Brandon Jennings knows the McDonald's assist record is 13. After taking in Tuesday's practice and seeing the show first hand, there is but one conclusion to be drawn: records are made to be broken. Sorry, Jacque Vaughn, this one may fall.
The final practice for the 2008 McDonald's All-American game was a proving ground for a certain guard. The West's Brandon Jennings
gave a captive audience plenty to think about heading into Wednesday night's game.
"I don't get some of the stuff that he does (with the ball)," Iman Shumpert said. "I don't get it. He's an extraordinary guard."
To everyone who took in the practice session, Jennings was the talk of the morning. His wicked handle against defenders like Jrue Holiday and Larry Drew was on point. High-level defenders are finding it tough to keep the kid in front of him.
For all the high-risk passes and off balance jumpers there's a serious dish in transition that leaves you shaking your head. Sometimes it'll be a pass that no one else sees that he completes by threading the needle.
In a crisp 4-on-4 session, Jennings dropped the patented fadeaway shot for the game-winner and his team found the winner's circle a lot. He's so sticky with the ball and jet quick. Frankly, with this much talent on the court, kids will still star gaze when Jennings has the ball.
Entering the biggest game of the year, Jennings is center stage.
"I love his game," Scotty Hopson said. I'm on the West team playing with him so I'm going to run the floor. The moves he makes, the passes he makes; I don't know how he sees me sometimes. I'm amazed by his game."
In case you haven't caught on by now Samardo Samuels remains the most consistent, reliable big man in this class. Others (namely B.J. Mullens) may have more significant upsides but none outwork, out produce and out hustle Samuels. He's a horse and the other kids here know it.
Mike Rosario, because of his ability to knock down shots, does not look out of place here as a perimeter threat.
The East has one natural PG on its roster while the West has a pair in Drew and Jennings. It's a shallow class at that position and it shows in this setting. There are a lot of SG's and potential combos.
Ed Davis sat out most of the morning session. Davis indicated something he ate didn't agree with him.
The West sports the more exotic roster of wing athletes and if this holds form and becomes a track meet it would hold the edge. If Samuels gets established inside for the East, that would give them a chance. Regardless, the West seems to have more of the high-flying, fast twitch muscle athletes.
Chris Singleton, in spurts, shows you what a 6-foot-8 (at least) big time small forward can do. He's got the extra bounce and deep range on his 3.
Behind the scenes, everybody has a personal strategy to get the MVP trophy. One guy used some reverse psychology on Tuesday to advance his plan. "I only took two shots today. Tomorrow I'm going to get some shots up."
If you're watching at home tomorrow, check the Tyreke Evans/Jrue Holiday matchup. When guarding each other, they'll be aware of the reputations and what's at stake in terms of stock boosting.
Nick Fazekas is Nevada's all-time leading scorer. Luke Babbitt is tops in the history of the state and he's going to put up big numbers for the Pack. Early trouble finishing vs. size but he hustled and rallied for a solid day.
MVP Pick – Brandon Jennings, West. If the East wins, Samuels likely has a big night. Dark Horse Candidate – William Buford because he effortlessly finds ways to get buckets.