Knee-Jerk Reactions After 2018 McDonald's All-American Game


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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The 41st annual McDonald’s All-American Game took place Wednesday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

    As the college basketball world awaits the Final Four on Saturday, the annual showcase of the nation’s top high school talent gave us a glimpse into who’s next on the college hardwood.

    This year’s event was a high-scoring affair, with the West topping the East, 131-128. In essence, it was all about showing off some of the most exciting high school players in the country.

    Let’s walk through a few knee-jerk reactions from the game.

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    E.J. Montgomery

    E.J. MontgomeryKelly Kline/Getty Images

    While most of the players who participated in Wednesday night’s game have already committed to a college program for next year, three players remain uncommitted.

    Romeo Langford (No. 5 in the 247Sports composite rankings) was the second-leading scorer on the East squad with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-8 from beyond the arc. He has narrowed his college search to Indiana, Kansas and Vanderbilt.

    E.J. Montgomery (No. 12 in the 247Sports composite rankings) tallied 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and pulled down five rebounds. His recruitment is still wide-open, as he’s considering offers from Duke, Georgetown, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.

    Jordan Brown (No. 16 in the 247Sports composite rankings) was the standout performer among the unsigned trio, dumping in 26 points on 13-of-19 shooting. The 6’10” center likely will be playing somewhere in the Pac-12, although he has also taken visits to St. John’s and Louisiana-Lafayette.

    Wherever those three players decide to suit up next year, it will undoubtedly help to shape the college basketball landscape.

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    Darius Garland

    Darius GarlandKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Prior to this year, Vanderbilt never had a McDonald’s All-American. On Wednesday, the Commodores had two, and that number could climb even higher before the 2018-19 season starts.  

    Darius Garland (No. 14 in the 247Sports composite rankings) scored just two points on Wednesday night, but he showed off his floor-general skills while dishing out a game-high 11 assists. Simi Shittu (No. 10 in the 247Sports composite rankings) was also selected to play in the game, although he didn’t suit up as he continues to recover from the torn ACL he suffered in January.

    Throw in the commitment of guard Aaron Nesmith (No. 64 in the 247Sports composite rankings), and we’re potentially talking about a program-altering group getting ready to step foot on campus in Nashville, Tennessee. Both Langford and Montgomery are still considering Vandy as well.

    The Commodores scuffled their way to a 12-20 record this past season, but things are looking awfully bright for head coach Bryce Drew’s squad moving forward.

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    R.J. Barrett

    R.J. BarrettGregory Payan/Associated Press

    The Duke Blue Devils could wind up losing the top five scorers from a team that won 29 games and reached the Elite Eight.

  • Marvin Bagley III: 21.0 PPG
  • Grayson Allen: 15.5 PPG
  • Gary Trent Jr.: 14.5 PPG
  • Wendell Carter Jr.: 13.5 PPG
  • Trevon Duval: 10.3 PPG

Allen is a senior, and Bagley declared for the NBA draft Wednesday, where he’ll be under consideration for one of the first few picks. Meanwhile, Carter (No. 10), Duval (No. 35) and Trent (No. 43) all earned a spot on the latest NBA draft big board from Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman at the beginning of the month.

That’s a lot of talent to replace, even if it’s just Allen, Bagley and Carter who wind up leaving.

The Blue Devils are still in good shape, though, as evidenced by the four players in action on Wednesday:

A lot of talent might be moving on to the NBA, but don’t expect any lull in Durham, North Carolina, next year.

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    Nassir Little

    Nassir LittleKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The foursome of Duke commits—including the top three players in the class—were perhaps the biggest story heading into the McDonald’s All-American Game.

    But when the dust settled, a rival North Carolina commit wound up stealing the show.

    Nassir Little, the No. 6 prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings, took home MVP honors after scoring a game-high 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting.

    The 6’7″ wing has a full arsenal of skills at his disposal, and he should make an immediate impact for the Tar Heels this coming fall.

    It will take a lot to keep pace with the Blue Devils’ vaunted recruiting class, but North Carolina came out on top for one night, at least.



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