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Cody Williams impresses at McDonald’s All-American Game

Plus, Bronny James got linked to the Buffs by a big name.

2023 McDonald’s All American Game Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

Cody Williams became the first Colorado recruit to participate in the McDonald’s All-American Game. It’s not the most competitive showcase, but it’s an honor to be named to the roster, let alone be named a starter, as Williams was.

Williams didn’t get to do too much in this game, but when he got the ball he showed legit skill as a slashing wing. He had three drives early where drew a foul, got blocked at the rim by freak athlete Ron Holland, and then rose for a two-handed dunk. He had a smaller defender on him on each possession, then easily blew by them without even doing a dribbling move. He just takes long steps, changes pace and gets to his spots, not dissimilar from his brother Jalen, who is making a late run for Rookie of the Year.

Williams also shined in transition. The play that made the highlights was his transition dunk where he has the smoothest, easiest looking yam you can imagine. But the moment that should get CU fans salivating was in the third quarter when he threw a transition pass through traffic to find Sean Stewart for the dunk. He also threw a full-time dime in the first quarter that his teammate couldn’t catch. The Buffs are going to push the pace — especially if they go small-ball without Lawson Lovering — and Williams will be center of that attack.

Elsewhere, Williams was one of a few players playing actual basketball. He wasn’t going hard on defense, but he was making the right rotations after his teammates got cooked off the drive. On offense he was setting screens, hunting switches and making smart cuts, although his guards were more interested playing iso ball and chucking shots. He stayed within himself and didn’t force any shots or drives. He seems like such a high-IQ player who should contribute to winning basketball the second he takes the floor in Boulder.

It’s important to note that this high school class is not very good. ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony called the 2024 draft class the worst in the last 20 years. He complained on the Lowe Post podcast that only a handful of players have shown significant improvement in the last few years: Matas Buzelis and Cody Williams, the first two picks in his latest mock draft, and Bronny James, whose name has overshadowed his development as legit 3-and-D wing. Buzelis is heading to the G League Ignite and Bronny could join him, but there was speculation that he might be interested in the Buffs.

Tate Frazier is more comedian than expert and quickly implied Deion Sanders is in on that recruitment. Bronny has also never listed Colorado among the programs he’s interested in and our sources confirmed he has never been contacted by the CU coaching staff. Most reports have stated he’s choosing between USC, Oregon and the G League, with Andy Enfield the favorite to secure his talents.