Eight uncommitted McDonald’s All-Americans give a recruiting update

Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram remain two of eight uncommitted All-Americans (adidas)

CHICAGO — The McDonald’s All-American game tips tonight at the United Center in Chicago and the game is especially intriguing this season because eight of the game’s 24 participants remain uncommitted in the recruiting process.

CBT caught up with all eight of those uncommitted players this week to see where they stand as we near the April Signing Period.

You can view the complete rosters for the 2015 McDonald’s All-American game here.


Jaylen Brown, 6-foot-7 small forward, Marietta, GA

As the No. 2 overall player in the class, Brown has the most attention on him this week and he’s still considering a number of different options. Brown has taken all five official visits to Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina and Michigan (in that order) and Cal recently received a surprise unofficial visit. Local schools like Georgia and Georgia Tech have also done their best to stay in the picture for Brown.

While Brown called Kentucky the “best basketball program in the country,” to reporters on Tuesday, he’s open to all of the schools on his list and is looking for more than just a school that churns out NBA players.

“It’s not about going to a certain school to be a pro. If I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, I think I can get to the NBA,” Brown said. “With my abilities, I just have to stay focused. A pro is a pro; it doesn’t matter what school [you attend].”

Cheick Diallo, 6-foot-9 forward, Centereach, NY

One of the best defenders in the 2015 class, Diallo is the No. 7 player in Rivals‘ rankings and has taken official visits to all five schools on his final list.

“I have my top five: Kentucky, St. John’s, Iowa State, Pitt and Kansas,” Diallo told NBCSports.com. “I’m just waiting to announce in April. Sometime before or after the Jordan game.”

St. John’s remains in the picture for Diallo, even with the hiring of new head coach Chris Mullin.

Thomas Bryant, 6-foot-10 forward, Huntington, WV

One of the better post players this week has been Bryant, who is down to four schools in the recruiting process. Bryant is looking at Syracuse, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. He’s finished all of his visits and is looking over a few factors in his recruitment.

“I’m looking at which guys that are still there, know the system,” Bryant said. “Coaches that really want me to be there as a focal point of their offensive system. I’m just taking it day-by-day. I just want to know that if I’m going to school, I’m going to get better there.”

There have been two schools on the final list of four that have been in touch the most in recent weeks.

“Two schools that have been really in touch with me are Indiana and Missouri,” Bryant said.

Since Syracuse was given sanctions by the NCAA, Bryant said he hasn’t heard from the coaches, but they’ve been in contact with his mother.

“I haven’t heard from them that much. They talk to my mom, I know that. I haven’t heard from them.” Bryant said of the Orange.

Bryant is planning on making a decision in the near future with the help of his mother.

“We’re trying to make a decision soon, but it just depends. When me and my mom talk it over and everything. When we both know, and I know, that’s when everyone else will know,” Bryant said.


Brandon Ingram, 6-foot-8 small forward, Kinston, NC

The fastest-rising prospect this week has been North Carolina native and small forward Brandon Ingram. The stellar play of Ingram has impressed a number of people in attendance at practices and he’s still weighing his options.

“I’m considering all six schools on my list right now. Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State,” Ingram said. “I took all my visits. I’ll take a couple of in-state visits when I get back home. And now I have a couple of in-homes.”

Many believe that Ingram could announce soon and he wants to figure things out before the end of the month.

“I want to announce by the end of this month,” Ingram said. “Of course, I want to get some more answers out of the way before I make my decision.”

Some of those answers might be about the situation at North Carolina, where the school is under scrutiny for an academic scandal that rocked college basketball this season. Ingram is only worried about his dialogue with the North Carolina coaching staff concerning the matter.

“The dialogue has been pretty good — and private — right now with [assistant] coach Steve Robinson and coach Roy Williams. I’m not listening to any outsiders or anything,” Ingram said. “I trust Roy Williams and I trust Steve Robinson, so [the recruitment] has been pretty good.”

Malik Newman, 6-foot-3 guard, Jackson, MS

Malik Newman has been quieter than most about the recruiting process but schools like Kansas, Kentucky, LSU,  N.C. State and Ole Miss remain in the picture. New Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland also visited with Newman right after taking the job and made a hard push for Newman to stay close to home.

“He came to the house. He did a tremendous job with [Russell] Westbrook. I think he can do a great job with me,” Newman said of Howland. “He’s one of those coaches; he’s demanding. He expects a lot out of you. I think he gets a lot out of his players.”

Even with many of the nation’s best making a late charge, Newman is taking his time with his decision.

