2024 McDonald’s All American Game Recap And Draft Notes - NBA Draft Room

2024 McDonald’s All American Game Recap And Draft Notes

Fans of the NBA Draft are always looking ahead to next year’s draft and so the annual McDonald’s All American Game is much watch TV – a chance for many fans to get their first glimpse at the prospects who will likely dominant next year’s draft lottery. And this year is extra special thanks to an elite group of players who will transform the college basketball landscape next season and then transform the fortunes of NBA franchises.

While the McDonald’s game is an awesome showcase NBA scouts are just as interested in the practices that take place in the days leading up to the game. This year some of the standout performers from the practices include: Derik Queen, Trent Perry, Jalil Bethea, VJ Edgecombe and Ace Bailey.

One thing we often see during this week is a player or two make their college commitment. This year we saw one player, Trent Perry, de-commit from USC after their coach, Andy Enfield, left for SMU. Perry had a great week in Houston and will be a very, very hot commodity. The other unsigned member of this group is Liam McNeeley who hit a buzzer beater to win the game in Sunday’s scrimmage. He had been committed to Indiana but has reopened his recruitment.

This year’s showcase game was highly competitive with the East eking out a victory in the last minute. Dylan Harper, Derik Queen, Tre Johnson and Boogie Fland all stood out in this game, as did the youngest player in the game, Jayden Quaintance. Dylan Harper and Derik Queen took home the MVP honors. And Tre Johnson had a chance to win it at the buzzer but his 3 pointer clanked off the rim.

Here are some quick draft notes about this year’s McDonald’s All Americans:

East Team

Jalil Bethea (Miami) – Bethea is a big time prospect, a potential lottery pick, who will infuse a new level of talent into the Hurricanes program. He’s a bit slight of frame but has explosive athleticism and a deadly 3pt shot. He won the slam dunk contest with some impressive high flying acts but in the game itself he didn’t have a huge impact, going 1-5 from the field with four boards and one assist. He’s a shot-making guard who should put up impressive numbers next season at Miami.

John Bol (Ole Miss) – Bol is an intriguing long term prospect but probably my lowest rated draft prospect in this year’s McDonald’s class. He’s a very mobile and athletic 7-2 player who will have to add strength and develop his game but has a bright basketball future.

Isaiah Evans (Duke) – Evans had a clunker in this one, going 0-6 from the field, missing all four of his 3-pointers and failing to standout in any area. I’ve long been intrigued by him and have seen him as a potential one and done but it’s going to take some time for him to add the strength needed for the highest level of play and it could be that he spends more than a year at Duke. He’ll have to battle for minutes next year on a deep Duke team – especially if Caleb Foster, TJ Power and Mark Mitchell all return.

Cooper Flagg (Duke) – The consensus top prospect in next year’s draft class doesn’t need All Star games to elevate his draft stock or to introduce himself to the nation. He does it all on the court. He has freaky defensive instincts, which he showed in this game with a monster block on Rutgers commit Dylan Harper. Flagg had a few aggressive moves to the basket and splashed in a 3-pointer but he didn’t look to or need to dominate in this one.

Johnuel “Boogie” Fland (Kentucky) – A speedy guard who is a creative scorer and play-maker, Fland had a really nice game, once he found his rhythm. He hit outside shots and flashed his special ability to penetrate into the lane, where he can finish in traffic or drop dimes to teammates. He’s not the biggest guard and will have to get stronger but has a electric ability and can score the ball in bunches. He’ll be an awesome addition for UK next year, filling in the hole left by Dillingham and Sheppard’s departures. His pace and change of direction are special and he’s so much fun to watch.

Ian Jackson (North Carolina) – Jackson is a do-it-all wing who defends all over the place, excels in transition and is becoming more of an iso-scorer. He’s an impressive athlete with legit NBA potential but might need a few years in school before being draft ready. He scored an impressive 21 points in this game but on a not so impressive 21 shots. I like his aggressiveness but need to see his shooting touch continue to develop.

Liam McNeeley (Uncommitted) – After de-committing from Indiana McNeeley is the highest ranked recruit still on the board. He had a quiet game, going 0-6 from the field, but he did hit a big game winning buzzer beater in the Sunday scrimmage. There’s no need to worry about his poor shooting performance Tuesday night. He’ll be just fine in his role as an off-ball, two-way wing.

Tahaad Pettiford (Auburn) – Pettiford didn’t play in the game due to a knee issue. When healthy he is one of the most dynamic guards in the class and should have an instant impact for the Tigers next year.

Drake Powell (North Carolina) – The high-flying Powell is going to be really fun to watch at UNC next year with his hustle and open court athletic ability. He showed off his awesome defense in this game and made some nice passes as well but failed to score. He’s probably a multi-year college player but could surprise to the upside and be a one and done.

Jayden Quaintance (Kentucky) – The youngest player in the game, Quintance is too young to be eligible for the 2025 NBA Draft and so will likely spend two years at Kentucky. He’s a well built 6-10 forward with a really nice skill level. He’s got a long and strong frame, which belies his age. I think he has top 10 and maybe even top 5 potential in a potentially loaded 2026 draft class. He was really impressive in this game, holding his own in the paint, elevating for dunks on his way to seven points, seven rebounds and four steals. He’s a stud.

