If the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has proven anything thus far, it's that a team doesn't need a cast of McDonald's All-Americans to be successful.
Upstarts Cornell, Washington, Northern Iowa and Saint Mary's have all pulled off two upset wins apiece through the first two rounds of the tournament and those four teams have only one McDonald's All-American between them.
In fact, Washington is the only one of the four to ever sign a McDonald's player. The Huskies had Spencer Hawes and Jon Brockman, both of whom made their way to the NBA with the Sacramento Kings, and they currently have freshman Abdul Gaddy on the roster. Cornell, Northern Iowa and Saint Mary's have never signed a McDonald's All-American in the 30-year history of the game.
So where exactly did these guys come from? The rosters of all four teams are made up of players who had success at the local and state level, but were not necessarily ranked among the elite players in the country. Here's a look at the major contributors on each of the four teams and where they began their basketball careers.
Ryan Wittman, Eden Prairie (Minn.) - The son of former NBA player Randy Wittman, the senior averages 17.8 points per game at Cornell and was a second-team all-state player by the Pioneer Press in 2006.
Louis Dale, Altamont (Birmingham, Ala.) - Dale led Altamont to a deep run in the Alabama 2A state playoffs in 2006 and was named to the Class 2A all-state second team by the Alabama Sportswriters Association.
Jeff Foote, Spencer-Van Etten (Spencer, N.Y.) - Foote did not receive any all-state honors while attending the Class C school in New York, mainly due to a large growth spurt between his sophomore and senior season. Foote, now 7 feet tall, grew eight inches during his final two years of high school.
Chris Wroblewski, Highland Park (Ill.) - The MVP of the league, Wroblewski was also a third-team all-state choice by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association after averaging 17.9 points per game.
Jon Jaques, Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) - Was the second-leading scorer for Harvard-Westlake during his senior year in 2006 with 13.8 points per game.
Quincy Pondexter, San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) - Played on the same team as former Stanford standouts Robin and Brook Lopez that fell in the Southern California semifinals. Pondexter was named the 2006 state Division IV Player of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports after averaging 23 points and seven rebounds per game. The son of former NBA player Roscoe Pondexter.
Isaiah Thomas, South Kent School (Conn.) - Thomas was the Washington 4A state player of the year as a junior, but he transfered to South Kent in Connecticut for his senior year.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning, South Kent School (Conn.) - Originally from London, Bryan-Amaning played three years at South Kent and was the Gatorade State Player of the Year as a senior, when he averaged 20 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
Venoy Overton, Franklin (Seattle, Wash.) - Overton led Franklin to a No. 1 ranking for much of his senior year before the team eventually finished third in the 4A state tournament. Overton earned Class 4A State Player of the Year honors.
Justin Holiday, Campbell Hall (North Hollywood, Calif.) - Holiday led Campbell Hall to a Division IV state championship and a 33-1 record. He averaged 19.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game and played alongside younger brother Jrue, who is now playing in the NBA.
Elston Turner, Elkins (Missouri City, Texas) - The son of former NBA player Elston Turner, the younger Turner played three years at Roseville before transferring to Elkins. He earned first-team all-state honors by the Texas Basketball Coaches Association and was second team All-Greater Houston by the Houston Chronicle.
Abdul Gaddy, Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.) - The lone McDonald's All-American among the four teams, Gaddy was the Washington Class 4A State Player of the Year last season.
Scott Suggs, Washington (Mo.) - Named Mr. Basketball for 2008 by the state coaches association after averaging 22.5 points per game.
Jordan Eglseder, Marquette (Bellevue, Iowa) - The 7-1 center was a first-team all-state player in the 1A division (the second-smallest division in Iowa) and averaged 25 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Adam Koch, Ashwaubenon (Green Bay, Wis.) - Led team to a 24-1 record and was called by one coach "the best player in the state since Tony Bennett." Earned first-team all-state honors.
Kwadzo Ahelegbe, Tartan (Oakdale, Minn.)- Named first-team all-state in Minnesota after averaging 21 points per game as a senior.
Ali Farokhmanesh, Iowa City West (Iowa) - Named the co-MVP of his conference as a senior, Farokhmanesh was also a first-team all-state player in 2006 in the state's largest enrollment classification.
Johnny Moran, Jacobs (Algonquin, Ill.) - Rated one of the top 50 players in the state of Illinois as a senior by the Chicago Sun Times.
Omar Samhan, San Ramon Valley (Danville, Calif.) - The East Bay Athletic MVP, Samhan averaged 21.9 points and 13.1 rebounds his senior year to also earn All-Metro honors and Contra Costa Player of the Year honors by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Mickey McConnell, Dobson (Mesa, Ariz.) - McConnell earned all-state honorable mention honors from the Arizona Republic as a junior and senior.
Matthew Dellavedova, Australia - Prepped in Australia.
Wayne Hunter, Valley (Sacramento, Calif.) - Hunter earned all-state honors by Cal-Hi Sports as a senior at Valley, but he attended prep school at Bridgton Academy before signing with St. Mary's.
Ben Allen, Australia - Prepped in Australia.
Clint Steindl, Australia - Prepped in Australia.
Tim Harris, Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.) - Earned second-team All-Mercury News honors last year.