Every March, 24 of the best high school basketball seniors in america get selected to play in the most prestigious All-Star tournament. In this article, we will have a preview of that game, which is the McDonald’s All-American Game. Click on a player whose name is hyperlinked for a full in-depth player profile on them. The game is Wednesday, March 29 at 7pm on ESPN.
We also feature 3 of the players, which are from our weekly high school basketball post, “PrepTalk”, published on Thursday’s.
SEXTON, YOUNG SHINE ON TUESDAY NIGHT
The McDonald’s game is set up very much like the NBA All-Star Break. The night before, there is a slam dunk and 3-point shooting contest. 2 players rose to the occasion and showed off their tremendous skills to the fans and their future college coaches.
Collin Sexton brought down the house with some amazing dunks as he wound up taking home the slam dunk trophy. Sexton is a PG who is headed to Alabama next year. Trae Young won the 3-point shooting contest. The PG is headed to Oklahoma next year and should be handed the keys right away to the Sooner’s offense. Make sure to keep an eye on these 2 great point guard’s now and in the future.
KENTUCKY IS LOOKING TO RELOAD
Long before the Wildcats lost a heart-breaking Elite 8 loss to North Carolina, there recruiting class was all but set. Head Coach John Calipari looks to have another #1 rated class for 2017. There are 4 players heading to UK next year that will be participating in the McDonald’s game. With the expected NBA departures of freshman stars De’Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo, and Malik Monk, Calipari is bringing in the reinforcements. This list doesn’t include Hamidou Diallo, who enrolled early at Kentucky and will be eligible next season. He would have been highly considered for the game as he was a 5-star recruit.
As usual, Kentucky doesn’t rebuild. They just reload.
3 TOP PLAYERS IN GAME ARE STILL UNSIGNED
3 of the top 10 prospects in the class of 2017 are still unsigned. The McDonald’s game will give these 3 players the ability to show off to a national television audience. Definitely keep an eye out for these 3 players.
#3: Trevon Duval PG IMG Academy (FL): Duval is the top unsigned player in the class of 2017. The former New Jersey product before transferring, has Seton Hall high on his list. Also in the running are Duke, Kansas, Arizona, and others. Duval has the chance to be a one and done candidate. He is electric.
#4 Mohamed Bamba C Westtown School (PA): Bamba is the top remaining big-board and the 2nd best center in this class. In the running for the 6’11” center are Duke, Kentucky, Michigan, and Texas.
#9 Kevin Knox F Tampa Catholic (FL): Knox has had a highly publicized recruiting, which is seemingly going to end in the near future as he decides where to go. The small forward is likely to end up at Kansas, in our opinion. We believe he will take over for Josh Jackson, as Jackson will leave Kansas for the NBA. Knox has dozens of offers from big-time programs.
2017 McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICANS
The McDonald’s All-American game is the most prestigious award and honor that a high school player can achieve. Being selected to participate in this game means that you are thought of as one of the best players in the United States. Numerous players who have played in this game have gone on to have phenomenal NBA careers. Here are the rosters for the 2017 McDonald’s All-American Game. The game will be played on March 29, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago.
