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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Let’s Hear It for the Girls—McDonald’s All Americans in the NCAA Tournament

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Photo Caption: McDonald’s All American Ariya Crook-Williams wins the Skills Competition at the Powerade Jam fest as part of this week’s McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball activities, Monday March 28, 2011, in Chicago. Crook-Williams, from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California, has signed with USC, which narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament this season but is making noise in the WNIT. Will the addition of another McDonald’s All American to the roster prove to be the ingredient that carries the Women of Troy into the Sweet 16 and beyond next season?

Photo Credit: Courtesy McDonald’s/ Henry Ray Abrams

By Brittany Gorniewicz
& Jeff Pawola

As the McDonald’s All-American Girls’ Game prepares to tip off Wednesday night at 7:30 Eastern, 6:30 Central, before what is anticipated to be a full house in Chicago’s United Center, it’s worth taking a look at how that coveted status translates into success down the road.

By now, it’s a commonly known sports fact that since 1979, every men’s NCAA championship team has had at least one McDonald’s All American on the roster except Maryland in 2002.

But what about the women? Since the 2002-2003 NCAA women’s season (following the inaugural McDonald’s All American Girls Game at Madison Square Garden in 2002), every NCAA national champion has had at least four McDonald’s All Americans on its roster, except Baylor in 2005 (which had none).

That’s an 88 percent proof-point that McDonald’s All Americans win championships, especially when they play together. All of the remaining teams headed to the Final Four of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis this weekend have at least one McDonald’s All American on the roster, with Connecticut (6) and Stanford (6) the odds-on favorites.  But you can’t rule out Notre Dame or Texas A&M, each of which boasts two McDonald’s All Americans on its active roster.

Twelve of the 16 teams that made it as far as this year’s Sweet 16 have at least one McDonald’s All American on the roster, with Tennessee, dispatched by Notre Dame in the Elite Eight round in Dayton, leading the way with nine McDonald’s All Americans, followed by, of course, Stanford and Connecticut, then Duke (5), North Carolina (5), Baylor (4) and Ohio State (4).

Below is a breakout of this year’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 teams – those that have McDonald’s All Americans and those that do not.

