In case you were unaware, had forgotten, or have perhaps been visiting a parallel dimension recently (like that new show on Starz, Counterpart – you should check it out, it’s pretty dope), I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that Darius Bazley will be competing in the McDonald’s All-America game tonight.
The 6-foot-9 forward from Ohio who originally picked Ohio State before backing away from the Buckeyes and ultimately signing with Syracuse is the program’s first McDonald’s All-American since Malachi Richardson in 2015.
And while it’ll be cool to see the Orange represented again in the biggest high school all-star game of them all, it’s important to note that you can take absolutely nothing away from these games. Bazley may score 30, or he may score 0, but please remember that it really doesn’t matter.
I realize that should be obvious, but I still recall fans moaning and groaning when Richardson was the only player in 2015 who failed to score in the game. All-star games are quite simply (basically) impossible to use as an evaluative tool. They just aren’t set up to give you (yes, YOU… Steve) a realistic look at how good a basketball player any particular kid is.
This is a game that can be dictated entirely by a few guys who want to show off on the big stage and make a name for themselves heading into their freshman year, and that’s perfectly fine. But it will give you absolutely zero sense of how good a player really is. You’re going to see a lot of bricks being thrown up, virtually zero defense being played, and all the dunk attempts in the world. Particularly for a forward like Bazley, that kind of game doesn’t necessarily lend itself to showcasing his talents.
That said, it’ll be fun to watch what he can do, because one thing I’m sure of is that at least once tonight we’ll see Bazley snatch a rebound and attempt to take it coast-to-coast for a monster dunk, Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, and Carmelo Anthony-style.
The boy’s game starts at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, but tune into the girl’s game, too, and check out Syracuse women’s basketball recruit Emily Engstler at 5:00 p.m. That game is on ESPN2, while the guy’s game is on regular old ESPN.