The story of the 39th annual McDonald’s All-American centered on a pair of Jacksons.
Josh Jackson, arguably the top prospect in the 2015 class, was efficient on offense, effective on defense and dominated the game on both ends, while leading the West Team to a 114-105 victory.
Jackson finished 9-for-11 from the field, scoring 19 points. He also reeled in four rebounds and tossed out three assists.
“I think I played a lot better than I thought I would,” Jackson said. “The McDonald’s event was my first time playing basketball in four weeks. I was kind of scared coming in but it was easy to get in the flow because our whole team just played team basketball and shared the ball. It was pretty easy and pretty natural, just playing team basketball.”
But Jackson, a 6-foot-7 wing from Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep, was far from the only standout for the West Team.
“I thought I played alright,” Frank said. “Right from the start my teammates trusted me to shoot buckets. This was a fun game. I had a blast with all these guys this week and I’m glad we got the win.”
Available center prospect Marques Bolden was third on the West in scoring with 12 points. He also reeled in seven rebounds. Bolden continued his strong week by playing with energy and finishing off plays at the rim.
The East Team had a balanced scoring attack, but struggled shooting the ball, especially from three. Jayson Tatum led the way with 18 points. Tatum also reeled in five rebounds.
Bam Adebayo, a Kentucky signee, scored 13 points, while Arizona Kobi Simmons also added 12 points.
Josh Jackson took his matchup with Jayson Tatum seriously and made his claim for the title of Scout’s top prospect in 2016. Jackson has elite physical attributes and is an intense competitor who uses his athleticism to lock down opposing players on defense and finish well above the rim on offense. He showed his impressive vision and scored with his jumper. It was a big time showing for Jackson.
One of the best passers high school basketball has seen in quite some time, Ball used that vision to find open teammates throughout the night. Ball’s outlet passing is always tough for defensive players to account for, while his height and length help him in the half court. Ball also competed on the glass and used his length to his advantage on defense. He’s going to have plenty of offensive weapons around him at UCLA next season and you can count on a lot of high assist nights.
There just aren’t many areas in basketball that Fultz does not excel at. He’s a 6-foot-5 point guard who can score with his jumper or off the bounce due to his handle and length, while he’s also a very good shooter. Fultz also competed on defense, using his feel to contest shots or get in the way of passes. Washington is getting one of the top prospects in the 2016 class and a kid who continues to improve at an alarming rate.
Jackson is going to play a lot of point guard at the next level but his versatility is one of his best attributes and he showed that on Wednesday night. The Duke signee hit five three-pointers – four of them in the second half – and also scored at the rim. Jackson made several nice passes and also competed on defense. His ability to play on and off the ball will really help Duke.
A strong athletic post who always competes, Adebayo’s motor and toughness were as impressive as usual on Wednesday. Adebayo always competes on the glass and finished with a game-high 12 rebounds. Even though he’s most efficient as a scorer finishing in transition and on putbacks, Adebayo showed the ability to step out and shoot from midrange. It’s easy to envision him having a big role early at Kentucky.
He may not have gotten a ton of post feeds but Bolden played hard, scored in transition and had success on the glass. Bolden’s size and length aid him on both sides of the court. He has soft touch around the basket and can score with a hook shot or jumper, while he’s mobile enough at his size to frustrate opposing posts in the paint. Bolden helped his stock all week.
Monk built his reputation with his scoring ability and athleticism, but it’s been his passing ability that really carried him this week. His physical tools help him get up and down the court in a hurry and is a high level finisher due to his leaping ability. In transition, Monk did a great job all week of playing unselfish basketball, consistently looking for the open man. He’s always been one of the more entertaining players to watch in the country and the development of his vision has only helped that.