Bolingbrook freshman Morgan Tuck, a first-team selection on the Sun-Times all-state team and Illinois' Ms. Basketball, didn't make the Associated Press' all-state team.
In fact, not a single member of the Bolingbrook and Whitney Young girls teams, which finished 1-2 in the Class 4A tournament, was named to the AP's all-state first team.
Whitney Young's newly crowned Class 4A boys state championship team didn't land a representative on the Sun-Times' 20-member All-Chicago Area squad.
And Seton point guard DJ Cooper, who led his team to a state championship and clearly was the best player in Class 2A, tied for the 10th and last spot on the AP's all-state second team.
The problem with all-area and all-state selections is politics, favoritism and ignorance often play bigger roles than objectivity, experience and common sense.
It comes down to who picks the players and what the criteria is. How many selectors see all of the candidates? How many times do you need to see a player to make an objective evaluation? Do you choose a player based solely on statistics or the number of college scholarship offers or the caliber of competition or the rankings of recruiting services?
The Mr. and Ms. Basketball selections, sponsored by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and run by the Chicago Tribune, were mishandled this year when the Tribune failed to mail out ballots and the Illinois High School Association sent out a mass e-mail. Only 134 ballots were cast for Ms. Basketball.
According to a Sun-Times survey, in the last 25 years, the newspaper hasn't named a player to its All-Chicago Area tam who has averaged fewer than 10 points per game.
The IBCA named Schaumburg's Cully Payne to its all-state team. But Payne, who was a legitimate candidate for Mr. Basketball after his performance at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament in December, missed the rest of the season with an injury.
And Glenbrook South's Jack Cooley, who is committed to Notre Dame, was named to the Tribune's second all-state team after missing five weeks with an injury.
In football, Tom Lemming, Rivals, Scout and ESPN annually haggle over who are the top 250 prospects in the nation. Each has a system for evaluating talent. They agree on some, disagree on others. How is one player rated No. 13 in the nation in one survey and No. 213 in another? Or No. 3 in one survey and No. 134 in another?
It all makes for fodder and good debate on Internet message boards. College coaches argue that some scouts and analysts who are a frequent presence at exposure camps and tournaments don't have enough expertise to thoroughly and objectively evaluate players.
Message boards are filled with contributors who think they know more than analysts or scouts or even college coaches. They are eager to tout their expertise, their unimpeachable sources, their unrivaled knowledge. So whom do you trust and whom do you believe?