football

Stars shine at McDonalds All-American practice

Wright julian200
All but one of the 24 players on the rosters for the McDonald's All American Game practiced at the University of Indiana at South Bend campus in preparation for the 28th annual game on Wednesday. Here is Rivals.com National Basketball Analyst Jerry Meyer's take on the player's performances during the first day of practice.
East Squad:
Korvotney Barber- Barber is listed at 6-foot-9 on the roster, but that is at least a three inch or more exaggeration. Looked very small compared to the other post players on the East squad. Does have long arms and is explosive, but has very limited range. Was hardly noticeable in the 5 on 5 portion of the practice.
Eric Boateng-Boateng is a little over his head physically as evident in his inability to get a hand on the ball in the 3 on 3 rebounding drills in practice. What he needs more than anything is strength, first in the lower body and then in the upper body. He did stroke free throw after free throw during that portion of the practice and does have a nice looking stroke that has potential.
Andrew Bynum-Definitely looked like a 7-footer during the practice, and he moved very well for a player that's coming off a knee injury. He was the one player that received the ball inside during the 5 on 5 portion of the practice, and although he had trouble finishing over the likes of Richard Hendrix, he did not shy away from contact. Will never be explosive, but will be extremely dangerous with the ball in the low post once he gets stronger.
Brandon Costner-Looked smooth and like he belonged. Shot the ball very well from behind the arc and with a hand in his face. He knows how to play the game.
Eric Devendorf-Spent most of the practice at the shooting guard position. Did nothing spectacular in the practice but was solid. Shot the ball well in the pre-practice shooting drills.
Danny Green-Green shot the ball well and displayed a solid all around game during practice. Athletically, he is a notch below other wings like Gerald Green and Calvin Miles.
Gerald Green-By far the best leaper on both teams. Did not practice with any intensity. That aspect of his game must improve if he is to make a positive impression on the numerous NBA scouts in attendance. Made little to no impact on the practice.
Richard Hendrix-Looked exceptional in the 3 on 3 rebounding drills with his strong body, long arms and sure hands. Shot the ball well out to 15-feet during the practice.
Josh McRoberts-Had a spectacular block on a drive by Louis Williams which displayed the athletic side of his game that is often overlooked. Although a great passer, he had some uncharacteristic turnovers during the practice. Shot the ball well out to 17-feet.
Tasmin Mitchell-Played with enthusiasm as always. Spent most of his time at the small forward position. Did not shoot the ball well from the perimeter and is limited athletically but still made a lot of positive plays. Always plays hard and can't help but make you think of a young Chuck Hayes.
Greg Paulus-Displayed incredible leadership during the practice. Was truly a quarterback on the court as he helped his teammates learn the secondary break and the set plays. Also displayed some secondary skills as he picked off a number of passes. Paulus was definitely the standout player of the day for the East squad.
Louis Williams-Primarily played point guard during the practice. Made some acrobatic shots and gained a spark once the East squad ran a little bit. Definitely is better in open court and one on one situations right now than in controlled, half court set up the offense scenarios.
West Squad
Jon Brockman-Played with his usually intensity and was often the first man down the court. A depleted West frontline with the absence of Luke Zeller found him matched up with Martell Webster and Brockman had his way around the basket. He also defended well on the perimeter, especially against the high ball screen. Will be interesting to see how he performs against the very large and deep frontline of the East.
Mario Chalmers-Played a control style of point guard and set up a lot of scores with very nice passes. Proved he is not just a gunner. Also, played solid defense, but had trouble finishing some very nice drives to the basket. The very good shooter attempted few outside jumpers.
Micah Downs-Although athletic and agile, he struggled mightily because of his lack of strength. Was ripped of the ball on numerous occasions, struggled to defend and missed his jumpers short. Downs definitely has ability and potential, but needs some time to work on his game and his body.
Byron Eaton-By far the strongest player on either squad. Caused a lot of havoc on defense and did a good job running his team. Did not take an outside jumper in the 5 on 5 portion of the practice.
Monta Ellis-Primarily played shooting guard but looked very good with the ball when running the point. Made some very slick passes in transition, and as the fastest player out there, the tempo drastically picked up with the ball in his hands. Had an average day shooting the ball.
Bobby Frasor-Struggled mightily shooting the ball in the 5 on 5 portion of the practice. Shot looked flat. Did a good job defensively but made nothing happen offensively.
Tyler Hansbrough-As always Hansbrough gave an strong effort on the court. Has to work harder to get the results that smoother athletes get with less effort. Did a good job finishing around the basket. Susceptible to the travel when catching the ball on the move. Very limited when facing the basket.
Amir Johnson-Johnson is a smooth athlete. Ran the floor well, blocked some shots, made some nice passes on the perimeter and made some midrange jumpers. This guy has tons of potential although he has some correctable flaws to his game such as his low release on his jumper.
Calvin Miles-Very smooth with the ball and passed it well in transition which is one of his greatest strengths. Outside shot was smooth and accurate. It would be interesting to see how good Miles could be if he played with more fire.
Martell Webster-Has an NBA body and shoots the ball with ease from deep. He is a step slow, however, and not very explosive. Does not cover a lot of ground with the dribble. Did get a number of defensive rebounds by being in the right position. Definitely a small forward and not a shooting guard. Does not have the quicks or handle for the off guard position.
Julian Wright-by far the most impressive player on either squad. Defended like a madman. Had spectacular defensive possessions where he ripped Martell Webster of the ball and then later locked up Monta Ellis and then pinned Tyler Hansbrough's shot on the glass after Ellis dished it off. Rebounded the ball, penetrated and hit the open man off the dribble. Did everything but make the outside jumper. If this ambidextrous, whirling dervish had a more consistent outside jumper, he would easily be the top player in the class.
Luke Zeller-Zeller got a day off to celebrate his Washington (Ind.) High School's state championship, which was won with his buzzer beater half court shot. Zeller is scheduled to be at Monday's morning practice.
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