Thoughts On Cole Anthony, Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and More in the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game
September 6, 2019
by Alan Lu
I decided to take the time to watch the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game to get a glimpse of who might be the top prospects for the 2020 NBA Draft, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via High School Basketball. There are several names that people have been projecting to fight for the top spot such as Georgia’s Anthony Edwards and Memphis’ James Wiseman, but to me, North Carolina’s incoming freshman point guard, Cole Anthony was the most impressive out of all of the players that performed here on this day, as he was also named the game’s MVP. Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared in this particular contest.
North Carolina’s incoming freshman point guard, Cole Anthony showed a wide array of impressive skills, as he is a smart, cerebral playmaker that possesses very good defensive skills.
He is a very good playmaker that will often push the pace to find teammates in transition to set up scores, and he also can throw lob passes to cutters, as well as continuously find open teammates to set up scores for them. He also is a solid athlete that can subtly shift into top gear, as he has a patented floater that he can use to score off the dribble, and he also managed to score on a couple of high-flying dunks off drives in transition.
Anthony also is a terrific defender, as he has good leaping ability, quickness, and anticipation skills to block shots, and he also does a great job of jumping passes to get steals. He’s a very active defender that will make offensive possessions difficult on his opponents. However, sometimes he can have lapses every once in a while, as he sagged too far off his man to allow a pull-up three score once, and he also got beat down court, which caused him to foul his man in transition another time, but he will need to work on his jump shot the most. He missed all of his three-point shots, and Anthony will have to improve his ability to space and stretch the floor so that it could allow him to be an even more potent offensive player at the collegiate level.
Right now, Cole Anthony is a smart, talented player that could be the best player in the 2020 draft. He does almost everything well, and he has a knack for making great passes and defensive plays in games. Right now, he would rate as the best point guard prospect, as he is a player that can make a sizeable impact in almost every way.
Georgia’s Anthony Edwards had a fairly solid showing, as he was able to do a little bit of everything to help the East get the win on this day.
Edwards did a good job of scoring on quick drives to the hoop. He has good footwork and patience to maneuver past defenders, and he also was able to score on a couple of emphatic two-handed dunks on drives in transition. Plus, he also shot the ball fairly well, as he was able to make a step back, pull-up three in this game.
He also showed fairly good playmaking skills. He can throw long passes to set up scores for his teammates in transition, and he also can hit the cutter when he is on the floor. However, he did throw one lazy entry pass that ended up getting intercepted once.
Edwards also was able to get a couple of defensive rebounds, but sometimes he would be late to the balls, as he committed an over the back foul once, and another time a ball went off his hands on an offensive rebounding attempt that went to the other team.
He also showed off good defensive skills. Edwards was able to rotate on a drive to swat a shot from the baseline to a teammate due to possessing good leaping ability, timing, and instincts. He also jumped a pass to almost get a steal another time.
In general, Anthony Edwards had a solid performance in this game, as he was able to contribute in many different ways to help his team on the court. He is widely considered to be one of the best prospects for the 2020 draft, and he could be a terrific player for Georgia in the upcoming season.
Memphis’ incoming freshman center, James Wiseman played fairly well in his team’s loss to the East. He did a good job of scoring in the post as well as off of hustle plays, and he also excelled at hauling in boards when he was on the floor.
Wiseman showed a solid ability to score in the post. Early on, he made a quick rip move to score off the glass while getting an extra free throw due to possessing good footwork, strength, and shooting touch to do so. He also would draw plenty of free throws on moves towards the hoop, even though he appeared to get his shot blocked on one occasion. But he did also make all of his free throws, as he has a very good shooting stroke that allows him to make many shots at the foul line.
He also possessed a knack for scoring quickly off of offensive rebounds, as he was able to score on a put back dunk and on a tip dunk in this game. Wiseman also was able to use a step back move to calmly make a pull-up two-point shot just inside the arc with a defender in his face. The interesting thing is that he has a fairly high release, which can allow him to make numerous mid-range shots, but it may need tweaking if he wants to consistently make three-pointers, as he missed both from long-range, which included one air-ball from beyond the arc.
Plus, he also displayed decent playmaking skills. Wiseman is an unselfish player that can pass out of the post, and he can find the open man to set up scores for his teammates. However, he also can struggle to protect the basketball at times, as he had a ball ripped away from him when posting up. Another time, he threw a long outlet pass that ended up sailing out of bounds.
Wiseman also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would frequently leap up to get boards on both ends of the court.
However, Wiseman will need to improve his defense. For the positives, he is a fairly active help defender that can get some blocks and steals for his team. He has adequate foot-speed to go along with having great length, which allows him to swat shots in the post as well as in transition, and he also ran back to intercept a long pass to get a steal.
