Breaking Down Top Players in 2019 McDonald's All American Game

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2019

FORT MYERS, FL - DECEMBER 21:  Cole Anthony #3 of Oak Hill Academy in action against Imhotep Charter High School during the City Of Palms Classic at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on December 21, 2018 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Parity won't exactly be the theme of the 2019 McDonald's All American Game.

When 24 of the nation's best high school players take the floor at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Wednesday, one of the two teams will likely be more favored to win.

That squad is the East team, which will have five of the six top-ranked prospects on the ESPN 100: Cole Anthony (No. 2, uncommitted), Vernon Carey (No. 3, Duke), Isaiah Stewart (No. 4, Washington), Anthony Edwards (No. 5, uncommitted) and Jaden McDaniels (No. 6, uncommitted).

Don't feel bad for the West team, though. They'll be led by the No. 1 player in the country in James Wiseman (No. 1, Memphis).

Noticeably absent will be one of the most intriguing and highest-ranked talents (No. 13) in the class,  LaMelo Ball. He wasn't nominated, but he'll still be missed.

The 42nd annual classic will still be entertaining, though, as 13 of the best college programs will be represented.

Here's a look at the top three players who will be on hand for the storied exhibition.


Cole Anthony

Rumor has it the uncommitted Cole Anthony is headed to North Carolina.

If that's true, Tarheels head coach Roy Williams should be over the moon to land the prized point guard recruit out of Oak Hill Academy.

The 6'3" combo guard is known for being a lethal two-way player with an explosive first step. He's athletic, quick, relentless and not afraid of the big moment—in fact, he relishes it.

Anthony is also great at creating off the bounce and attacking the rim. He's also drastically improved his outside shot.

The Heels missed out on Keion Brooks (No. 23) out of La Lumiere School, but if they land Anthony, they'll still have a decent recruiting class.

The 18-year-old comes from basketball royalty as his father is 11-year NBA veteran Greg Anthony, and the teenager projects to be a future lottery pick.

Anthony likely won't stay in Chapel Hill for more than one year, so UNC should relish his competitive fire and above-the-rim showmanship before he takes his talents to the league.


James Wiseman

Based on his decision to play for Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway, James Wiseman puts a lot of stock in loyalty.

The first 7-footer to be ranked No. 1 in the country announced he was headed to play for the Tigers in November, and it didn't come as much of a shock because he'd played for Hardaway's AAU team and Memphis East High School in Tennessee.

The versatile lefty led East to a state championship last season under Hardaway as a junior and continues to dominate as a senior.

This year, the 17-year-old is averaging 25.5 points, 14.3 rebounds and a whopping 5.4 blocks per game.

The recent Gatorade Player of the Year winner is a shot-blocking machine with an intimidating fervor on defense. He is Bill Russell-esque in the way he can take over as a defensive anchor.

Memphis Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. presented Wiseman with the award and was impressed by the Tigers' recruit.

"The way he plays the game—he plays like a team player," Jackson told Slam magazine's Isaiah De Los Santos. "He's been so good at if someone triple-teams him or doubles him, he's able to kick it out to his players. And he's able to dominate inside and outside as a versatile player himself. He does so well at all of that stuff."

Memphis will get a boost as a basketball powerhouse with Wiseman in the fold, and fans will enjoy the way he runs the floor, scores at will and rejects opponents' shots with impunity.

Hardaway has already made a name for himself as a player and high school coach. Now, with Wiseman committed and ready to make an indelible impact, he'll make a name for himself as a college coach, too.


Vernon Carey Jr.

The rich just keep getting richer.

That tried-and-true aphorism applies to Duke, as they landed five-star center Vernon Carey Jr. just one year after successfully recruiting Cam Reddish, RJ Barrett and the explosive future No. 1 NBA draft pick, Zion Williamson.

"The reason why I chose Duke is Coach K, just the recruiting class they're bringing in this year, Wendell Moore and Boogie Ellis, and hopefully some guys can come with me," Carey told SportsCenter. "They see me as a positionless player, they said I can be anywhere on the court. That worked well with me."

The 6'10" center out of Fort Lauderdale's University School is a big talent, both figuratively and literally.

Weighing in at 275 pounds, he'll be able to bully opponents on the low block and finish strong or show off his mobility with his soft touch around the basket.

As the son of former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Vernon Carey, the 18-year-old is a natural-born athlete, who will have to improve his offensive skills under coach Mike Krzyzewski while he's in Durham.

Carey is a rebounding machine who can stroke it from deep. There's no doubt the Cameron Crazies will have plenty to root for with the addition of the No. 3-ranked big, who will pair well with the tough and defensive-minded small forward Wendell Moore.


Follow Maurice Bobb on Twitter, @ReeseReport

Recruiting information obtained from 247Sports


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