The most coveted prize is still unclaimed. Andrew Wiggins, considered the best basketball prospect in the class of 2013, will receive plenty of attention Wednesday night during the McDonalds All-American game in Chicago.
Wiggins, a 6-foot-7 forward from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, has offered no indication this week of where he might play in college. North Carolina is still in the running. So is Florida State, Kansas and Kentucky.
Coaches from those schools will likely have to wait at least until the middle of April to learn Wiggins destination. College basketballs spring signing period begins April 17 and ends May 15.
The future of the sport, though, will be on display Wednesday in Chicago at the United Center, which is hosting the annual McDonalds All-American game. Duke will have two players in the game Matt Jones and Jabari Parker, both of the West team. Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks both of the East team are bound for UNC. And Anthony Cat Barber, also of the East, will play at N.C. State.
Heres a closer look at each of those five players, what to watch from them , and what they might bring when they arrive in college during the summer:
Anthony Barber, PG, 6-2/165
High school/hometown: Hampton High/Hampton, Va.
College: N.C. State
Rank (according to ESPN.com): No. 6 at his position, No. 23 overall
What to watch: Barbers nickname of Cat is fitting given his quickness and agility. Hes best known for his speed, and for creating opportunities in transition. The McDonalds All-American game never includes much defense, so this should be an ideal stage for Barber to showcase his quickness and his ability to lead a fast break.
At the next level: N.C. State has no shortage of holes to fill, what with the departure of five of its top six players. Lorenzo Brown, the point guard who effectively led the Wolfpack offense during the past two years, is foregoing the final year of his eligibility to enter the NBA draft. Tyler Lewis, who played in this game last year, showed some promise during his limited chances, but Barber is likely to have a chance to play a significant role early on.
Isaiah Hicks, PF, 6-9/205
High school/hometown: Webb High/Oxford
College: North Carolina
Rank: No. 8 at his position, No. 17 overall
What to watch: Hicks scored 30 points, had 34 rebounds and blocked seven shots in Webbs 73-70 victory against Statesville in the 3A state title game last month. If that performance wasnt the most dominant in a North Carolina state championship game, its at least in the conversation. Hicks best attribute might be his versatility. Hes as likely Wednesday night to impress observers with his shot-blocking ability and rebounding as he is with his scoring.
At the next level: Hicks will have a chance to make an immediate impact at UNC. The Tar Heels frontcourt during the 2012-13 season lacked a reliable scorer in the paint, a consistent rebounder and defensive stopper. Hicks can help in all of those areas.
Matt Jones, SG, 6-5/198
High school/hometown: DeSoto High/DeSoto, Texas
Rank: No. 5 at his position, No. 32 overall
What to watch: Jones has perhaps as much potential as any player to get on a hot streak from the perimeter Wednesday night. His ability to shoot stands out, and if he plays a memorable role in the McDonalds game it will likely be because he took advantage of the games usually-lax defense and made some open shots from behind the 3-point line.
At the next level: Jones will enter college with a luxury that several other McDonalds All-Americans wont have: Hell have a chance to grow and develop behind a more seasoned, experienced player. Jones is likely to serve as a backup to Rasheed Sulaimon next season, though Jones talent as a shooter could earn him some time in the rotation.
Kennedy Meeks, C, 6-10/285
High school/hometown: West Charlotte High/Charlotte
College: North Carolina
Rank: No. 4 at his position, No. 41 overall
What to watch: Meeks has drawn comparisons to Sean May, and not just because of his size. May, who helped lead UNC to the 2005 national championship, was known for his touch and his soft hands. Meeks is known for those things, too, though he reportedly struggled in workouts this week.
At the next level: Like Hicks, Meeks will be a welcome addition to the Tar Heels frontcourt. Hes not the most overpowering center, though, and likely will need to develop stronger interior moves. Quickness could be an issue too for Meeks, who will be asked to keep up in coach Roy Williams up-tempo system.
Jabari Parker, SF, 6-8/240
High school/hometown: Simeon Career Academy/Chicago
Rank: No. 2 at his position, No. 2 overall
What to watch: If this were an actual game and not a dunk-filled exhibition, wed say everything. Parkers skill set is that varied, and hes adept at playing defense and passing as he is creating highlights at the rim. But those highlights are what people remember most about the McDonalds game, and Parker, who was considered the top prospect in this class until Andrew Wiggins reclassified as a senior, is likely to create his share of memorable plays.
At the next level: Its nearly a certainty that Parker starts from day one at Duke. The Blue Devils lose departed seniors Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee, but the arrival of Parker and the return of a strong supporting cast is likely to make Duke the preseason favorite in the ACC.
Carter: 919-829-8944 Twitter: @_andrewcarter