McDonald's All-American Top Performers: Sunday Scrimmage
Houston, Texas – The 24 players selected to the 46th annual McDonald’s All-American game reconvened for the Sunday afternoon scrimmage. As one coach put it, “This is the real game; Tuesday’s game is just a showcase.”
Full 2023 McDonald’s All-American Game Roster
Sunday morning’s competitive juices continued into the evening hours as family and NBA scouts gathered throughout the Delmar-Tusa Sports Complex. Kentucky signee DJ Wagner’s alpha attitude continued to shine, as did the defensive prowess of Iowa State signee Omaha Biliew.
Here are On3’s top performers from the afternoon scrimmage.
Read McDonald’s All-American Standouts from Practice 1
On3 MVP: 5-star CG DJ Wagner – Kentucky
Carrying over from the morning practice, DJ Wagner brought an aggressive mindset that shined during the scrimmage. The 6-foot-3 Kentucky signee started the game with a hesitation dribble left, two attack dribbles downhill, and a soft floater from 15 feet. In past viewings, Wagner was dead set on getting to the rim every time, and while he still runs into this, the feel in the midrange shows growth in his game moving forward.
Wagner continued his aggressive play throughout the four quarters. He hunted paint touches and played destructive point-of-attack defense. Wagner has been in the spotlight since he entered high school, and for four years, every time he has stepped on the court, he has brought a competitive fire that shines bright.
Wagner is the No. 3 player in the 2023 On3 Industry Ranking.
Defensive MVP: 5-star PF Omaha Biliew – Iowa State
In a setting where offensive play typically gets the headlines, it was Omaha Billiew’s ability to erase opportunities that stood out. The lengthy 6-foot-8 forward weighs 215 pounds and is blessed with a great deal of explosive pop. He can slide his feet at the point of attack, defending guards in the open floor. He can also bang with post players on the block, using his strong base to fight for position and his length to affect shots around the basket.
On the offensive end of the floor, Biliew played within himself. The Iowa State signee gets high above the rim and aggressively hunts dunks in the half-court set.
Biliew is the No. 11 player in the 2023 On3 Industry Ranking.
3. 5-star CG Jared McCain – Duke
Jared McCain has an exciting aesthetic to his game. At all times, he simply looks like he is having fun, and that draws the eye of most onlookers. McCain plays with aggressive confidence, and his shot-making was on full display during the scrimmage.
McCain is comfortable playing on or off the ball. The Duke signee pushed with pace and control when the opportunity presented itself. He shot the ball well off movement and was confident collecting his balance off the bounce and stepping into his shot. The 2023 On3 Industry Ranking five-star always brings a competitive aspect to the game.
McCain is the No. 15 player in the 2023 On3 Industry Ranking.
4. 5-star F Ron Holland – Texas
Ron Holland was all over the floor, on both ends throughout the scrimmage. In the earlier session, Holland was able to showcase his upgraded skill set in the half-court. He knocked down threes and created opportunities off the bounce. In the afternoon scrimmage setting, the 6-foot-8 forward showed his innate ability to make plays across multiple levels.
Holland stretched his legs in transition, filled the lanes, and attacked the rim with a purpose. The Texas signee was also a menace on the defensive end, playing especially aggressively in the passing lanes. Holland is a good rebounder, and you can hear his voice throughout the course of a game. Production is key with Holland, and the five-star finds his production no matter the setting.
Holland is the No. 7 player in the 2023 On3 Industry Ranking.
5. 5-star SG Stephon Castle – UConn
When the lights are on, Stephon Castle seems to shine his brightest. The 6-foot-5 guard was solid during the drills and practice portion of the day, but from the second the ball tipped in the McDonald’s All-American scrimmage, Castle became a standout. At 6-foot-5, the five-star made his biggest impact playing on the ball; he touched the paint often and made excellent reads.
The UConn signee is an intriguing player in that he is built like a small forward but affects the game the most as the primary decision-maker. He also defended the ball with a purpose. Castle shot the ball well in the scrimmage portion, which was encouraging. He knocked down two threes, stepping into both of them confidently. There is a lot to like about Castle’s game.
Castle is the No. 9 player in the 2023 On3 Industry Ranking.
6. 5-star C Aaron Bradshaw – Kentucky
Aaron Bradshaw teased onlookers with his shooting upside during the morning practice session. During Sunday’s scrimmage, the 7-foot-1 center provided a full viewing of his face-up abilities. Bradshaw was confident when he caught the ball in the mid-post, showing footwork and multiple moves from different angles. The five-star knocked down a two-dribble pull-up going right, a catch-and-shoot three from the left wing, and an and-one jump shot over Baye Fall from 18 feet, and off the bounce.
The Kentucky signee is the tallest listed player on the McDonald’s All-American roster. His previous flashes are turning into consistent, productive outputs. He is still thin and can get pushed off his spot, but Bradshaw also grabbed some tough traffic rebounds and did a good job protecting the rim.
Bradshaw is the No. 4 player in the 2023 Industry Ranking.
*Bronny James was able to pick his spots in the scrimmage. He knocked down a three off the bounce and finished a transition dunk as time expired. One thing is for certain with James; you never have to question effort when he is on the floor.
*Colorado signee Cody Williams has a great frame with good length and instincts. When he is at his most productive in this scrimmage, he played in the passing lanes and got out in the open floor.
*The piece that you walk away with after a live viewing of Matas Buzelis is simply how big he really is. Standing every bit of 6-foot-10, Buzelis is at his best with the ball in his hands. He showed good footwork with some wiggle on the ball. He also has vertical pop in transition, getting well above the rim.
*Oregon signee Mookie Cook shot the ball well in the Sunday scrimmage. The 6-foot-7 wing is a good perimeter defender, and if he can continue to build on this shooting performance, there is a lot to like with his development and moving forward.
*Sean Stewart plays with energy, an incredible amount of energy. The Duke signee ran from rim to rim with a purpose, attacked rebounds on both ends of the floor, and knocked down his free throws. It was a productive scrimmage him.