“I think everyone is on an even platform,” Newman said of the recruiting process. “I’m trying to set up a few visits and once I set those up, [everyone] will know all of the schools that I’m looking at.”

Among the factors that will help Newman decide include finding a coach who has taken players to the next level.

“[I’m looking for] a program that has some players around there. A coach that has coached players of my caliber. Just a program that can help me accomplish my dreams; hopefully in a year or so,” Newman said.

Ivan Rabb, 6-foot-11 forward, Oakland, CA

Much has been made of Rabb making a decision in the near future. The five-star forward is down to two Pac 12 schools and broke them down to NBCSports.com.

“Right now, I’m down to Cal and Arizona. Those are my final two schools,” Rabb said. “Right now, it’s just me talking to both coaches, trying to make a decision. I like both schools a lot, I like the coaching staffs from both schools. I want to talk to my family and I want to try to figure out what I’m going to do.”

Cal is the local favorite for the Oakland native. Head coach Cuonzo Martin is selling Rabb on staying home and making a difference.

“Cal, I’m the hometown kid. I know for a fact that they’ll support me and the fan support will be ridiculous. The thing they’re selling me on is, ‘don’t be a part of something, be the start of something,'” Rabb said. “It’s been a very long time since they’ve had a player like myself that came in and they believe can make a big impact. And I believe in myself. Coach Martin and the coaches, they won’t let me fail.”

Arizona is also making a hard push for Rabb, though, and their track record with big men and making deep NCAA tournament runs is appealing to him.

“Arizona, they’ve proved themselves throughout the past few years — Sean Miller’s been there for awhile now — and he’s had a lot of bigs come through there. They’ve had Brandon [Ashley] and Rondae [Hollis-Jefferson] and Aaron [Gordon], so he’s shown me different ways I can play, similar to those guys, fitting into that system. It’s proven that the system works. They get deep in the tournament every year. Right now, he just says he needs me to get over that hump to get to the Final Four and maybe the national championship. I believe him and that may be a direction I want to go in but I have to figure that out.”

Stephen Zimmerman Jr., 7-foot-0 center, Las Vegas, NV

Another top-flight west coast post player still weighing his options is Stephen Zimmerman. Zimmerman cut his list earlier in the season and is still staying strong with that group of schools.

“I still have my top five: Kansas, Kentucky, UNLV, UCLA and Arizona. I talk to all of them a lot and they basically have the same message,” Zimmerman said. “Right now, I’m just talking to my parents. With games like this, people are committing and stuff. So, things come up and we’ll see.”

Zimmerman is awaiting to see where some other players commit and which players might go to the NBA before making a choice.

“Right now with the season winding down people are going to the NBA and deciding if they’re going to stay and people are committing. I’ll be able to see who I play with on each team. Of course, that’s a big thing,” Zimmerman said.

Caleb Swanigan, 6-foot-8 center, Fort Wayne, IN

One of the most bruising post players in the class is Swanigan, who is still considering a number of different schools.

“I’m still looking at Cal, Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, Purdue, Chicago State and Arizona,” Swanigan said.

Chicago State is the school that really sticks out there, but Cougars head coach Tracy Dildy recruited Swanigan’s older brother, Carl, to Ole Miss when he was an assistant there. Chicago State also offered Swanigan his first scholarship.

While the Cougars are likely an extreme darkhorse to land Swanigan, he’s taken official visits to Cal and Duke during the process. Kentucky has also received multiple unofficial visits.

Swanigan plans to announce his decision in April.

Purdue’s Edey returning to school at NBA draft deadline; Kentucky’s Tshiebwe stays in

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Purdue’s Zach Edey decided it was the right call to go back to school instead of staying in the NBA draft. His predecessor as national player of the year, Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, is sticking with his pro pursuit.

And Connecticut’s reign as NCAA champion will begin with multiple starters having left for the NBA draft and one returning after flirting with doing the same.

The 7-foot-4 Edey and UConn guard Tristen Newton were among the notable names to announce that they were withdrawing from the draft, the NCAA’s deadline for players who declared as early entrants to pull out and retain their college eligibility.

Edey’s decision came in social media posts from both the center and the Boilermakers program that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament behind Edey, The Associated Press men’s national player of the year.

But Tshiebwe announced late in the afternoon that he would remain in the draft after a college career that included being named the AP national player of the year in 2022.

For the current champions, Newton (10.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds) is returning after being one of four Huskies to declare for the draft after a run to UConn’s fifth national championship in early April. He scored a game-high 19 points to go with 10 rebounds in the victory over San Diego State in the title game.