Women’s NCAA Tournament Teams (Sweet 16) with McDonald’s All Americans
College (Seed) Player All-American Year High School
Baylor (1)Brooklyn Pope2008Paul Laurence Dunbar H.S., Fort Worth, TX
Baylor (1)Brittney Griner2009Nimitz Senior H.S., Houston, TX
Baylor (1)Destiny Williams2009Benton Harbor H.S., Benton Harbor, MI
Baylor (1)Odyssey Sims2010Irving MacArthur H.S., Irving, TX
Connecticut (1)Lorin Dixon2007Christ the King H.S., Middle Village, NY
Connecticut (1)Maya Moore2007Collins Hill H.S., Suwanee, GA
Connecticut (1)Tiffany Hayes2008Winter Haven H.S., Winter Haven, FL
Connecticut (1)Kelly Faris2009Heritage Chirstian School, Indianapolis, IN
Connecticut (1)Stefanie Dolson2010Minisink Valley H.S., Port Jervis, NY
Connecticut (1)Bria Hartley2010North Babylon H.S., North Babylon, NY
Duke (2)Jasmine Thomas2007Oakton H.S., Vienna, VA
Duke (2)Krystal Thomas2007The First Academy, Orland, FL
Duke (2)Chelsea Gray2010Saint Mary’s H.S., Manteca, CA
Duke (2)Richa Jackson2010Midwest City H.S., Midwest City, OK
Duke (2)Haley Peters2010Peddie School, Red Bank, NJ
Georgetown (5)Tashauna Rodgers2009King’s Fork H.S., Suffolk, VA
Georgia (6)Jasmine Hassell2009Wilson Central H.S., Lebanon, PA
Georgia (6)Ronika Ransford2010H.D. Woodson Senior H.S., Washington, DC
North Carolina (5)Cetera Degraffenreid2007Smoky Mountain H.S., Sylva, NC
North Carolina (5)Italee Lucas2007Centennial H.S., Las Vegas, NV
North Carolina (5)Chay Shegog2008Brooke Point H.S., Stafford, VA
North Carolina (5)She’la White2008Norfolk Collegiate School, Norfolk, VA
North Carolina (5)Tierra Ruffin-Pratt2009T.C. Williams H.S., Alexandria, VA
Notre Dame (2)Devereaux Peters2007Fenwick H.S., Oak Park, IL
Notre Dame (2) Skylar Diggins2009Washington H.S., South Bend, IN
Ohio State (4)Alison Jackson2007Fenwick H.S., Oak Park, IL
Ohio State (4)Jantel Lavender2007Cleveland Central Catholic H.S., Cleveland, OH
Ohio State (4)Samantha Prahalis2008Commack H.S., Commack, NY
Ohio State (4) Tayler Hill2009South H.S., Minneapolis, MN
Oklahoma (6)Aaryn Ellenberg2010Bishop Groman H.S., Las Vegas, NV
Stanford (1)Ashley Cimino2007Catherine McAuley H.S., Portland, ME
Stanford (1)Kayla Pedersen2007Red Mountain H.S., Mesa, AZ
Stanford (1)Jeanette Pohlen2007Brea-Olinda H.S., Brea, CA
Stanford (1)Nnemkadi Ogwumike2008Cy-Fair H.S., Cypress, TX
Stanford (1)Joslyn Tinkle2009Big Sky H.S., Missoula, MT
Stanford (1)Chiney Ogwumike2010Cy-Fair H.S., Cypress, TX
Tennessee (1)Victoria Baugh2007Sacramento H.S., Sacramento, CA
Tennessee (1)Angie Bjorklund2007University H.S., Spokane Valley, WA
Tennessee (1)Kelley Cain2007St. Pius X Catholic H.S., Atlanta, GA
Tennessee (1)Alyssia Brewer2008Sapulpa H.S., Sapulpa, OK
Tennessee (1)Glory Johnson2008Webb School of Knoxville, Knoxville, TN
Tennessee (1)Alicia Manning2008Etowah H.S., Woodstock, GA
Tennessee (1)Shekinna Stricklen2008Morrilton H.S., Morriton, AR
Tennessee (1)Taber Spani2009Metro Academy, Olathe, KS
Tennessee (1)Meighan Simmons2010Byron P. Steele II H.S., Cibolo, TX
Texas A&M (2)Tyra White2007Hickman Mills H.S., Kansas City, MO
Texas A&M (2)Karla Gilbert2010A&M Consolidated H.S., College Station, TX

Women’s NCAA Tournament Teams (Sweet 16) with No McDonald’s All Americans
College (seed)
DePaul (3)
Green Bay (5)
Louisville (7)
Gonzaga (11)

* Note: The Notre Dame roster also featured Kayla McBride, a McDonald’s All-American from the Class of 2010 (Villa Maria Academy, Erie, PA) at the start of the season. Though McBride left the team this season, there is a possibility that she may return next year.

In the fall, Connecticut, Duke, Tennessee, Stanford and Louisville will reload their rosters, welcoming 10 more McDonald’s All Americans among them.

Watch these incoming stars on March 30 at the 2011 McDonald’s All American Games in Chicago’s famed United Center. The Girls’ Game tips off at 6:30 p.m. CT, and will be aired on ESPNU, with the Boys Game on ESPN immediately following. 

Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com, though as of Wednesday morning, they were reportedly down to the arena’s last 400 seats.

All proceeds from the 2011 Games benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana, where they will be used to help build the largest Ronald McDonald House in the country, serving children and families in need.

**Note: Brittany Gorniewicz and Jeff Pawola are publicists with GolinHarris, official spokespeople for the McDonald’s All-American Games.

Originally published Wed, March 30, 2011

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Week: February 7, 2012
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
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Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.