Scouting the 2023 McDonald’s All Americans: Breaking down each men’s basketball recruit

NCAA Basketball

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Twenty-four of the top 30 men’s college basketball recruits in the 2023 ESPN 100 were named McDonald’s All Americans on Tuesday.

Fifteen colleges (so far) were represented among the rosters, with four Kentucky commits leading the way, followed by three future Duke players.

The top 10 prospects in the 2023 class were named All Americans, headlined by No. 1 recruit Justin Edwards.

Twenty years after LeBron James made the McDonald’s All American Game as a member of St. Vincent-St. Mary’s (Ohio), his son, Bronny James, the No. 28 recruit, will play in the game. The younger James is the highest-ranked uncommitted recruit remaining in the ESPN 100.

How good is this group of recruits? What will each player bring to the table at the next level? We break down each prospect’s strengths and how each got to become a McDonald’s All American.

Committed to: Iowa State | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 10
Waukee High School (Iowa)

Biliew is an elite defensive player who gains an advantage over his opponents thanks to his motor and physicality at that end of the floor. He’s a very good rebounder and shot-blocker, but can also switch in ball screens to cause problems for the ball handler. Offensively, he’s excellent at running the floor and finishing in traffic and has improved his faceup game and jumper.

Committed to: Michigan State | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 7
Cathedral High School (Indiana)

Booker was unranked a year ago at this time but bloomed over the summer. He is a long-framed big who excels at dunking and blocking. He has incredible open-floor speed and is one of the better shooters in his class for his size (6-foot-10, 210 pounds). Booker is humble and has all the physical tools at 6-11 with a 7-5 wingspan. With his tremendous upside and Tom Izzo’s tutelage, his game and archetype will fit at the next level.

Committed to: Kentucky | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 4
Camden High School (New Jersey)

As a 7-foot center, Bradshaw shows the ability to run the floor rim-to-rim, rebound on the offensive glass and finish above the rim. Bradshaw likes to play more of a faceup game and can shoot the ball better than most know about; in fact, he is capable from behind the arc. He can drive the ball from the midrange and the short corner with his hands and mobility. As he continues to add strength, work on his balance and grow into his enormous frame, his future is extremely bright.

G League Ignite | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 9
Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas)

Buzelis is one of the more graceful recruits this cycle. At 6-9, 195 pounds, he can excel with the ball in his hands as a point forward, moving the ball to record assists. When he rebounds on the defensive glass, he can make sound decisions to either throw the ball ahead or handle it himself up the floor. He is best in open space, shooting jumpers or driving the ball. While he needs to add strength and play with better leverage, his advanced skill set, basketball instincts and size make him an intriguing next-level prospect.

Committed to: UConn | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 15
Newton High School (Georgia)

Castle is a big, strong and physical guard with a 6-9 wingspan who can attack all game long. In transition, he shows the ability to rebound down and push the ball with speed in the open floor. He can make sound decisions, be it accelerating and finishing or finding the open man. In the half court, he gets low and changes direction with impressive vision and a set of creative passes.

Committed to: USC | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 3
Wheeler High School (Georgia)

One of the best passers in the 2023 class, Collier is a terrific playmaker who excels when playing out of pick-and-rolls. He reads the game well and has excellent vision when pushing the ball in transition, while also knowing when to find teammates or score himself by getting to the rim off the bounce. The next step for Collier will be gaining more consistency on his jumper.

Committed to: Oregon | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 18
AZ Compass Prep (Arizona)

Cook committed to Oregon, then decommitted, then recommitted to the Ducks — and Dana Altman will be happy he’s in the fold for next season. He’s a versatile defender due to his frame and physical tools, but his multipositional ability also shines through on the offensive end. He can make plays in transition, is a very good passer for his size (6-7, 210) and can score at the rim. Consistency will be the key with Cook.

Committed to: Kentucky | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 1
Imhotep Institute Charter (Pennsylvania)

No one has improved and produced more since the summer than Edwards. He is versatile and can lead his team to victory in a variety of ways. His open 3-point shot is more than capable, and his midrange is on point. He drives with his left hand, gets downhill with long strides and finishes hard. While he is a proven scorer, he does not need to score to make an impact. On defense, he takes pride in shutting down his opponent and can hit the backboard with regularity. Now the No. 1 recruit overall, he has started to open the eyes of NBA scouts.

Committed to: Oregon | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 13
Montverde Academy (Florida)

Not many forwards have Evans’ skill, fluidness and touch. He’s versatile and effective to play at the high post, be it as a shooter or passer, and is good in the mid- and low-post areas, scoring with a reverse pivot. He has a bright future as a hybrid forward who can handle in space or post up. Defensively, he can shrink the floor and become an active defender with his size (6-9, 200) and length.

Committed to: Arkansas | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 19
Accelerated Prep (Colorado)

Fall has some of the best physical tools in the class. He’s outstanding defensively, excellent at blocking shots and covering ground when guarding pick-and-rolls. He plays with a high motor and is active on the glass. Offensively, he can score around the rim, attacks the offensive glass and has the speed and explosiveness to be an asset in transition.

Committed to: Michigan State | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 20
Joliet West (Illinois)

Fears has been considered one of the best point guards in the class for much of his high school career, showing aggressiveness and burst to get to the rim consistently. He’s nearly impossible to keep out of the lane and shows good decision-making and vision once he gets there. Though he isn’t a volume 3-point shooter, he can still keep defenses honest. Fears is also a capable on-ball defender.