The others were Final Four Most Outstanding Player Adama Sanogo, wing Jordan Hawkins and versatile guard Andre Jackson Jr. Sanogo (17.8 points) and Hawkins (16.3) have made it clear they have closed the door on their college careers, while team spokesman Phil Chardis said that Jackson (6.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists) would remain in the draft.

The Huskies have 247sports’ No. 3-ranked recruiting class for next year to restock the roster, led by McDonald’s All-American point guard Stephon Castle.

The NBA’s withdrawal deadline is June 12, but is moot when it comes to college players returning to school due to the NCAA’s earlier timeline to retain playing eligibility.


TREY ALEXANDER: Creighton gets back a 6-4 guard who averaged 13.6 points and shot 41% from 3-point range in his first full season as a starter.

ADEM BONA: The 6-foot-10 forward and Pac-12 freshman of the year is returning to UCLA after starting 32 games as a rookie and averaging 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks – with coach Mick Cronin praising his toughness for “competing through multiple injuries for as long as he could” in a statement Wednesday.

EDEY: He averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists while shooting 60.7% from the field. His presence alone helps Purdue be a factor in the Big Ten race.

JOSIAH-JORDAN JAMES: The 6-6 guard went through the NBA G League Combine and had workouts with multiple teams before opting to return to Tennessee for a fifth season alongside teammate Santiago Vescovi.

JUDAH MINTZ: The 6-3 freshman averaged 16.3 points and 4.6 assists for Syracuse, ranking third among Division I freshmen in scoring behind only Alabama’s Brandon Miller and Lamar’s Nate Calmese.

OWLS’ RETURNEES: Florida Atlantic got good news after its surprise Final Four run with the return leading scorers Johnell Davis (13.8) and Alijah Martin (13.4). ESPN first reported their decisions, while Martin later posted a social media statement.

TERRENCE SHANNON JR.: Illinois got a big boost with Shannon announcing his night in a social media post. The 6-6 guard is returning for a fifth college season after averaging 17.2 points.

SPARTANS’ RETURNEES: Michigan State announced that guards Jaden Akins and A.J. Hoggard have withdrawn from the NBA draft. Standout guard Tyson Walker had previously withdrawn in April, setting up Tom Izzo to have five of his top scorers back.


KOBE BROWN: Missouri’s 6-8 swingman opted against returning for a fifth college season after being an AP first-team all-Southeastern Conference pick averaging 15.8 points last season.

JAYLEN CLARK: The third-year UCLA guard averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while leading the Pac-12 with 2.6 steals en route to being named Naismith national defensive player of the year. Cronin called him a winner with strong intangibles who made UCLA “a better program because he chose to be a Bruin.”

BRICE SENSABAUGH: The Ohio State freshman averaged 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31 games before missing his final two in the Big Ten Tournament due to a knee injury. He’s a potential first-round prospect.

TSHIEBWE: The 6-9, 260-pound forward is a tough interior presence who led the country in rebounds for two straight seasons (15.1 in 2022, 13.7 in 2023) while racking up 48 double-doubles. But he faces an uncertain next stop and is projected at best as a second-round prospect.

North Carolina transfer Caleb Love commits to Arizona

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Caleb Love is now headed to Arizona.

The North Carolina transfer tweeted, less than a month after decommitting from Michigan, that he will play next season with the Wildcats.

“Caleb is a tremendously talented guard who has significant experience playing college basketball at a high level,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said in a statement. “We look forward to helping Caleb grow his game at Arizona. And as we near the completion of the roster for the upcoming season, we feel great about how everything has come together. Now it’s time for the real work to start.”

A 6-foot-4 guard, Love averaged 14.6 points and 3.3 assists in three seasons at North Carolina. He averaged 17.6 points in seven NCAA Tournament games, helping lead the Tar Heels to the 2022 national championship game.

Love entered the transfer portal after leading North Carolina with 73 3-pointers as a junior and initially committed to Michigan. He decommitted from the Wolverines earlier this month, reportedly due to an admissions issue involving academic credits.

Love narrowed his transfer targets to three schools before choosing to play at Arizona over Gonzaga and Texas.

Love will likely start on a team that will have dynamic perimeter players, including Pelle Larsson, Kylan Boswell and Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley.

Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events


WASHINGTON – All of the past drama and sore feelings associated with Louisiana State’s invitation to the White House were seemingly forgotten or set aside Friday as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the championship women’s basketball team to the mansion with smiles, hugs and lavish praise all around.

