In typical all-star game fashion, the 37th edition of the McDonald's All American game in Chicago, Ill., produced tons of offense, several highlights, much more highlight-seeking and very little defense.
In a game devoid of any semblance of fundamentals -- for the most part -- the West won 105-102 on the strength of 17 points and 7 rebounds from Duke-bound big man Jahlil Okafor. University of North Carolina recruit Justin Jackson was honored from the East after putting up an insanely efficient 23 points on 11-for-14 shooting. He just didn't know how to miss.
Blackmon was the second leading-scorer for the East, finishing with 13 points, 10 of which came in the second half. The three-point shooting champion a night ago, Blackmon found his shot off in the early going. The second half showed Blackmon's ability to hit a myriad of shots, including baseline jumpers and little floaters. Everyone knows Blackmon can knock down the three, so it was nice to see him show that he can step inside the arc and score in different ways. Blackmon and Ferrell are going to make for a very explosive back court come next season.
D'Angelo Russell finished the game with 11 points, four assists and two rebounds in just 15 minutes of court time. His vision was on full display, making several nice dishes -- including leaving an under-the-legs pass in prime position for Cliff Alexander (Kansas), who proceeded to miss the gimme dunk -- in addition to showing of his nice shooting stroke. Former NBA player and ESPN color commentator Jalen Rose, a guy who knows a few things about scoring, was raving about Russell early on. Russell has the opportunity to be an impact player for Thad Matta from day one.
Maryland commit Melo Trimble had a more understated game, but he was one of the more selfless players on the court. He missed all three of his shots in the first half but set up teammates very nicely on several plays, they just couldn't connect on the easy opportunities. Trimble proved that he can hang with this type of talent despite not being a big time scoring threat in this game. There was a lot of "I'm going to get mine" in this game and Trimble should be commended for looking to involve his teammates first. He is going to be a great addition for Maryland in their inaugural B1G season.
Aside from the B1G recruits, several other high school prodigies put on a show in Chi-town tonight.
Okafor and and Myles Turner (undecided) had a couple of brief battles under the rim, showing why they are two of the highest rated big men in the nation. Okafor took home the MVP, but Turner more than held his own against the more developed low post game of the future Blue Devil.
Emmanuel Mudiay (SMU) showed off his tremendous play-making ability with 15 points and 6 assists. He has a really high motor and Larry Brown has definitely stolen a gem from a lot of big time programs.
Despite a heavily bandaged right hand 6'9 forward Cliff Alexander (Kansas) was a handful all night long. He is an absolute beast down low and has no problem going up to challenge shots at the rim on the defensive end. If Joel Embiid stays another year that front line is going to be a terrifying prospect for the opposition.
Tyus Jones put his teammates in prime position to score all night, finishing with a game-high 10 assists. He has incredible control with the ball, using his speed and balance to draw defenders and open scoring lanes for others.
Overall this was an exciting, albeit sloppy, game to watch. There wasn't much new information to be gleaned here, but it was good to see so many highly touted prospects perform at such a high offensive level.