McDonald's Practice Notes: Day 3

The day before the big game, it was a big man from Mississippi who stole the show in practice when he more than held his own against the projected No. 1 overall pick.

Taking a step back from all of the "hoopla" that is this week's McDonald's All-America Game activities, something is quite obvious about this year's squads: they are a great group of kids. With NBA scouts watching their every move and media types probing their minds for decisions about college commitments and/or draft declarations, they showed themselves to be gentlemen with superb poise and guile, especially for teenagers.

The East squad's Al Jefferson was arguably the most impressive player of practice on Tuesday. He displayed an array of inside moves and a strong ability to rebound among the trees inside. He went head-to-head with Dwight Howard and more than held his own. Look for a strong performance from him under the spotlight on Wednesday night.

The West's Glen Davis continued to draw double-takes from observers who are stunned by the agility and quickness of the 325-pound post player. On one play in particular during the West's intrasquad scrimmage, he gathered the ball at the right elbow, faked inside, drove the baseline, then finished with a reverse layup. Coach Brady at LSU would be wise to hide this young man from football coach Nick Saban.

J.R. Smith of the East continues to impress with his overall game. In shooting drills, he has shown excellent range, even if he is somewhat streaky. When he is in the open floor, he has a variety of moves and is an explosive and a sure-handed finisher. He should be entertaining when he hits the Ford Center floor on game night.

Malik Hairston is going to make some college coach very happy on signing day. He has a very athletic physique with room to grow. He has excellent quickness and threw several impressive passes during Tuesday's drills. While Hairston hasn't said it publicly, reports have UCLA and Kansas are the two leaders for his services.

Sebastian Telfair is ready to lead the East squad against the West. He is very vocal and an absolutely brilliant passer. Although he is a better shooter than some credit him for being, his floor game alone will make him a super addition to any team, professional or collegiate.

Shaun Livingston is going to be an instant fan favorite of the Cameron Crazies. Not only is he is an incredible basketball talent, but he has a sense of himself and a maturity that belies his age. The rich get richer.

Candace Parker, a 6-3 senior from Illinois, beat a male field that included Josh and J.R. Smith to win the Slam Dunk contest on Monday night. "I was saying earlier that I hope 10 years from now this isn't a big deal," said Parker, who will play at Tennessee next season. "That would be my dream. That 10 years from now, three or four girls enter the dunk contest and it's not a big deal. It's not like, 'Wow, she won.' I hope that happens." … The Slam Dunk contest will be shown on ESPN prior to the McDonald's Game, which is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.

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