On Tuesday night before 14,598 cheering fans at the United Center in Chicago the West All-Stars rolled to a 136-119 win over the East All-Stars in the 41st annual edition of Sonny Vaccaro's original national high school all-star basketball game, the incomparable Roundball Classic.
We previously gave our player evaluations of the eleven players on the East squad. Following are our assessments of the game performance and projected abilities of the ten players on the victorious West All-Stars team. Players are listed alphabetically.
Wilson Chandler 6-8 210 P/WF signed with DePaul
Game stats: 13 pts., 5-8 FG, 0-0 3pt., 3-4 FT, 5 rebs., 3 assists, 0 TO, 1 block, 0 steals
Honored as the 2005 Mr. Basketball in Michigan, Chandler was rated one of the top 10 performers at the talent filled NBPA Top 100 Camp last June. Has skills and versatility to play either forward position. Will be a major addition to coach David Leitao's DePaul Blue Demons next year.
Eric Devendorf 6-4 190 1/2G signed with Syracuse
Game stats: 17 pts., 5-11 FG, 4-4 3pt., 1-3 FT, 1 reb., 7 assists, 3 TO, 0 blocks, 2 steals
Devendorf's superb play earned him co-MVP honors for the West team. Has strength, toughness, quickness off the dribble, and ability to score from virtually anywhere make him one of the nation's top backcourt prospects. Can play both guard positions, and is the likely heir to Gerry McNamara at Syracuse. Will play in the McDonald's All-American Game.
Byron Eaton 5-10 210 PG signed with Oklahoma State
Game stats: 7 pts., 2-8 FG, 1-1 3pt., 1-2 FT, 3 rebs., 10 assists, 2 TO, 0 blocks, 1 steal
Makes up for lack of height with strength, quickness, intensity, and determination. Was top playmaker in game with 10 assists. Excellent penetrator and dish-off artist. Utilizes football toughness on the hardwood. Very quick on the ball defender. Could start at Oklahoma State next year in John Lucas' spot. Will play in the McDonald's All-American Game.
Bryan Harvey 6-5 210 G/F signed with Louisville
Game stats:13 pts., 1-9 FG, 3-8 3pt., 2-2 FT, 4 rebs., 1 assist, 1 TO, 0 blocks, 2 steals
Late addition to game, had outstanding year for coach Russell Otis at Compton, CA, Dominguez High School. Effective outside shooter, with quickness to get to the hoop. Could develop into a Larry O'Bannon type player for coach Rick Pitino.
Amir Johnson 6-9 215 C/F signed with Louisville
Game stats: 17 pts., 8-11 FG, 0-0 3pt., 1-1 FT, 3 rebs., 1 assist, 4 TO, 4 blocks, 3 steals
Very gifted athlete with exceptional speed, quickness, and leaping ability. Effective offensive player, but needs to be more aggressive on the boards, and protect the ball. Did a good defensive job against taller Andray Blatche. Is admired by NBA scouts, so future a Louisville is not certain. Will play in the McDonald's All-American Game.
Marcus Johnson 6-6 200 G/F signed with Connecticut
Game stats: 8 pts., 3-8 FG, 1-3 3pt., 1-4 FT, 5 rebs., 2 assists, 1 TO, 0 blocks, 2 steals
Blue-collar player. Not spectacular, but comparable to UNC's Jackie Manuel. Not a great scorer, but a tenacious defender. Will fit in perfectly with coach Jim Calhoun's Huskies.
Josh McRoberts 6-10 230 PF signed with Duke
Game stats: 11 pts., 4-8 FG, 3-4 3pt., 0-2 FT, 7 rebs., 2 assists, 5 TO, 3 blocks, 1 steal. Was the most impressive player in the practices with his high basketball I.Q., and superlative fundamental skills. Outstanding left-handed shooter, and the best passing big man in this class. Never seemed to get into the flow of this "run-n-gun" style game. Is at his best in a more structured environment. I think he is the most talented player in the Class of 2005. Now attracting NBA interest, which must cause concern for the Duke Blue Devils. Will play in the McDonald's All-American Game, and could be matched against North Carolina signee, 6-9 PF Tyler Hansbrough. That would be interesting.
Tasmin Mitchell 6-7 235 P/WF signed with L.S.U.
Game stats: 17 pts., 6-14 FG, 1-2 3pt., 4-5 FT, 8 rebs., 3 assists, 1 TO, 2 blocks, 1 steal. We have watched his progression since his freshman year. One of the most fierce competitors in high school hoops. A "true court warrior." Mitchell could and probably should have been a co-MVP in this game. Has really improved his shooting range and accuracy since last summer. Will team with Glen Davis to give L.S.U. and outstanding frontcourt duo next year. Will play in the McDonald's All-American Game.
Brandon Rush 6-6 205 G/F unsigned, hopes to go to NBA
Game stats:21 pts., 10-14 FG, 1-2 3pt., 0-0 FT, 11 rebs., 5 assists, 2 TO, 2 blocks, 0 steals. The obvious choice as the MVP of the game, shared honor with Eric Devendorf for the West team. This soon-to-be 20-year-old wanted to prove in this game that he belongs to be rated among the nation's best, and he accomplished that. Had an up-and-down season, often playing spectacular, and sometimes lackluster, which turned off NBA scouts. This game should have made a positive impression. Played with effortless grace, and led all scorers. Most of his points came on high-flying dunks, or tip-ins. Played good defense, especially against Gerald Green, to show NBA scouts that he does have defensive abilities. Reportedly, has now qualified academically, and could attend a college. Oklahoma, Florida State, and Louisville are schools that he mentions. However, he would love to join his brother, Kareem Rush, in the NBA.
Shawne Williams 6-8 210 WF signed with Memphis
Game stats:12 pts., 5-12 FG, 1-6 3pt., 1-4 FT, 1 reb., 2 assists, 4 TO, 0 BS, 0 steals
This post-graduate repeated his senior year at Laurinburg Institute (NC), after signing with Memphis last year. Was impressive at the Reebok ABCD Camp last summer, and had an outstanding season at Laurinburg. His performance in the Roundball Classic, hopefully, will convince NBA scouts that he first needs to play for coach John Calipari at Memphis.
This concludes our player evaluations for the Reebok/EA Sports Roundball Classic All-Star Game.