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March 30, 2010
McDonald's All-American Game: Tuesday Practice
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Finally on Tuesday the West squad spent a significant amount of time scrimmaging in a five-on-five setting. Along with the West getting to go after each other full speed, the East as usual was working in full force. While there were many who stood out, Josh Selby continues to make all kinds of explosive plays with the ball in his hands.
In the final day of preparations, the teams put in some final sets and went over the offense one last time. Then both squads got to work in a full court setting, and the stars came out.
West Top Performers
Harrison Barnes: As usual the multi-talented Barnes was on his game. Barnes showed deep range, and also was good going to the rim and finishing with his length and athleticism. Beyond that, Barnes did an excellent job on the defense end where he came down and blocked shots from the weak side as well as playing solid on the ball. Overall Barnes clearly asserted himself as one of the top wings, and one of the top players overall on Tuesday.
Cory Joseph: One of the quickest guards with the ball, and also one of the best shooters, Joseph proved to be a tough matchup during Tuesday's session. He had one spin move and jump shot from the mid-range that was extremely impressive, and along with that he is doing a solid job of getting his teammates involved as a floor general. All day on Tuesday he proved to be too much for many of the other guards on the West team, and had an excellent day on the defensive end as well.
Doron Lamb: There might not be a better pure scorer from the outside in the entire game than Lamb. While not the best athlete, Lamb knows how to get open and is very crafty with the ball in his hands. All day on Tuesday his shot was falling, and from 15-20 feet he can absolutely be automatic. What makes Lamb unique is that he hits challenged shots with the same consistency that he hits open shots.
Patric Young: Young has been a beast on the glass all week long, and that was extremely evident on Tuesday. The future Florida Gator attacked the rim with thunderous dunks, and used his unique combination of athleticism and strength to create space for himself down low. To this point none of the bigs on the West team have been able to keep Young from making his presence felt around the rim.
Fabricio de Melo: The big man from Brazil is in the best shape of his life, and his high motor and activity have been excellent to see. Melo is still somewhat raw on the offensive end, but he will block shots, rebound, and run the floor very well as anyone his size. Once he gets in the weight room and refines his offensive skills he should be excellent, and to this point that upside has been on display.
Jereme Richmond: When it comes to converting in the mid-range, very few are better than Richmond. Going against Barnes hasn't been easy for him, but Richmond has fared very admirably. He has an excellent pull-up jumper, and from the 15-18 mark Richmond has been money. Also he is athletic and long which makes him a solid defender and good rebounder coming off the wing.
East Top Performers
Josh Selby: Tuesday was yet another huge day for Selby. The Baltimore native has been completely unguardable all week long, and that didn't change at all during Tuesday's practice. Selby got to rim at will, and also had his shot working from the outside. With his athleticism and ability to finish both inside and on the perimeter makes him such a tough matchup. Quite honestly no one could guard him.
Kyrie Irving: As the practices continue, Irving continues to show what he brings to the team. Irving has done an excellent job of getting his teammates involved, and running the show. On top of that he is a capable shooter, and a very willing defender. While he hasn't been flashy, Irving has just been extremely solid in every aspect on the floor.
Jared Sullinger: Of all the big guys, Sullinger clearly has the best feel for the game. He passes well out of the post, knows how to size up his defenders and make a move, and also just finds the basketball off the glass for rebounds. He isn't the most explosive player, but he has been very tough all week long for the East bigs matchup with.
Perry Jones: The production still isn't there with Jones, but every once in a while he does some things that absolutely wow you. He runs the court, hits threes, and makes things very difficult on the opposing big guys. So far Jones is the only one on the East who has had any success at all trying to stop Sullinger. If he learns to play mean, there is no telling how good he can be.
Tobias Harris: Harris is just having an absolutely incredible week, and on Tuesday it was no different. He is just so smooth with the ball, and defenders have had little luck staying in front of him. Also his shot has looked great, and overall has just been a major matchup problem. On the wing with his size and athleticism, he has taken bigger defenders to the rim off the dribble or hit shots from the perimeter, and smaller defenders have had very little luck stopping him down on the block.
Deshaun Thomas: Thomas had it working from deep during the East practice session. The second all-time leading scorer in Indiana history showed off his deep stroke, and hit several in a row, and at the same time he created possessions for his team by making several steals on the defensive end. Thomas played with a high motor, and had one of the better days in practice.
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