2023 McDonald’s All American Game: East Prospects


The East won 109-106 in the most competitive McDonald’s All-American Game we’ve seen in a while. They dominated the boards (48-33) and put together a big second half to seal the deal. The game also seemed more competitive and organized than some past years, making it better for evaluation purposes.

DJ Wagner 6’4 165 PG/SG – Kentucky

Wagner was the East’s MVP with a huge second half, where he scored all his 19 points. His 3PT shooting was on point, going 3-7 from downtown, hitting both off the catch and dribble, including a step-back in the face of the defender who didn’t get his hand up quick enough to contest on one play. He uses screens well and has as much confidence driving and finishing with left-hand as he does his right. He’s not super explosive but got above the rim a few times late in the game for some fastbreak points. He hit two clutch free throws in the last 30 seconds of the game to extend the lead and was more effective scoring than facilitating in this one with 3 assists to 4 turnovers. Wagner also contributed defensively with 2 blocks and 2 steals.

Aaron Bradshaw 7’2 210 C – Kentucky

Bradshaw’s (pictured) faceup game showed positive improvement over his senior year. The confidence was evident, hitting a deep two with his foot on the line shortly after subbing into the game. He drew a lot of fouls and made the West pay, going 10-13 on free throws. He still needs to work on his offensive game in the low post as he’s not too effective putting the ball on the floor yet and still must get much stronger with the ball. He was, however, very effective on the glass with 8 rebounds (6 offensive) and converting those offensive boards into points at a high rate. Bradshaw’s 18 points was a big boost for the East and a big reason why they got the win.

Aden Holloway 6’1 155 PG – Auburn

Holloway scored 15 points on an efficient 4-7 shooting. While he’s dangerous off the catch, he’s not reliant on triple threat as he showed advanced change of direction, getting shifty with the ball, sometimes getting to the rim after breaking down the defense or utilizing his floater. He also showed his ability to shoot off of his crossover in the closing seconds of the first quarter, hitting a deep 3 to beat the buzzer. He knocked down 2-4 from 3PT range and drew a lot of fouls to go 5-7 on free throws. Holloway also came away with 3 steals on the defensive end.

Stephon Castle 6’6 205 PG/SG – Uconn

Castle was never in a hurry but was effective and efficient, scoring 13 points on 5-6 FG. He showed his ability to create off the dribble and score in the half-court throughout the game with his ability to sell his crossover and penetrated into the paint at a high rate. He knows when to play strong in the paint, scoring on an and-one on one play and an aggressive power layup on another in the first-half. He can also finish with finesse when appropriate, scoring at different angles while contorting his body in the air. He shot 1-2 from beyond the arc with his make coming off a ball screen from NBA range.

Justin Edwards 6’7 180 SF – Kentucky

Edwards did a good job of letting the game come to him and scored in a few different ways along the way. Whether it was tipping in a miss or penetrating in semi-transition settings, he found ways to score in the paint. He also showed his catch and shoot ability, knocking down a 3 and another jumper with his foot on the line, both coming from a pass from future teammate, DJ Wagner. Edwards finished with 11 points on 5-9 shooting and 5 rebounds in the victory.

Cody Williams 6’8 180 SF – Colorado

Williams flashed his speed and versatility on a number of occasions. He didn’t have any luck with his outside shots, missing both 3PT attempts, but he was good off the dribble, taking Ron Holland off the bounce early in the game to finish with a two-hand jam in the half-court. He played hard and drew a lot of fouls, connecting on 4 of his 6 attempts from the line. Williams scored 8 points and didn’t contribute too heavily in other categories with 2 rebounds, an assist, and a block.

Elmarko Jackson 6’4 195 PG – Kansas

Jackson added 7 points while going 3-6 from the floor. With good speed and strength, he can get to the rim and takes contact well. He got to the rim on one play to finish with a layup and showed his athleticism on a wide-open uncontested dunk on another. He recorded 1 assist to 3 turnovers, with 2 of those turnovers coming on plays where he threw the ball right to the defender while trying to make a cross-court pass, failing to read the defense. He showed his perimeter shooting after a jab step, nailing the 3 to take advantage of the given space.

Sean Stewart 6’8 230 PF – Duke

Stewart played with good energy in his time on the floor with 6 points. He scored on a put-back after an offensive rebound on one play and ran the floor to catch a bullet pass, popping off the floor without taking any time to load up, quickly rising up for the jam on another. Shooting and limited scoring range has been Stewart’s weakness, so it was nice to see him find the bottom of the net on a deep midrange jumper off the dribble, as Brandon Garrison was backing pedaling and couldn’t contest. He maked the defense pay for not putting a body on him when crashing the offensive glass and is a strong rebounder overall, coming away with 8. He showed his quick leaping ability on a clutch block on Isaiah Collier’s layup, leading to an outlet for a DJ Wagner dunk for the final go-ahead bucket.

Kwame Evans 6’9 200 PF – Oregon

Evans scored his only field goal on a coast to coast right-hand (weak hand) and-one layup. He shot 1-3 from the floor, missing a midrange jumper and a 3PT attempt. His stroke from the free throw line looked smooth, knocking down all three attempts. He also pulled down 3 rebounds to go along with his 5 points.

Matas Buzelis 6’11 190 SG/SF – G-League Ignite

For how high caliber he is, even among the McDonald’s All-Americans, Buzelis had a quiet game with 4 points and 3 rebounds. Both of his baskets came on offensive rebounds, throwing down a two-hand dunk on one and a simple put-back layup on another. Buzelis is a skilled perimeter player with great size, but he didn’t get to show it in this setting. Being stronger with the ball will be a point of emphasis next year in the G-League, as he’s forced to pick up his dribble after contact at times, eliminating his wiggle and efficiency with the ball.

Xavier Booker 6’10 205 C – Michigan State

Booker scored his 3 points in the first five minutes of the game. He knocked down a free throw and had a tip-in to score the East’s first field goal of the game. Defensively, the ball gets past him a bit often and he can look to get lower. Booker also grabbed 3 rebounds for the East. Booker looks good running the floor and has great length, but needs time to develop his feel for the game.

Mackenzie Mgbako 6’8 210 PF – Duke

This wasn’t Mgbako’s game, going scoreless and missing both of his shot attempts. He missed bad on a forced deep 2 and just missed on a good look from 3 later in the game. Mgbako is definitely a better player than he showed but everyone has bad games. The Duke commit also recorded 2 rebounds and 2 turnovers in the game.


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