Spring all-star basketball games are virtually a rite of passage for the nation's -- and individual state's -- brightest stars. The McDonald's All-American game has long been established as a cultural institution in and of itself, with the Jordan Brand Classic and other top flight showcases bursting on to the national scene and broadening the geographic and calendar spread of the spring all-star circuit.
Amidst all the hype and hoopla, at least one prominent college coach is lashing out against the trend to expand event offerings, with University of Georgia head man Mark Fox complaining about the spate of "classics" to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Michael Carvell.
"I hate those games," Fox told the Journal-Constitition. "The hard thing about those all-star games is that so many times, the guy who rebounds the ball ends up shooting it. Well, he ends up shooting it or throwing it out of bounds to the cheerleaders."
There was a distinct reason why Fox was so focused on the 2011 spring games, with his most highly touted incoming recruit featuring in the circuit's two biggest events; the McDonald's All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic.
Greenville (Ga.) High star Kentavious Caldwell-Pope took part in both those games, yet had little impact on their outcomes. Nor did Fox feel like his future player gained significant experience on the court in the contests. Caldwell-Pope scored six points but missed all three of his three-point attempts in the McDonald's Game, then added four points while fouling out of the Jordan Brand Classic.
Yet even in his disapproval of the Spring games' primary thrust, Fox defended his incoming player's selection to the games, and the overall experience of traveling to different parts of the country to feature his talents.
"I do think it has been a great experience for him. He has represented himself and the state of Georgia well. He has shown to be a versatile player who can score a lot of different ways. He's a great, great young player. He deserves to be in those all-star games."