The visit had once appeared in jeopardy after Jill Biden suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited, too. But none of that was mentioned as both Bidens heralded the players for their performance and the way they have helped advance women’s sports.

“Folks, we witnessed history,” the president said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.”

The ceremony was halted for about 10 minutes after forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse as she and her teammates stood behind Biden. A wheelchair was brought in and coach Kim Mulkey assured the audience that Smith was fine.

LSU said in a statement that Smith felt overheated, nauseous and thought she might faint. She was evaluated by LSU and White House medical staff and was later able to rejoin the team. “She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge,” the LSU statement said.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Biden said, more than half of all college students are women, and there are now 10 times more female athletes in college and high school. He said most sports stories are still about men, and that that needs to change.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

“Folks, we need to support women sports, not just during the championship run but during the entire year,” President Biden said.

After the Tigers beat Iowa for the NCAA title in April in a game the first lady attended, she caused an uproar by suggesting that the Hawkeyes also come to the White House.

LSU star Angel Reese called the idea “A JOKE” and said she would prefer to visit with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, instead. The LSU team largely is Black, while Iowa’s top player, Caitlin Clark, is white, as are most of her teammates.

Nothing came of Jill Biden’s idea and the White House only invited the Tigers. Reese ultimately said she would not skip the White House visit. She and co-captain Emily Ward presented team jerseys bearing the number “46” to Biden and the first lady. Hugs were exchanged.

Jill Biden also lavished praise on the team, saying the players showed “what it means to be a champion.”

“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” she said, adding that watching them play was “pure magic.”

“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” the first lady added, noting that she grew up before Title IX was passed. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”

The president added that “the way in which women’s sports has come along is just incredible. It’s really neat to see, since I’ve got four granddaughters.”

After Smith was helped to a wheelchair, Mulkey told the audience the player was OK.

“As you can see, we leave our mark where we go,” Mulkey joked. “Sa’Myah is fine. She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed.”

A few members of Congress and Biden aides past and present with Louisiana roots dropped what they were doing to attend the East Room event, including White House budget director Shalanda Young. Young is in the thick of negotiations with House Republicans to reach a deal by the middle of next week to stave off what would be a globally calamitous U.S. financial default if the U.S. can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills.

The president, who wore a necktie in the shade of LSU’s purple, said Young, who grew up in Baton Rouge, told him, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.” Rep. Garret Graves, one of the House GOP negotiators, also attended.

Biden closed sports Friday by changing to a blue tie and welcoming the UConn’s men’s championship team for its own celebration. The Huskies won their fifth national title by defeating San Diego State, 76-59, in April.

“Congratulations to the whole UConn nation,” he said.

Marquette’s Prosper says he will stay in draft rather than returning to school

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MILWAUKEE — Olivier-Maxence Prosper announced he is keeping his name under NBA draft consideration rather than returning to Marquette.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decision.

“Thank you Marquette nation, my coaches, my teammates and support staff for embracing me from day one,” Prosper said in an Instagram post. “My time at Marquette has been incredible. With that being said, I will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. I’m excited for what comes next. On to the next chapter…”

Prosper had announced last month he was entering the draft. He still could have returned to school and maintained his college eligibility by withdrawing from the draft by May 31. Prosper’s announcement indicates he instead is going ahead with his plans to turn pro.

Prosper averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season while helping Marquette go 29-7 and win the Big East’s regular-season and tournament titles. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

He played two seasons at Marquette after transferring from Clemson, where he spent one season.

Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr. returning for last season of eligibility

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Kevin McCullar Jr. said that he will return to Kansas for his final year of eligibility, likely rounding out a roster that could make the Jayhawks the preseason No. 1 next season.

McCullar transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas for last season, when he started 33 of 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He was also among the nation’s leaders in steals, and along with being selected to the Big 12’s all-defensive team, the 6-foot-6 forward was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog,” McCullar said in announcing his return.

Along with McCullar, the Jayhawks return starters Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams from a team that went 28–8, won the Big 12 regular-season title and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Arkansas in the second round.

Perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks landed Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, widely considered the best player in the portal, to anchor a lineup that was missing a true big man. They also grabbed former five-star prospect Arterio Morris, who left Texas, and Towson’s Nick Timberlake, who emerged last season as one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.

The Jayhawks also have an elite recruiting class arriving that is headlined by five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson.

McCullar declared for the draft but, after getting feedback from scouts, decided to return. He was a redshirt senior last season, but he has another year of eligibility because part of his career was played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “Kevin is not only a terrific player but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”