2019 McDonald's All-American Game Stars Who Will Make an Instant Impact in CBB

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2019

2019 McDonald's All-American Game Stars Who Will Make an Instant Impact in CBB

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    Two dozen of the best college basketball prospects have convened in Atlanta for Wednesday's 2019 McDonald's All-American Game, and fans should get familiar with these high-profile recruits.

    Next season, several players will be leading brand-name programs in their pursuit of a national championship.

    While plenty of these prospects will make a notable impact on their college team in 2019-20, we've highlighted the five players who are most likely to make the biggest immediate contributions based on their projected roles and their respective teams' depth charts. 

    You won't find uncommitted players such as Cole Anthony here, since it's currently unclear where they'll be playing next season.

Nico Mannion, PG

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    Recruiting ranking: No. 10

    Status: Signed with Arizona

    Projected role

    Arizona scuffled its way to a 17-15 record in 2018-19, in large part because of an inconsistent offense. The Wildcats ended the season ranked 244th nationally in assist rate.

    Nico Mannion could change that in 2019-20.

    In addition to scoring 30.4 points per game as a senior at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, he averaged 6.2 assists, per MaxPreps. Over the past three seasons, Mannion dished 5.5 assists per game.

    Freshman guard Brandon Williams will return to Arizona next season, but the departure of senior guard Justin Coleman provides Mannion with a massive opportunity in 2019-20.

Isaiah Stewart, C

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    Recruiting ranking: No. 6

    Status: Committed to Washington

    Projected role

    Washington is hoping Isaiah Stewart can address a sizable void.

    Despite making the NCAA tournament, the 2018-19 Huskies ranked 311th nationally in total rebound percentage and ceded the fifth-highest percentage of offensive rebounds to opponents. That weakness proved costly all season long, and No. 1 seed North Carolina outrebounded Washington 44-19 in the Huskies' round-of-32 loss.

    It gets worse. The Dawgs must replace senior forward Noah Dickerson, who averaged a team-best 7.5 rebounds this season.

    Stewart should be a starter from day one, and his primary task will be strengthening Washington's presence on the glass.

Vernon Carey Jr., C

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    Recruiting ranking: No. 3

    Status: Committed to Duke

    Projected role

    The Blue Devils will have to drastically revamp their rotation next season. Duke is certain to lose freshmen Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish to the NBA draft, and freshman point guard Tre Jones is likely to leave as well. 

    That opens the door for Vernon Carey Jr. to make a major impact.

    "They see me as a positionless player and said I can play anywhere on the court," the 5-star center said of the Blue Devils' recruiting pitch, per Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated.

    According to MaxPreps, Carey averaged 21.7 points per game while shooting 63.2 percent from the floor as a senior at University High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He also averaged 9.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 blocks.

Anthony Edwards, SG

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    Recruiting ranking: No. 2

    Status: Committed to Georgia

    Projected role

    The highest-rated commit in program history, Anthony Edwards could help Georgia forget its worst season in 14 years. Tom Crean's club mustered an 11-21 record this year, going 2-16 in SEC play.

    However, it's unfair to place the weight of the program on Edwards' shoulders.

    Second-team All-SEC honoree Nicolas Claxton averaged a team-high 13.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks as a sophomore. He'll return in the frontcourt along with Rayshaun Hammonds, who ranked second on the team with 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

    However, the Dawgs desperately need a playmaker in the backcourt. Edwards' ability to create off the dribble as a scorer and passer will be pivotal for Georgia to move past its poor 2018-19 campaign.

James Wiseman, C

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    Recruiting ranking: No. 1

    Status: Committed to Memphis

    Projected role

    Recently named both the Morgan Wooten and Gatorade national player of the year, James Wiseman has no shortage of hype. Since he's heading to his hometown program that has struggled recently, he's being viewed as a savior.

    Wiseman averaged 25.8 points, 14.8 rebounds and 5.5 blocks this season and is joining head coach Penny Hardaway at Memphis.

    Hardaway's first season at Memphis ended with a 22-14 record and an NIT appearance, but the Tigers are losing five seniors to graduation. While freshman guards Tyler Harris and Alex Lomax will return, the roster needs a focal point.

    Wiseman figures to be that centerpiece.


    Recruiting information via 247Sports. Statistics courtesy of KenPom.com or Sports Reference, unless otherwise noted.

    Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR.


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