Mohamed Bamba, 6-11, C, Westtown (Pa.) — Undecided
Wendell Carter Jr, 6-9, PG, Pace Academy (Atlanta) — Duke
Trevon Duval, 6-3, PG, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) — Undecided
Quade Green, 6-1, PG, Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) — Kentucky
Kevin Knox, 6-8, F, Tampa Catholic (Fla.) — Undecided
Nick Richards, 6-11, C, Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) — Kentucky
Mitchell Robinson, 6-11, Chalmette (La.) — Western Kentucky
Collin Sexton, 6-3, SG, Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) — Alabama
Lonnie Walker, 6-4, SG, Reading (Pa.) — Miami
P.J. Washington, 6-8, F, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)— Kentucky
Kris Wilkes, 6-7, F, North Central (Indianapolis) — UCLA
Jarred Vanderbilt 6-8, F, Victory Prep (Houston) — Kentucky
Brian Bowen, 6-7, F, La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) — Undecided
Troy Brown Jr., 6-7, F, Centennial (Las Vegas) — Oregon
Jaylen Hands, 6-3, PG, Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.) — UCLA
Jaren Jackson, 6-11, F, La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) — Michigan State
Brandon McCoy, 6-11, C, Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) — Undecided
Charles O’Bannon, 6-6, F, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) — USC
Michael Porter Jr., 6-10, F, Nathan Hale (Seattle)— Missouri
Billy Preston, 6-10, F, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) — Kansas
Gary Trent Jr., 6-5, SG, Prolific Prep Academy (Napa, Calif.) — Duke
M.J. Walker, 6-5, SG, Jonesboro (Ga.) — Undecided
Trae Young, 6-2, PG, Norman North (Okla.)— Oklahoma
FEATURED PLAYER: COLLIN SEXTON- #7 RANKED PLAYER IN CLASS OF 2017
Collin Sexton enjoyed perhaps the best summer of any player in America. The 6’3″ Senior SG/PG committed to Alabama and head coach Avery Johnson, who has to be completely ecstatic that he landed a top 10 recruit in the class of 2017. The Georgia native has all the tools to come right in and start for the Crimson Tide next year and be an impact player.
Right now, we consider Sexton more of a SG, however he is trying to make the transition to PG. If he can do this, it will raise his NBA draft stock in a few years. 6’3″ point guards are in higher demand than 6’3″ shooting guards. What stands out to us is his tremendous athletic ability. He is extremely fast and explosive. Sexton became a household name this summer when he played for Team USA (17U) and won a gold medal.
Avery Johnson and Alabama currently have a top 5 recruiting class for 2017. They recently landed 5-star prospect John Petty (SG), and 4-star recruit Alex Reese (PF). While those players are outstanding in their own right, Collin Sexton is the headliner. The Crimson Tide are clearly on the way up and Sexton will be the player counted on to lead the way. With his shooting, passing, and overall game, he will be in the running for National High School Player of the Year this season.
FEATURED PLAYER: TROY BROWN- #12 RANKED PLAYER IN CLASS OF 2017
Troy Brown is one of the more versatile players in the class of 2017. The 6’6′ Oregon commit is now considered a combo guard who has played SF in the past. He is trying to convert himself into a PG, which would raise his stock if he is able to handle the position. It will be fascinating to see what position he ends up at once he gets to Eugene next fall.
Brown shows nice natural passing ability and vision, which makes us think he might be able to handle the transition to PG. Ducks head coach Dana Altman seems to always have a stable of wings each year. It would be a nice thing for him to have a PG with the size of Brown.
Troy Brown is player who we believe has an abundance of potential that he hasn’t tapped into yet. We feel he is the perfect fit for Oregon as he falls in line with the play-makers and athletic players that Altman loves.
FEATURED PLAYER: KRIS WILKES- #18 RANKED PLAYER IN CLASS OF 2017
UCLA head Coach Steve Alford nailed last year’s recruiting class when he landed PG Lonzo Ball and PF T.J. Leaf. Both of those players were 5-star recruits who are playing extremely well as freshmen as the Bruins are in top 20. Alford has continued his momentum on the recruiting trail as he has gained a commitment from another 5-star recruit.
Kris Wilkes is a 6’7″ small forward from Indiana and somebody who we really like after watching his films. He combines 3 things that SF’s need in order to thrive, which are size, athletic ability, and length. He reminds us a little bit of Brandon Ingram when Ingram played at Duke last year. However, Ingram is a better shooter than Wilkes is at this stage.
Wilkes sports a nice shooting touch and is real fun to watch when playing in an open court game. He can play inside or outside, which makes him very dangerous at the high school level. Once he grows into his body and gains strength, we see him as a difference maker next season when he suits up for the Bruins.
We see a scenario where Wilkes comes in and starts right away next year. We expect Ball to leave for the NBA as he is a virtual lock to be a top 10 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Steve Alford had a rough 2015-16 season. However, with both Ball and Leaf and now with Wilkes, he seems to have righted the ship and looks to have the Bruins on the path to the top of the PAC-12. Kris Wilkes will help tremendously trying to achieve that goal.