Here's the beef
By the Numbers: McDonald's has impact on NCAA champ
Posted: Wednesday March 24, 1999 08:42 PM
By Ryan Hunt, CNN/SI
If you want to win a national championship, start going to McDonald's.
At least that seems to be Mike Krzyzewski's philosophy.
Since 1979, every national champion has had at least one alumnus of the McDonald's High School All-American Game, the high school all-star game that began play in 1977.
That doesn't bode well for Ohio State, the only team in the Final Four without a McDonald's All-American. Connecticut, meanwhile, has two (Khalid El-Amin and Richard Hamilton), while Mateen Cleaves is Michigan State's only representative.
Duke, however, has seven players who once played in the high school all-star game, including Elton Brand, Trajan Langdon and Corey Maggette. In fact, the only current Blue Devils (who receive consistent playing time) that weren't honored by the fast-food chain are William Avery and Chris Carrawell.
Even assistant coaches Quin Snyder (1985) and Johnny Dawkins (1982) played in the game. That's a real extra value meal.
If Duke wins the title, the seven former McDonald's All Americans would break the record of six, held by the 1993 and 1982 North Carolina teams and the 1991 Duke squad.
The '93 Tar Heels, for the record, could have had seven on the active roster, but Serge Zwikker redshirted.
Not coincidentally, the five schools that have won multiple titles in the past 20 years represent five of the top eight schools with the most McDonald's All-Americans, including the top three.
Entering this year, North Carolina is the school with the most former McDonald's All-Americans with 39. Duke is second with 26 and Kentucky is third with 21. Indiana is seventh with 17 and Louisville is eighth with 13.
Some notable McDonald's stars who went on to win championships in college include Grant Hill (Duke, 1991 and 1992), Patrick Ewing (Georgetown, 1984), Michael Jordan (UNC, 1982), Isiah Thomas (Indiana, 1981) and Magic Johnson (Michigan State, 1979).
Looking at the future, though, Duke already has three players in the game -- Jason Williams, Casey Sanders and Mike Dunleavy Jr. -- and may well add a fourth. Kentucky is the only other school with more than one, with two future Wildcats already in the fold.
Talk about beefing up your roster.
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