On the other hand, his effort can lag at times on the defensive end, and he can be susceptible when guarding shooters or opponents off of screens. He would not talk on defense, which would make it difficult for his teammates to get around screens, as this would lead his team to allow scores on drives and off-ball motion plays. Other times, he would sag too far off his man, as he would not always be in position to contest the shot. He also would jog back when the other team would look to get out on the break, which would put his team in scrambling situations.
In summary, James Wiseman is an athletic, skilled big man that could be one of the best players in the 2020 draft class. He is a solid low post scorer that has a nice looking mid-range shot, and he also will actively crash the glass to get many boards for his team. Right now, he kind of reminds me of San Antonio Spurs’ center, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Wiseman may have the talent to be an upper-echelon player in the NBA.
Washington’s incoming freshman big man, Isaiah Stewart played very well, as he made solid contributions in almost every facet of the game.
He excelled at scoring on off-ball motion plays, as he would run the floor to score on alley-oop dunks, and he also cut to the hoop to score on a one-handed dunk off of an inbounds play another time. He also would roll to the rim to score on powerful jams. Plus, he also showed an adequate ability to score in the post by making a turnaround bank jumper, and he also scored on a running jump hook off of a high post drive on a separate possession.
Also, he exhibited decent playmaking skills. He was able to throw a pass ahead to a teammate in transition that helped set up a score, and he also would set good, wide screens to free up his teammates, which would enable them to open looks to score on offense. At times, he would wait too long to make a move, and he had a couple of ball ripped away that led him to commit turnovers.
Stewart also did a fairly good job of rebounding the basketball. He would leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and there was one occasion in which he managed to handle the ball out of traffic and deftly brought it up the court.
He also played fairly good defense. Stewart would tend to make good rotations, as he would put himself in solid position to be able to contest shots to force misses. He was able to rotate on a drive to block a shot out of bounds, and he also would rotate on drives to help his team successfully challenge his shots. Also, Stewart was able to knock a ball away from a low post player to get a steal once, and he also deflected a pass out of bounds to nearly obtain another, but sometimes he would struggle to defend in the post, as he would commit reach-in fouls, in which one led him to allow a score and an extra free throw once. There was one play in which he sagged too far off his man when defending a drive on a switch, which allowed his opponent to score on a floater.
Overall, Isaiah Stewart played very well, as he excelled at scoring on off-ball motion plays, showed the ability to score in the post and off the dribble, and he also set good screens and played solid defense. In some ways, he kind of reminds me of Chicago Bulls’ rookie big man, Wendell Carter Jr., and Stewart is a talented player that could be a lottery pick in 2020.
Washington’s incoming freshman forward, Jaden McDaniels also played very well, as he showed off solid all-around skills to help the East get the win in the McDonald’s All-American game.
McDaniels didn’t look to score often, but he did a great job of making shots when he would take them. He would beat his man down court to score on thunderous dunks on the break, and he also showed some shooting skills by utilizing a jab step to make a deep three from beyond the arc.
He also passed the ball well, as he can find open shooters and throw long passes to teammates in transition, which enabled him to pick up a pair of assists in this game. But he did have one long pass that ended up getting intercepted, which led him to commit his lone turnover.
He also played great defense. McDaniels was able to jump a pass to get a steal, and he would actively contest shots on the perimeter and in the post to force misses.
Overall, Jaden McDaniels is a very athletic, skilled combo forward that could be one of the best players to come out of the 2020 draft class. He is an interesting player that may have a unique skill package, and he has a game that may be similar to former Los Angeles Lakers’ forward, Lamar Odom, and McDaniels is a player that has a bright future as he could end up being a very good player in the NBA.
Memphis’ incoming freshman forward, Precious Achiuwa also played well as he led all players with 22 points in this game, and he is an athletic, high-motor player that excelled on both ends of the floor.
He did a good job of scoring on hustle plays, as he would run the floor to score on drives in transition, he would score on emphatic dunks off of cuts, and he also would score on tip-ins and put backs after getting offensive rebounds for his team, but sometimes he would go in too out of control, which would cause him to rush his shots and miss them.
He also flashed the ability to score on half-court drives, and he also was able to make an open three on a pick and pop play, but he struggled to consistently make jumpers, and he would sometimes miss shots off the dribble badly at times.
He also did not really show great playmaking skills in this game. For a positive though, he can handle the basketball, as he was able to bring a ball up quickly off of a team’s steal early on. However, he did not look to pass often, and he also can sometimes lose his balance, which can lead him to throwing hasty passes. He also threw an inaccurate outlet pass another time that ended up being intercepted by an opponent in the backcourt, as he didn’t get any touch on his pass that time.
