Thursday, March 31, 2011

Which players lived up to the hype in the 2011 McDonalds All American Game

Austin Rivers, Left, showed off his
long distance shot on Wednesday night.
All of the players in the McDonalds All American game will most likely go on and star in the NCAA next year, but here is a list of the players that stood out to me.

Quinn Cook, PG, Duke- Cook started out the game with a few long range threes.  He showed deep range on his jump shot during the rest of the game.  He showed that he is extremely quick weaving through traffic and he is very fast getting the ball down the court.  He has very good dribbling ability and he uses that to get his opponent off balance which allows him to get to the basket where he knows how to finish.

Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas- By far the fastest player in this game.  He seemed to race up and down the court but he did not lose control while going.  Time after time he penetrated into the lane and either hit the open man or pulled up for a jumper or a floater.

Michael Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky- One of the announcers compared Gilchrist to Scotty Pippen because of his length and defensive ability.  Gilchrist showed how active he can be on the glass, repeatedly grabbing offensive rebounds and finishing at the basket.  He has very good athletic ability and seemed to be one of the harder working players on the court.

Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky- Teague is a long, athletic point guard in the mold of Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe.  He is very fast with the basketball and is has a quick first step off the dribble.  With all of the talent on Kentucky's squad next year he will have his pick of who to dish the ball to when he breaks down the defense and gets into the lane.

Austin Rivers, SG, Duke- Rivers took some rushed shots, but its an all-star game so I don't read to much into that.  He showed that he can pull up off the dribble and nail the NBA three already, he also showed the ability to take his defender off the dribble, slash through 3 other defenders, and finish at the rim.  He was pretty impressive overall and definitely looked to be one of the elite players of this class.

McAdoo showed that he can be a threat
inside and outside for North Carolina
Cody Zeller, C, Indiana- Zeller had a few possessions where he received the ball with low position but looked a little overmatched and quickly passed the ball back out the wing.  If he improves his strength and conditioning those plays will soon be in the past.  He made a few strong finishes, showed his ability to knock down face up jumpers and made his presence known on the glass.

P.J. Hairston, SG, North Carlolina- Hairston is offensive dynamite.  He has unlimited range on his jump shot, making 2-3 from the NBA three and also has explosive athletic ability.  It is hard to tell if he needs to work on his defense because very few players actually play defense in this game, but if he becomes a defensive presence for North Carolina he will make a big time splash next season.

Kyle Wiltjer, PF, Kentucky- It looks as though my Ducks have missed another good prospect from Portland to Kentucky.  Wiltjer showed that he is active, and able, on the defensive end and he is fearless on the boards.  He has an old school game and even broke out a sky hook.  He uses a lot of fakes around the basket and can bring defenders out with his jumper.

James McAdoo, PF, North Carolina-McAdoo does not seem to have that elite vertical jumping ability, but he has long arms that make up for it.  He looks like he has spent a lot of time in the weight room and could probably contribute at the NBA level already.  He displayed a good shooting stroke from long distance, and also displayed the ability to score off the dribble or find the open man.  The way he looks on the floor and the way he played reminded me of Derrick Williams.

Khem Birch, C, Pittsburgh- Birch is the top ranked center in this class and he showed the blocking ability which got him that ranking.  He was a force on the offensive and defensive boards and recorded 6 blocks.  Once he grabbed the offensive rebounds he showed the ability to score the ball as he displayed with a few powerful dunks.  His offensive game is very raw, but the defensive ability is very present.

Anthony Davis' constantly improving skill
set will be a huge factor for Kentucky next
Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky- Davis was 6'3 about a year ago, since then he has shot up to almost 6'11.  He has the ball handling skills of a guard and the type of length and athleticism that is garnering him the comparison to Kevin Garnett.  He still looked a little raw to me, which in now way is a negative statement because he played great, it just shows how good this kid can be.  He will be a force for Calipari next season.

Brad Beal, SG, Florida-Beal showed his ability to be a deadly shooter from long distance.  He also showed that he has the fundamentals to succeed at the next level, for example he was one of the few players I saw who actually followed his shot.  Sometimes it is the little things that can help your team win, and Beal shows the willingness to do these.

Marshall Plumlee, PF/C, Duke- Plumlee didn't have a great game, but his athleticism was apparent.  He showed good ability on the offensive boards, but he will have to add some strength to bang with some of the players in the ACC next season.  Like his brothers, he really needs to work on his offensive game.

Branden Dawson, SG/SF, Michigan State- Dawson is a very athletic wing player who showed his rebounding ability.  He brought down 8 boards from the wing position.  He needs to work on his fundamentals and shooting ability, but he should make a big impact for Tom Izzo next year and in years to come. 

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