the fact that these players are cultivated within the borders of the Lone Star State. Texans LaMarcus Aldridge and Daniel Gibson are joined by Alabama native Mike Williams in the 2004 class. Aldridge is flirting with the NBA.
Five other schools have multiple players in the game as well. Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA all have two players dressing out for the game.
Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Nelson will line up together for the West team just like they did at the ABCD camp last summer, giving Blue Devil fans a preview of what is to come. Or will it? Livingston is one of the many players looking to shine on the biggest pre-NBA Draft stage for prep players.
Duke has had a player in each of the McDonalds games dating back to 1993. Coach K has had 19 former All Americans come to Durham since that time.
Mike Davis reeled in two five star forwards for the Indiana program and now those two forwards, Josh Smith and D.J. White, will team up together for the East team. Many believe this game will be the only time the two big men suit together as Smith remains high on the 'draft board' of NBA teams.
The Kentucky Wildcats got a commitment from the biggest rankings-riser player in the country when Rajon Rondo verbally pledged to his home state school. Now UK has one of the top floor generals in the biggest high school all-star game in the country. The Oak Hill (VA) point guard began the season as a top 50 player but after having games of 31 and 27 assists last week, Rondo is now amongst the most elite players around.
Michigan native and future Wildcat Joe Crawford will also be on the team. His high school teammate Malik Hairston (who is still undecided) will join him on the West roster.
Roy Williams didn't waste anytime getting top-notch recruits to come to Chapel Hill. Future Tar Heels J.R. Smith and Marvin Williams become the 44th and 45th All Americans to suit up for the famed program. Many Tar Heel fans will get a chance to see the 6-foot-9 Williams in action for the first time in a real time situation. Williams will travel over 3,000 to play college ball after spending his prep days in the Seattle, WA area.
The UCLA Bruins are in the process of getting back to the days of old. And this year's recruiting class will be highlighted by two All Americans Aaron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar. The duo is also staying in state to play for Ben Houland. It marks the first time since 1998 that the Bruins had multiple players on the all-star roster. Afflalo and Farmar make a deadly pair with their mix of athleticism and play making skills.