CHICAGO - After three days of practice, the East and West finally met on national television. In front of the largest ever McDonald's All-American Game crowd of 20,019, James McAdoo and Mike Gilchrist led the East to an 111-96 win over the West.
McAdoo and Gilchrist Co-MVP's
The East drew first blood when Brad Beal scored the first five of his 17 points on a tough drive to the left and pretty three from the right wing.
While Beal supplied perimeter punch, James McAdoo and Mike Gilchrist took care of just about everything else.
The North Carolina-bound McAdoo was outstanding in transition and proved that he's a guy who can use his athleticism to go get it. On the night he was good for 17 points and four rebounds on 8-of-13 shooting.
"Just to come out here and play in front of 20,000 people is unreal," said McAdoo. "Only 24 of us guys got this opportunity with thousands of people who didn't get the chance. To get this opportunity to win MVP with Mike is great."
"I think the East, our guards did a good job of getting the big guys the ball. I ran the floor and they found me."
Meanwhile, Gilchrist struggled to finish early but impacted the game in so many other positive ways. He played good defense, ran the point on several possessions and used his rebounding ability to jump-star his offense.
On the night, Gilchrist finished with an impressive double double of 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Kentucky signee also threw out four assists to zero turnovers for good measure.
"It was just a blessing," said a very shy Gilchrist. "I don't even know what to say. I had a lot of fun on the court with these guys."
More McDonald's observations
Brad Beal, SG, East- Not surprisingly the Florida signee came out ready to score and got his squad off on the right track. While his jumper didn't fall as often as it usually does, Beal impressed on power drives to the basket going right or left. He finished with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Khem Birch, PF, West- The practice sessions hadn't been particularly kind to the 6-foot-8 Pitt commitment, but he was perhaps the biggest story of the game. Birch used his quickness, off the floor, length and rebounding to impact the game on both ends. He finished with team highs of 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. Had there been an MVP for the West, Birch surely would have been him.
Branden Dawson, SF, West- He only played 14 minutes, but the 6-foot-5 power wing made the most of them. Dawson put together a sneaky good line of nine points (4-of-5 FG) and eight rebounds. More impressive was that six of those rebounds were of the offensive variety.
P.J. Hairston, SG, East- The 6-foot-5 North Carolina signee finished off his McDonald's experience just as solidly as he started it. Looking aggressive on the offensive end, it was good to see Hairston use his strength and explosion to attack the rim. His range, is nearly unmatched in the class of 2011.
Anthony Davis, PF, East- The 6-foot-9 Kentucky signee's flash of four minutes to start the second half was impressive. He's long, interrupts shots, runs the floor and has skill. He was good for 14 points, six rebounds and four blocks.