Hickson's Ready to Compete

LOUISVILLE, KY -- The McDonald's All-American game and the practices that come with it can be a great measuring stick for the participants, as they face off against the best of the best.

J.J. Hickson is one of the guys that has impressed on lookers with his recent play against top-notch competition.

"I think I've been playing really well," Hickson said after practice. "I just come out here with this type of competition and play hard, basically just go hard and have fun."

During the first day of practice Hickson went to work on teammate Patrick Patterson. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior scored on Patterson a number of times and he used a variety of moves to create looks for himself in the post.

"I don't know how many I scored," he said of his match up with Patterson. "I was just playing and having fun with my teammates."

Hickson's recent play has been impressive and he's definitely made an impression on the scout's in attendance. He possesses long arms and is an above-average athlete, so he's going to get his hands on some shots.

He also likes to bang on the block and it's clear he's been lifting weights and has dedicated himself to getting in shape. His post moves are what stood out the most, as he's been able to score over most defenders using drop-steps and step-through moves.

"That comes from hard work and me improving my foot work. I learned how to have patience in the post and just knowing where to go in the open floor. That's what I had a hard time with, but now I'm finding the open part of the floor."

The Marietta (GA) Wheeler standout said he keeps in close contact with the NC State staff and they are looking for him to big impact right away.

"They are expecting me to do big things. They are expecting me to come in and be very versatile. They are not looking for me to be one-dimensional... they want me play inside and out."

"I think I'm the big man that can run. They don't get a lot of transition points so I think I'm going to bring that to the team and get the point guard to get up and down and run."

Hickson, who is on the East team, will likely play center during the contest. The McDonald's All-American Game will tip off at 8 ET on Wednesday, and the gam will be televised on ESPN.

"Everybody out here is competitive. This is the top 24 players in the country, and the top players have to be competitive."

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