Vaughn scoring at willOne of the best players in attendance so far this week has been Rashad Vaughn. A kid who spent a lot of time on the sideline at Findlay Prep this year due to injury, I was anxious to see Vaughn fully healthy in this setting and he has had a really successful week so far.
Vaughn has always been known as a knockdown shooter, but the way he's been able to create his own shot off the dribble while also making himself tough to guard by hitting fadeaways has been really impressive.
While Vaughn is much more of a threat to score with his jumper than on the drive, if you give him space, he's taking a pretty high percentage shot, and that's good news for UNLV next season.
Towns has strong showingKentucky signee Karl Towns showed up in Chicago in the best shape I've ever seen him. Towns, who stands 6-foot-11, appears to have lost a considerable amount of baby fat, while also adding some muscle to his upper body.
To go with the development of his body, Towns has played particularly well during the McDonald's All-American practices. He's been aggressive on both ends of the floor and has faired quite well in a post battle with Myles Turner.
While Turner has certainly had his moments, Towns has been able to carve out low post position against him and has been able to score over his left shoulder and with power moves in the paint with consistency.
Towns has also done a good job on the backboard, used his length to contest shots and while he hasn't made many jump shots, he's certainly shown that he's capable of making them.
The practices have been competitive and Towns has been among the biggest standouts and surprises of the event.
East guards finally get goingAfter a couple days of big men thoroughly dominating play — namely, Karl Towns and Myles Turner — the East team's perimeter performers stepped up their aggressiveness on Tuesday morning.
Maryland signee Romelo Trimble banged in some jump shots, and Ohio State signee D'Angelo Russell was truly outstanding. The slender guard drilled corner threes, made great passes on the break and appeared to have an extra touch of quickness compared with the prior sessions.
Meanwhile, Theo Pinson enjoyed some fine moments for the East as well. The North Carolina signee hit one very difficult, fading baseline jumper that he set up with a crossover dribble. Prized Duke recruit Tyus Jones has been a little quiet this week, but he came on late in today's practice with some drives weaving in traffic and laser passes out of screen and roll.
To be clear, there's still no mistaking that it was Towns and Turner who dominated that court. While the West practices were more competitive across the board, the East focus began and ended in the middle. But at least on Tuesday, the session featured more balance than it had previously and some more passive guards showed why they earned their way into this game.
Tyler Ulis< PG — It may be a slight stretch to call Ulis one of the most effective players here, but let's put it this way: He arguably has been the best of all the point guards. The future Kentucky Wildcat's quickness has been evident from day one, and he persistently attacked the lane and either scored or dished out to open shooters. He also buried a few jump shots on Tuesday morning and, as always, proved to be a defensive pest. He's a little guy and that's a concern going forward, but the upside is that he picks dribbles and jumps passing lanes. He proved beyond doubt that he belongs in the game, and if the Harrisons depart Lexington after this season, he should be up to the challenge of running the show for John Calipari.
Kevon Looney, PF – Looney appears to have grown to 6-foot-9. He's blessed with wide shoulders and a long set of arms. Although he has a skinny frame, he's wiry strong and is a tough kid. He plays hard on both ends and is one of the best rebounders in the 2014 class and he's certainly shown that this week. Looney has also put his mid-range jump shot on display and it's a shot he can consistently make. Looney will make an immediate impact at UCLA next year.
Evan Daniels, Josh Gershon and Rob Harringotn contributed to this report