Achiuwa did a great job of getting rebounds. He would often leap up to get offensive rebounds, and he also was able to bring the ball up off of a defensive rebound once.
He also played very good defense. Achiuwa was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he will jump on loose balls to help his team get others as well. He also will contest shots off of drives to force misses, and he has adequate footwork and agility to stay with opposing ball handlers, but there was one play where he sagged too far off his man in the corner, which caused his teammate to rotate on him and led to scramble situations in which his team allowed an opponent to score pull-up mid-range shot.
In summary, Precious Achiuwa had a solid showing in this game, as he excelled at attacking the basket to garner scores, and he also rebounded and defended well. He will need to improve his jump shot and playmaking skills, but even still, his ability to produce combined with having a terrific motor could allow him to be a first round pick in 2020.
Florida’s incoming freshman guard, Scottie Lewis also played well as he showed off solid all-around skills and played terrific defense to help lead the East to a victory in this game.
Lewis did an excellent job of scoring on hustle plays. He was able to score on a cut to the hoop, and he excelled at scoring on drives in transition. He can really accelerate when taking the ball to the rim, and he also was able to score on an emphatic jam another time.
However, he struggled to make jumpers, as he missed his lone three-point shot, and he also missed on a fadeaway pull-up, long two-pointer on a separate occasion.
He also showed fairly average playmaking skills. Lewis is an unselfish player that can find shooters on the move, and he also was able to throw a long outlet pass to a teammate in transition to set up a score for his teammate. But sometimes he may not always be on point with his passes, as he was inaccurate on one, and he threw a loopy pass another time that led him to commit turnovers.
He also was able to get his fair share of boards when he was on the floor, as he was able to get a couple of defensive rebounds, and he also tipped a ball to a teammate to help his team get another. But there was another time where he ended up tipping a ball off of his own foot clumsily out of bounds.
Lewis also played great defense. He did an excellent job of getting steals, as he would often poke balls away, and he would ran to get a dropped pass to collect them. He has very good anticipation skills, athleticism, and instincts, and he is a rangy defender that can make it very difficult on his opponents. He also managed to contest a deep three to force a miss, but sometimes he can be a bit undisciplined defensively, as he committed a reach-in foul on a drive, and he also bit on a pump fake close to the basket that led his team to give up a score and an extra free throw another time. Also, there was another play where he didn’t follow his man on a cut to the corner, which caused a scrambling situation that led his team to allow a three-point basket.
Overall, Scottie Lewis had a solid showing to help the East get the win on this day. He’s a very athletic swingman that excels at attacking the basket to garner scores, and he is also a terrific defender, as he is an agile, pesky player that would hound the opposition to get numerous steals and stops for his team. Right now, he will need to improve his ability to make jumpers, but he is a very good prospect that could end up being a lottery pick in the 2020 draft.
Louisville’s incoming freshman swingman Samuell Williamson also put forth a good performance on this day, as he showed off solid shooting and defensive skills in this game.
He did a good job of knocking down jumpers to help space the floor for his team. Williamson was able to make an open pull-up three, and he also made a pull-up mid-range jumper around the right elbow on a separate play. He did struggle more to make long two-point shots, but Williamson showed the ability to move off the ball, and he was able to run off of a screen to get the ball on a separate play.
Also, Williamson showed a solid ability to score on hustle plays. He managed to score on a turnaround fadeaway jumper off of a cut to the hoop, and he also drew free throws on a tip shot after getting an offensive rebound. He did attempt to score on a half-court drive, but he ended up missing on a contested runner, as he may lack elite footspeed.
However, he will need to improve his playmaking skills. For the positives, he is an unselfish player that will look to throw long passes, and he can occasionally find teammates on the move. However, he also can tend to throw inaccurate passes, as he had a couple of them intercepted by defenders.
Williamson also showed an adequate ability to get rebounds for his team, and he would leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor.
He also played solid defense. Williamson is a very good help defender, as he was able to fight through a screen to stay with an opposing ball handler in order to swat a shot ferociously out of bounds due to possessing good leaping ability, timing, and instincts, and he also blocked another shot on a drive in transition another time. He also roamed to poke a ball away to a teammate to help his team get a steal. He also managed to contest a pull-up three to force a miss, but sometimes he can undisciplined on the defensive end, as he bit on a pump fake once, and he ended up committing a couple of reach-in fouls in this game.
All in all, Samuell Williamson had a fairly solid showing, as he did a good job of making shots and he also defended well when he was on the court. He excelled at making jumpers, and he also moved well off the ball. If he can continue to improve as an overall player, he could end up being a similar player to current New Orleans Pelicans’ rookie guard, Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the NBA.