Committed to: Oklahoma State | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 30
Del City High School (Oklahoma)

Garrison brings a little bit of everything to the center position. He can score effectively around the rim but is also a very good passer for his size (6-9, 205) and connects well in a half-court setting. He runs the floor well and plays with a solid motor. Defensively, he can block shots and has consistently put up good rebounding numbers. He also showed well for himself at the FIBA U18 Americas last summer.

Committed to: Texas | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 5
Duncanville High School (Texas)

Holland is arguably the best and most versatile defender in the class. He can guard multiple positions and can seamlessly switch when defending in the halfcourt. He’s the ultimate glue guy despite possessing the ability to score in the paint or from the perimeter. Holland is the consummate winner who started every contest for USA Basketball in each of the last two summers, impacting the game in a variety of ways.

Committed to: Auburn | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 17
Prolific Prep (California)

Holloway is one of the best shot-makers in the class. He can shoot it from deep and has a quick trigger. His open-floor speed, quick shot preparation and rhythm jumper prevent defenses from relaxing. He also understands how to move without the ball to find the time and space he needs. In ball screens, he is learning to engage the hedge man and read the help defense; if the defender goes under the screen, Holloway can stop and shoot it behind the action.

Committed to: Kansas | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 22
South Kent School (Connecticut)

Jackson constantly puts pressure on opposing defenses with his compact body and speed. In the half court, he is a powerful driver who concentrates as he draws contact and finishes. The 6-3, 185-pound Jackson strikes hardest and best with his penetration, as he is making better choices of when and where to give up the rock. His body makeup and coachability can make him a reliable on-ball defender at Kansas.

Uncommitted | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 28
Sierra Canyon High School (California)

Entering high school with humongous expectations, James has consistently improved and rounded out his game during his career, becoming a clear-cut top-30 prospect in the class. He has long been a two-way player, buying in on the defensive end of the floor and only getting better due to his physicality and instincts. Offensively, he’s a very solid 3-point shooter who can make shots in catch-and-shoot settings.

Committed to: Duke | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 12
Centennial High School (California)

Shooting is the name of the game with McCain. One of the best 3-point shooters in the country, McCain can make buckets in catch-and-shoot situations but can also create space for himself to get clean looks at the basket. He’s also improved at his ability to score in other ways, recently showing an ability to score in one-on-one situations and taking advantage of ball screens.

Committed to: Duke | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 8
Roselle Catholic High School (New Jersey)

Mgbako is a strong spot-up 3-point shooter with terrific size at 6-8, 195 pounds — it wouldn’t be surprising if he competed in the 3-point contest. Offensively, he can play on the perimeter as a stretch shooter; he can be great in ghost screen actions or middle ball screens with the ability to create separation. He is dangerous playing from the elbows in the mid-post area as a shot creator and inside passer. When it comes to rebounding, he hits the glass for second-chance opportunities and putbacks. He has a tight frame, better enabling him to take contact at the rim.

Committed to: Kentucky | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 21
North Laurel High School (Kentucky)

Sheppard, the son of former Kentucky star Jeff Sheppard, is unsurprisingly a highly effective offensive player. He has deep range on his jump shot, but is more than just a shooter, showing the ability to make plays off the bounce in ball-screens and pulling up at different spots on the floor. He’s also a very good passer and facilitator, especially in the half-court.

Committed to: Duke | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 16
Windermere Prep (Florida)

Stewart impacts the game with his constant effort and defensive rebounding. His explosive vertical bounce and quick second jump allow him to block shots and finalize plays. His energy levels on each possession stand out. Offensively, he has a nice and short faceup game and is also an excellent (and willing) screener who can either roll or step out to the midrange.

Committed to: Stanford | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 23
Jesuit High School (California)

One of the biggest breakout performers last spring and summer, Stojakovic went from outside the ESPN 100 to a five-star prospect and McDonald’s All American. He has terrific offensive ability, both as a scorer and passer. He moves without the ball effectively in the halfcourt, finding space and making plays once the ball is in his hands. His father, Peja, was an NBA All-Star with the Sacramento Kings and NBA Finals champion with the Dallas Mavericks.

Committed to: Kentucky | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 2
Camden High School (New Jersey)

Wagner is the most dynamic downhill attacker in his class. He comes at defenders with speed and can shake as he drives the paint. Once he’s in the lane, his footwork, body control and layup ability are on full display. He’s smart and tough at utilizing jump stops to finish and create contact. Wagner’s pull-up jumper off the dribble must be respected. He brings a highly competitive drive and winning résumé to the game. Wagner is very effective in tight spaces and thrives in the conversion game. He has a deep family history, as his grandfather Milt and dad DaJuan were also former McDonald’s All Americans.

Committed to: Baylor | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 14
Link Academy (Missouri)

Walter is poised to be yet another productive guard in Waco. At 6-5, 185 pounds, he has good size for the perimeter and has a well-rounded offensive game. Walter showed on the grassroots circuit he can consistently make shots from the perimeter, while also possessing midrange ability and isn’t afraid to put the ball on the deck and get to the rim. He’s also one of the best free-throw shooters in the country.

Committed to: Colorado | 2023 ESPN 100 ranking: 6
Perry High School (Arizona)

Williams is the highest-ranked basketball recruit to attend Colorado, and his upside is as high as anyone’s in the 2023 class. He rose from No. 16 to No. 6 in our final rankings update because of his productive scoring talent. Offensively, his spot-up 3-point shot is a weapon, but most of his scoring comes from his soft touch and fluidity inside the arc. In one-on-one situations, he can create his own space, and when stopped, he has a knack for finding the open teammate. His 6-8, 175-pound frame, length and bounce make him effective at scoring over smaller defenders as well.

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