Derik Queen (Maryland) – Queen has had a great week in Houston and his high level play continued on Tuesday night in the prime time game, where he scored 23 points on 10-15 from the field on his way to Co-MVP honors. He also dished out a game high 5 assists. While he’s not a run/jump athlete he’s a highly skilled and crafty big man with great hands, a soft touch and high BBIQ. He showed really impressive hands on defense in this game, picking pockets on his way to 3 steals. Look for him to spend a few years at Maryland before jumping into the draft.

Bryson Tucker (Indiana) – The recent Indiana recruit had a few bright moments in the game but overall didn’t have a big impact. He’s a high level talent who has a chance to be a one and done, or more likely a two or three year college player.

West Team

Airious “Ace” Bailey (Rutgers) – Bailey had an awesome few days of practice leading up to the game and a solid, if unspectacular showing in the game. He scored six points on seven shots, settling for jumpers rather than attacking the rim but there’s no need to read anything into this performance. NBA scouts are salivating over him and for good reason; he’s a special athlete with legit wing skills in a wiry 6-9 frame. He’s got future NBA All Star written all over him.

Flory Bidunga (Kansas) – An explosive vertical athlete who changes ends well and attacks the rim with a vengeance. Bidunga is probably a multi-year college player who will have to continue to develop his offensive game before jumping to the league. He’s ver good in his role of rim running and finishing plays, and he did that in this game going 3-3 from the field including two rim-rattling dunks.

Carter Bryant (Arizona) – Bryant didn’t score a whole lot but he showed impressive defensive instincts and energy, blocking three shots and locking up inside and out. He’s got a nice shooting touch, has really good size for a wing and certainly looks the part of a future NBA player. I think he’ll be a star next year for the Wildcats and could be a one and done first rounder.

Vazoumana “Zoom” Diallo (Washington) – The Huskies get a good one in Diallo, a strong 6-4 guard who should have a big impact next year. He’s a multi-year college player with a chance to make it to the league. He didn’t do much in the McDonald’s game but he’ll be really good in college.

Valdez “VJ” Edgecombe (Baylor) – Another elite guard going to Baylor, VJ has all the tools to be star at the NBA level. He’s an incredibly smooth open court athlete who glides up and down the floor and has awesome bounce above the rim. Plus he’s got a blazing first step and is a sensational dunker. VJ had a great week in Houston, showing why he’s considered a top five recruit, and had an impressive McDonald’s game, threing down some nice dunks and attacking the rim, on his way to nine points and five boards. Even in this game full of big time athletes, he stood out as special.

Donavan Freeman (Syracuse) – Freeman has been on an awesome upward trajectory this year and his arrow is still pointing up. He had a relatively quiet game, splashing in a couple 3’s including a buzzer beater, and playing some nice D. Watch for him to do big things for the Cuse over the next year or two.

Dylan Harper (Rutgers) – He’s elite, simple as that. While he might not be a special above the rim player he does just about everything at a high level. He looked in total control in this game, running the show on offense, finding teammates and scoring at will. He looks like a top 10 lock who very well could go in the top 5 of next year’s draft.

Richard “Tre” Johnson (Texas) – Tre isn’t the most explosive athlete but he’s got a special ability to put the ball in the basket. He showed off his shooting touch in this one, splashing in five 3-pointers and going 6-9 from the field on his way to 17 points. He had an awesome game, although he did miss a shot at the buzzer that would have won the game for the West and etched is name in McDonald’s game history.

Karter Knox (Kentucky) – The younger brother of former UK wing Kevin Knox, Karter is an impressively built 6-5 shooting guard with a NBA-ready frame and NBA-level scoring ability. He can score in the paint, fly above the rim and knock down the 3. He’s tough and physical and will have no problem adjusting to the college game. He had a solid showing in this one, hitting 4-6 shots in 12 minutes of play.

Trent Perry (Uncommitted) – After his de-commitment from USC Perry will have every major programs vying for his services. He’s been a standout performer this week, showing off his great outside shot in winning the 3pt contest. I see him as a likely 2 or 3 year college player with a chance to get drafted in the future.

Derrion Reid (Alabama) – An impressive athlete who defends, does all the dirty work and is a play-finisher. He’s beginning to expand his offensive game out the 3pt line but still has a long ways to go. He showed good activity and energy in this game and he seems to know his role as a junkyard-dog type of player.

Aiden Sherrell (Alabama) – Sherrell is a springy, long and gifted 6-11 athlete who could develop into a NBA level PF/C. He’s a good shot blocker but will have to add strength to defend the NBA post. Plus he flashes a 3pt shot and should develop into a solid floor spacer in time. He didn’t hit a shot in this game but showed good shooting form – and he blocked 3 shots on D.

Overall it was a really competitive game full of great talent – talent that will infuse college basketball with new energy next year and infuse future drafts with some high level prospects.

See where these prospects rank in our 2025 NBA Mock Draft and 2026 NBA Mock Draft