McDonald's Game: Wright, Griffin Shine

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Chris Wright and Blake Griffin got it done Monday night as they captured the 3-point and slam dunk championships at the McDonald's All-American Game.

A capacity crowd packed into Bellarmine's gymnasium Monday night to see the nation's finest cut loose and have a little fun before the big game on Wednesday. But before the kids got loose, the fans had a little fun themselves.

The Kentucky jerseys with cardboard cutouts of Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas in uniform were a nice touch. The two UK fans who took the time to create the masterpieces might as well be doing mailouts for the Wildcats until a new coach is in place.


Michael Beasley made this spectacular dunk, but missed two in the final (photo by Glenn Nelson)

Speaking of the fans, there was actually a smattering of boos for Nolan Smith who must have made an enemy or two when he opted for Duke instead of the hometown Cardinals.

Smith, however, was all smiles when he and Cetera DeGraffenreid (North Carolina) won the team ball championship over Kosta Koufos and his teammate.

To understand the level of competition in the Powerade 3-Point Championship, you need only read the list of competitors that didn't qualify for the final round.

Exiting after 25 shots were the following:

  • Corey Stokes, 19 points
  • Jai Lucas, 16
  • O.J. Mayo, 15
  • Kyle Singler, 14
  • Taylor King, 13
  • Eric Gordon, 13

    When the smoke cleared it was Nick Calathes (23 points in the first round) going head-to-head with Chris Wright (20). The contestants advanced to the final round where Wright shot first and wound up sinking the final moneyball which proved to be the difference as he bested Calathes 21-20.


    Dunk Champ Blake Griffin (Glenn Nelson)

    The first round of the dunk contest lacked a James White level throw down and it came down to Michael Beasley squaring off against previously unheralded dunker Blake Griffin.

    The all-Big 12 signee final was sealed when Beasley, the favorite, missed in the finals. However, he was able to reel off a very strong effort in the previous round.

    Griffin, who might be closer to 6-foot-10 than 6-8, has been impressive in the practice sessions according to those who have been around the first few days.

    Jeff Capel's prize signee pulled off the surprise dunk contest victory. There's no debating his inclusion in this event and now he's got the hardware to prove it.


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