McDonald's All-American: West Breakdown

The West had more star power than the East, but couldn't get the win in the McDonald's game. Guys on the West had great weeks of practice, and no one was better than Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers.


Khem Birch, PF, Pittsburgh – All week long in practice Birch struggled. In fact struggled might be the single nicest adjective to describe his play. However when the game came on, Birch picked it up in a big way. He looked active on the glass, athletic around the rim, and blocked shots. Birch has to bring that energy on a daily basis, but given his nasty eye injury some of the tentativeness is understandable. Bottom line is, Birch stepped up during the game when he had to, and it was impressive.

Wayne Blackshear, SG, Louisville – It is tough to say much about Blackshear. He was injured early in the week and only played a few minutes during the game. Now he did get a bucket, so good for him, but overall it just wasn't a week where Blackshear was able to open up eyes because of his shoulder injury.

Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky – Coming into the week the debate was between Davis and Rivers, and all week long Davis seemed determined to hold on to the No. 1 spot. He is the most dominant defensive player, and one of the best rebounders in the class. During the game he dominated at times, and has the look of a future pro once he adds strength. The sky is simply the limit for Davis.

Branden Dawson, SF, Michigan State – Dawson is just a man beast. He does what he does, and that is rebound the basketball and then finish above the rim. Dawson's skill game is still lagging behind, so he will be in a work in progress, but when it comes to energy, toughness, and rebounding, Dawson is at the top of the class. There might not be a better fit for any player and his future school than Dawson and Michigan State.

Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas – There is no doubting the kind of quickness and distributive abilities that Kabongo possesses. He was better during practices than during the game because he did what he is capable of and didn't try to do too much. His turnovers can be a bit much at times, but that will tighten up once he gets to Austin. NBA guys loved him all week, and Kabongo only helped his stock, but still he can't turn it into an And-1 showcase just because the game is on TV.

LeBryan Nash, SF, Oklahoma State – All week long at best Nash was only moderately interested in competing. He was fairly quiet during the game, so that was a continuation of the practices and scrimmage. Still Nash's combination of strength and athleticism on the wing is one of the most impressive things you will see in the class.

Austin Rivers, SG, Duke – The game wasn't a typical domination from Rivers as he missed some shots, but still the week was a massive success. During practice Rivers was as good as anyone, and proved to his peers that he is right at or near the top of the list. Sure he needs to make others better, but Rivers can flat out get buckets at a level not often seen, and that is a heck of a skill to have.

Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky – He did absolutely nothing to hurt the notion that he is the top point guard in the class. Teague can get to the rim, is good in the mid-range, and also when motivated showed he can really guard. During the game he couldn't make shots, and that really isn't his game anyway, but he did pass the ball and make others better while scoring some. Teague is the premier point guard in this class, and it was proven out over time.

Adonis Thomas, SF, Memphis – You will simply have to trust us on this one. Thomas was completely dominant all week in practice. His shot was falling, he was getting to the rim off the dribble, and of course he was athletic and strong. During the game he struggled mightily, but give him a mulligan on that one, it was a great week for him in every other aspect.

Amir Williams, C, Ohio State – Williams is another kid whose week was limited due to an eye injury. As a big guy, the game is a bit of a wash for him since post feeds aren't exactly the name of the game in all-star atmospheres. Williams needs to get stronger, but still he has a lot of tools to work with, but will be a work in progress in college.

Kyle Wiltjer, PF, Kentucky – Maybe no player was more impressive from start to finish than Wiltjer. He seemingly didn't miss a shot the first few days of practice, and also was strong during the game showing off his significant skill level. Not a great athlete, Wiltjer can struggle getting up and down the floor, but still his mid-range and perimeter games are off the charts. Also Wiltjer rebounded and defended better than expected.

Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana – Zeller is just a grinder. He does nothing flashy, but is always effective. Zeller was good on the glass, scored inside and in the mid-range, and also showed off his solid basketball IQ. Now Zeller did struggle at times physically, but that will come. It was a very good week overall for Zeller who was a slightly late arrival due to winning a state title over the weekend.

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