Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kentucky-Bound Isaiah Briscoe, Uncommitted Cheick Diallo Lead McDonald’s All-American Selections
Kentucky-bound guard Isaiah Briscoe of Roselle (N.J.) Catholic was among the 24 players selected Wednesday for the McDonald’s All-American Game April 1 at Chicago’s United Center (9 p.m., ESPN).
The 6-foot-3 Briscoe is the 16th member of the NJ Playaz to make the prestigious game in 18 years. Former Playaz to make the McDonald’s game include the likes of Kobe Bryant, J.R. Smith, Kyle Anderson and Dajuan Wagner.
Briscoe is the only Kentucky signee to make the game as Skal Labisierre was ineligible and Charles Matthews was not selected. A year ago, four Kentucky signees were McDonald’s All-Americans. Kentucky coach John Calipari has had 21 McDonald’s All-American at the school.
“It would be an honor playing in the McDonald’s game,” Briscoe, who is averaging 21 points, 5.7 assists and 5.5 rebounds, told SNY.tv on Sunday. “After watching it growing up, and for me to be a part of it, it just shows that hard work pays off.”
“We are very happy for Isaiah that all of his hard work has been rewarded with a McDonald’s All-American selection,” RC coach Dave Boff said. “He had a goal and he worked hard to achieve it. We are really excited for him. As a program we are proud to have our first McDonald’s participant. It’s another step in the process for us as we continue to grow as a program on the national level.”
Duke (Luke Kennard and Chase Jeter) and LSU (Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney) led the way with two players each in the game.
Malachi Richardson, a 6-5 Syracuse-bound guard from Trenton (N.J.) Catholic, and Cheick Diallo, a 6-9 forward from Our Savior New American on Long Island, were also named to the game.
Diallo is considering Kentucky, Kansas, Pitt, St. John’s and Iowa State.
More than 13,000 voters in the ZAGSBLOG Fan Poll got 20 of the 24 McDonald’s All-Americans correct.
There are nine undecided players in the game.
Here are the McDonald’s All-American teams:
EAST:Ben Simmons: The 6-foot-10 Simmons is our top vote-getter with more than 1,000 votes. He plays at Montverde Academy in Florida and is the top player on the 247Sports 2015 Composite Player Rankings. Simmons is committed to LSU and is projected as the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
Jaylen Brown: The 6-7 Brown is out of Wheeler High in Georgia. He is ranked No. 2 overall and the No. 2 small forward behind Ben Simmons. Currently uncommitted, his list consist of Kansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Michigan and North Carolina. He is the projected No. 1 pick in 2016 by DraftExpress.com.
Henry Ellenson: The 6-10 Ellenson is out of Rice Lake High in Wisconsin. He is the No. 11 overall ranked player and the No. 4 ranked power forward. Ellenson is committed to play at Marquette next season.
Isaiah Briscoe: The 6-3 Briscoe is out of Roselle Catholic in New Jersey. Briscoe is the overall No. 10 ranked player and is the highest ranked point guard on the Composite Rankings. Briscoe has committed to play at Kentucky.
Jawun Evans: The 6-foot Dallas (TX) Kimball point guard is headed to Oklahoma State. He is the No. 3 point guard on the Composite Rankings.
Antonio Blakeney: The 6-4 Blakeney is out of Oak Ridge High in Florida. He is the No. 17 overall player and No. 3 shooting guard. Blakeney recently announced he would join Ben Simmons at LSU next season.
Dwayne Bacon: The 6-6 Bacon plays at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He is the overall No. 20 player and the No. 4 shooting guard. Bacon is committed to play at Florida State.
Cheick Diallo: The 6-9 Diallo plays at Our Savior High in New York. He is the overall No. 4 ranked player and No. 1 ranked power forward. Diallo is uncommitted and is considering Kentucky, Pittsburgh, St Johns, Kansas and Iowa State.
Luke Kennard: The 6-5 Kennard plays at Franklin High in Ohio. He is the No. 21 overall ranked player and the No. 5 ranked shooting guard. Kennard is committed to play alongside another Fan Poll McDAA member, Chase Jeter, at Duke.
Thomas Bryant: The 6-10 Bryant plays at Huntington Prep in West Virginia. he is the No. 25 overall ranked player and the No. 7 ranked power forward. Bryant is uncommitted and is considering Kentucky, Indiana and Syracuse with Missouri and Kansas trying to get in late.
Diamond Stone: The 6-10 Stone is out of Dominican High in Wisconsin. he is the No. 6 overall player and the No. 2 ranked center. Stone is uncommitted and considering four schools, UConn, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State and Maryland.
Dedric Lawson: The 6-8 Memphis-bound Lawson plays at Memphis Hamilton in Tennessee and is the No. 5 power forward in the Composite Rankings.
WEST:Malik Newman: The 6-4 Newman plays at Callaway High in Mississippi. Newman is the overall No. 3 player and the No. 1 shooting guard on the Composite Rankings. Newman is currently uncommitted and is considering Kentucky, Kansas, N.C. State and Ole Miss, among others.
Brandon Ingram: The 6-8 Ingram plays at Kinston High in North Carolina. He is the overall No. 18 player and the No. 4 small forward. Ingram is currently uncommitted but is considering N.C. State, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Kentucky and UCLA.
Carlton Bragg: The 6-8 Bragg plays at Villa Angela-St Joseph in Ohio. He is the No. 16 overall player and the No. 6 power forward. Bragg will play his college basketball at Kansas.
Allonzo Trier: The 6-4 Trier plays at Findlay Prep in Nevada. he is the No. 12 overall ranked player and No. 2 ranked shooting guard. Trier has committed to play his college basketball at Arizona.
Jalen Brunson: The 6-1 Brunson is out of Adlai Stevenson in Illinois. He is the No. 19 overall ranked player and the No. 2 ranked point guard. he is committed to play at Villanova.
Caleb Swanigan: The 6-9 Swanigan plays at Honestead in Indiana. He is the No. 13 overall ranked player and the No. 4 ranked center. Swanigan is currently uncommitted and considering multiple schools.
Malachi Richardson: The 6-5 Richardson is out of Trenton Catholic in New Jersey. He is the No. 37 overall ranked player and the No. 6 ranked small forward. Richardson is committed to play at Syracuse.
Deyonta Davis: The 6-8 Michigan State-bound Davis plays at Muskegon (MI) High and is the No. 5 center in the Composite Rankings.
Ivan Rabb: The 6-10 Rabb is out of Bishop O’Dowd in Oakland California. Rabb is the overall No. 7 ranked player and the No. 2 ranked power forward. Currently uncommitted, Rabb is considering five schools, Arizona, California, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA.
Stephen Zimmerman: The 7-foot Zimmerman plays at Bishop Gorman High in Nevada. He is the overall No. 9 ranked player and No. 3 ranked center. Zimmerman is uncommitted and is considering UCLA, UNLV, Kansas, Kentucky and Arizona.
Chase Jeter: The 6-11 Jeter plays at Bishop Gorman in Nevada, alongside another Fan Poll McDAA, Stephen Zimmerman. He is the No. 8 overall ranked player and No. 3 ranked power forward. He is committed to play for Duke.
Perry Dozier: The 6-6 point guard out of Spring Valley (S.C.) is headed to South Carolina. He is the No. 6 shooting guard in the Composite Rankings.
MOST MCDONALD’S ALL-AMERICANS ALL TIME BY SCHOOL:
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.