Last night, the best college basketball players in the country came together in the house that Jordan built for the McDonald’s All-American Game. For college recruiters, the game is just as much a formality as anything else, but for the everyday basketball fan the All-American Game is the first chance to get a glimpse at the future of basketball. Syracuse didn’t have any commits in the game this year, but some future SU opponents were in action. Here’s a look at how ACC commits played against the top competition in the country.
The All-American Game alumni list has some of the biggest names in the history of the game on it. Magic Johnson. LeBron James. Magic Johnson. Shaq. But as Syracuse fans know, sometimes All-American is a start to greatness (Carmelo Anthony, Pearl Washington, Derrick Coleman) and sometimes it doesn’t work out (Dajuan Coleman, Conrad McRae, Michael Lloyd). Nobody knows who the best player in basketball will be five years from now, but this game is the biggest indicator of what’s coming next for the sport. This year, only three ACC commits played in the game (there were also six undecided players on the court, so that number could change).
Wendell Carter, Jr. – PF – Duke
No, the Blue Devils aren’t going to step off the peak of the college basketball world for a while. Duke had two commits in, and both are top 10 recruits. Carter Jr. is the third-best power forward in his class and No. 4 recruit. He stands at 6-10 and already has the weight of a college standout at 260 pounds. He committed to Duke in November after looking at Harvard, Georgia and Georgia Tech (Carter is from Atlanta). Last night, he made the most of his time on the floor. Carter scored 10 points in 19 minutes, shooting 5-6 from the field and adding five rebounds and a block. He was one of 10 players to score double-digits in the game.
Gary Trent, Jr. – SF – Duke
Two weeks before Carter signed with Duke in November, Gary Trent Jr. put pen to paper to become the first five-star recruit to commit to the Blue Devils this season. All the way from Napa, CA, Trent is listed as the No. 2 small forward in the country and No. 10 recruit overall. He had also been considering UCLA and Michigan State before deciding to play against Syracuse. Trent’s All-American performance wasn’t as notable. He played 15 minutes, and in that time scored seven points but went 3-11 from the field. He also got two rebounds.
Lonnie Walker IV – SG – Miami
Lonnie Walker broke the hearts of Orange fans when he chose Miami over the Syracuse in November less than a week after visiting SU. Not only did the Orange miss out on a five-star guard it could have used next season, but Walker also looks a lot like Cuse one-and-done Malachi Richardson.
Maybe it’s just the hair, but the hair is enough to make the comparison anyway.
Walker is listed as the No. 19 recruit in the country and the No. 2 shooting guard. His night at the All-American game was quiet as well, but he only played 14 minutes (among the lower third of all players). He scored seven points and shot an efficient 3-6, and also tallied two assists, a steal and a block. It was a good performance given the limited time on the court, and he showed he has the ability to do a little bit of everything.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson