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Heel Tough Blog: Ian Jackson Shines in McDonald's All-American Game

Tar Heel Times

The 2024 McDonald’s All-American Game took place last night, with the West topping the East, 88-86. Carolina was well represented in this year’s game, having two future Tar Heels on the East roster, Ian Jackson and Drake Powell. Jackson, the five-star guard from New York, played 26 minutes, scoring points on 9-21 shooting, and was 1-5 from behind the arc. His McDonald’s All-American teammate, and future teammate at Carolina, Drake Powell failed to score in his 17 minutes, but that shouldn’t lessen your excitement for Powell’s arrival in Chapel Hill. 

Ian Jackson will arrive at Carolina, looking to be the second freshman to start in the backcourt under Hubert Davis, after Elliot Cadeau became the first during the 2023-24 season. His starter status will ultimately depend on the decision of R.J Davis, as he weighs the option to return for his super senior season or start his journey in professional basketball. Combined with whatever Carolina does in the transfer portal, if Davis leaves, Carolina’s backcourt would be very young going into the season, unless they add a veteran out of the transfer portal. Nonetheless, Jackson will be an impact player right away for Carolina, as they look to replicate their regular season success, with hopes of a deeper NCAA Tournament run next year.

As for Drake Powell, his rise in the recruiting rankings isn’t a surprise to him, and he will arrive at Carolina as a five-star wing, also like Jackson, with the potential to be an impact player right away. Powell is a 6-6 wing and has the type of talent and skill to play on the perimeter that Carolina wants and needs, even if Harrison Ingram, opts to return to Carolina for his senior season. Factor in that Powell is a local product, he’ll quickly become a fan favorite, and a guy who will look to help the team no matter if he’s in a starting role or a guy that comes off the bench. 

Make sure to stay tuned to the Heel Tough Blog for the latest news and notes around Carolina Basketball, as a busy off-season is officially underway in Chapel Hill. 

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