In The Paint: Breaking Down 2024 McDAAG!

In The Paint: Breaking Down 2024 McDAAG!


The rosters for the 2024 McDonald’s All-American Game were released on January 23 and the “In The Paint” Show broke it down in a special edition (Ep. 178) of its weekly podcast. The ITP crew goes hard on this year’s McDonald’s All-American selections. Did FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.) deserve to have more than three choices? The podcast also breaks down the trends, snubs, the college choices, and the future of the game.

RELATED:  Preseason 2023-24 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker | “In The Paint” Podcast (Spotify) |  “In The Paint” Podcast (YouTube) | BIL McDonald’s All-American Game Archives |  

McDonald’s All-American Game Notes & Tidbits

*The 2024 game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston, April 2 (9 pm ET, ESPN). The 2023 game was also played in Houston after the 2022 game was played at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. 

*The first recognized team in 1977 had 15 players and actually played against the DMV team in the Capital Classic, which began in 1974. The actual East vs. West format began in 1978 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.

*Every NCAA championship team since 1978 has had a McDonald’s All-American on its roster except three: 2002 Maryland, 2014 UConn, 2021 Baylor.

*A majority of the teams that have finished No. 1 in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings or by the National Sports News Service before 1987-88 has had a McDonald’s All-American on the roster. The five mythical national championship teams that did not have a future McDonald’s All-American on its roster are: 2009-10 Yates (Houston, Texas), 1998-99 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), 1994-95 St. Augustine (New Orleans, La.), 1985-86 Camden (N.J.) and 1985 Spingarn (Washington, D.C.). Five other teams didn’t have a senior McDonald’s All-American, but had a future one as an underclassmen: 2010-11 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) with junior Kyle Anderson, 2004-05 Niagara Falls (N.Y.) with sophomore Johnny Flynn, 1999-00 Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) with junior Tyson Chandler, 1995-96 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) with junior Anthony Perry and 1990-91 Simon Gratz (Philadelphia, Pa.) with sophomore Rasheed Wallace.

Programs with the Most McDonald’s All-Americans

35: Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of WIlson, Va.) 198017: Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), 201312: DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 197912: Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) 201611: IMG Academy (Brandenton, Fla.) 201710: Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 20098: St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) 19847: Dunbar (Baltimore, Md.) 19837: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 19846: Camden (N.J.) 19816: Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) 19786: Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 1995

Note: Program listed by first year team member selected. Findlay Prep and St. Anthony are now closed. The only Oak Hill Academy McDonald’s All-American selection who wasn’t coached by retired coach Steve Smith was Glen Mayers in 1980. In the past two seasons since he retired as head coach, Oak Hill Academy has not produced a McDonald’s All-American. Oak Hill has had some notable players that would be considered snubs as well, most notably Rod Strickland in 1985 and Cam Thomas in 2020.  

*IMG Academy has produced all of its All-Americans selections since 2016-17 and was the first program to have three players selected in the same year, when the 2019 FAB 50 No. 1 team produced Armando Bacot Jr., Josh Green and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. IMG Academy produced three players for a single game once again in 2022 with Jaden Bradley, Jarace Walker and Keyonte George. IMG Academy produced one selection this year in Syracuse-bound Donnie Freeman. That brings IMG’s total to 11 selections in the past eight seasons.  

*The 2020 FAB 50 title team at Montverde Academy also had three selections: Mr. Basketball USA Cade Cunningham, first five Elite All-American Scottie Barnes and forward Day’Ron Sharpe. This season, Montverde Academy once again has three players selected in Mr. Basketball USA candidates Cooper Flagg (Duke) and Derik Queen (one of three undecided players) and Indiana-bound Liam McNeeley. Montverde Academy has produced the second most McDonald’s All-Americans by one program after Oak Hill Academy with 17. With Georgia-bound forward Asa Newell and Baylor-bound point guard Robert Wright not selected for this year’s game, it’s highly unlikely more than three players from one school in the same season will ever get selected for the game. Wright, in particular, we feel is vastly underrated and rate as a national Top 10 prospect.  

*Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) produced three selections this year and now is tied with long-time FAB 50 power DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) for third all-time with 12 selections, all in the past nine seasons. Those players are Zoom Diallo (Washington), Aiden Sherrell (Alabama) and Derrion Reid (Alabama). DeMatha’s first McDonald’s All-American was guard Sidney Lowe as part of the famed 1979 Class.

*In 1977, McDonald’s All-American Game Founder Bob Geoghan tapped DeMatha coach Morgan Wootten as the Selection Committee Chairman. Retired UCLA coach John Wooden was named McDonald’s Game Chairman. Geoghan had Wootten coach the U.S. All-Star team in the first McDonald’s Capital Classic in 1974. The Naismith Hall of Fame coach was also chosen by Sonny Vaccaro to coach in the first Dapper Dan Roundball Classic in 1965. 

*In 1978-79, DeMatha opened up as preseason No. 1 team in the country after capturing the mythical national title in 1977-78. The Stags finished 28-3 in 1978-79. Lowe’s backcourt mate Dereck Whittenburg wasn’t originally selected for the 1979 McDonald’s Game, but ended up playing as a late fill-in for injured Jimmy Braddock of Baylor Prep (Chattanooga, Tenn.). Whittenburg ended up making two free throws to send the game into overtime and nailed a jump shot in overtime to give the East team a lead it would not relinquish in a 106-105 victory. Whittenburg was also the hero for the D.C. metro team at the McDonald’s Capital Classic against a star-studded U.S. team. He nailed a deep corner jumper with eight seconds remaining to secure the D.C. Metro Team’s 86-85 victory. Lowe and Whittenburg both went to N.C. State and were almost joined by Wootten following their freshman season of college. Ultimately, he turned down the N.C. State job to stay at DeMatha. The DeMatha backcourt stars would go on to become NCAA champions under Jim Valvano. In the 1983 NCAA title game, Whittenburg let fly another long-range jumper as time was about to run out — and it came up a bit short. Teammate Lorenzo Charles, however, slammed home the shot to give NC State a dramatic win over heavily favored Houston.   

*The first pair of high school teammates originally selected to the McDonald’s All-American Game were Aaron Bain (Villanova) and George Lynch (North Carolina) in 1989 from Flint Hill Prep (Roanoke, Va.). 

*Since 2017, the teams that make up the EYBL Scholastic League (previously known as the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference), plus Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) and now defunct Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) account for over 29 percent (55 of a possible 192) of all the McDonald’s All-American selections. The high mark was 11 of the 24 in 2022.

Father-Son McDAAG Duos (In Order Prior):

Doc Rivers, Proviso East (Maywood, Ill.) 1980 & Austin Rivers, Winter Park (Fla.) 2011Gary Springer, Ben Franklin (New York) 1980 & Jaden Springer, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 2020Milt Wagner, Camden (N.J.) 1981 & Dujuan Wagner, Camden (N.J.) 2001 James Blackmon Sr., Marion (Ind.) 1983 & James Blackmon Jr., Marion (Ind.) 2014Ricky Winslow, Yates (Houston) 1983 & Justise Winslow, St. John’s (Houston) 2014Rick Brunson, Salem (Mass.) 1991 & Jalen Brunson, Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.) 2015Charles Bannon Sr., Artesia (Lakewood, Calif.) 1993 & Charles O’Bannon Jr., Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 2017Lester Earl, Glen Oaks (Baton Rouge, La.) 1996 & Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 2019Dujuan Wagner, Camden (N.J.) 2001 & D.J. Wagner, Camden (N.J.) 2023LeBron James, St. Mary-St. Vincent (Akron, Ohio) 2003 & Bronny James, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 2023

Note: The Wagners are the first father-son-grandson combo to ever play in the game. All three of them played on nationally-ranked teams at Camden (N.J.). 

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores



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