Practices Over, Game Up Next

After three days of practice and spending time with the media each and every player involved in the McDonald's All-American Game is ready to lace them up for real Wednesday night. The latest from the future crop of Jayhawks inside.<br>

On Tuesday the players went through their final practices, a media luncheon and the East and West squads also got their first action against each other during a closed scrimmage.

Collectively it was the best combined day for future Kansas Jayhawks Mario Chalmers, Micah Downs and Julian Wright.

CHALMERS, DOWNS, WRIGHT

Mario Chalmers - After taking home the title during Monday night’s three point shooting contest the 6-2 guard had his jumper rolling again Tuesday morning. He hit on several deep threes and continued to create space on drives into the lane. He’s got a scorer’s mentality and likes to get his shots, but he’s got a tremendous feel for where his teammates are and enjoys setting them up for easy shots.

During the luncheon Chalmers also spent a great deal of time exchanging some good natured smack talk with future Oklahoma State Cowboy Byron Eaton. By the time the two were finished Julian Wright and Gerald Green had joined in the fun and they had several in the room roaring with laughter.

Micah Downs - Largely due to strength issues that will be addressed in the Kansas weight room, Downs has struggled some with turnovers. On Tuesday, Downs did a much better job of taking care of the ball and not surprisingly his jump shot was falling with much more regularity. The 6-8 wing also showed the ability to create his own shot thanks to a nice crossover and a quick step back. His best move of the day, and perhaps the week, was a beautiful pump fake three from the left wing, crossover dribble and then floating pull up from the free throw line.

Downs expressed some frustration at falling short of the finals in the dunk contest where he was hoping to break out his take on a between the legs dunk. Downs is also one tired camper after getting up at five am in the morning to appear on a morning television program.

Julian Wright - Based strictly on his play at McDonald’s Wright has been one of the top five overall performers during this week’s practices. On Tuesday he took better care of the ball and set up teammates with several sweet no look passes. He isn’t LeBron James, but he does have a similar personality and flair about him when passing the basketball.

During Monday’s dunk contest Wright jammed his right wrist but he was back at full strength on Tuesday. Based on what other players had to say Wright is running neck and neck with Tasmin Mitchell for the most talkative award. He’s got smiles and high fives for anybody that crosses his path and has done well for himself at McDonald’s.


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