Roundball: Game Report

CHICAGO -- It must have felt almost like a home game for <A HREF=[PlayerNode:962839]>Bobby Frasor</A> and future North Carolina teammate <A HREF=[PlayerNode:786648]>Danny Green</A> as they took the court the floor at the United Center for the opening tip of Tuesday night's Roundball Classic. Starting for the East squad, Frasor and Green had to have heard the support offered up by a raucous group of a couple hundred of Frasor's classmates from Chicago (Ill.) Brother Rice.

Unfortunately for them, the local support wasn't enough as the East was unable to overcome a sluggish start and fell to a West squad led by co MVP's Brandon Rush (21 points, 11 rebounds, five assists) and Eric Devendorf (17 points, seven assists), 136-119, in an up-tempo game. Frasor finished the game with eight points (3-7 FG's, 2-3 3PT) and three assists while the 6-6 Green -- who shared East squad MVP honors with Nate Minnoy -- finished with 15 points (6-13 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds, three steals, three blocks and an assist.

In the opening minutes, Frasor found Gerald Green, a 6-7 WG/WF from Houston (Texas) Gulf Shores, with a well placed lob that the future Oklahoma State Cowboy -- or possible early entry NBA draftee -- finished in crowd pleasing fashion to tie the game at six. Moments later Danny Green swished home a 21-footer to give the East their final lead of the game at 9-8 with 8:10 remaining in the first quarter.

After calling timeout, the West went on a 28-14 run fueled by Rush and 6-7 BF Tasmin Mitchell's activity around the bucket to finish the quarter with a 36-23 lead.

Just as they had in the first quarter, Danny Green and Frasor checked back in to start the second quarter and the 6-3 Frasor quickly found a streaking Green for a fastbreak layup to cut the lead to 11 but that would be as close as the East would get for the rest of the game as the West ran away and hid.

Despite going scoreless in the first half, Frasor found his rhythm late and connected on a couple of high arching threes after freeing himself away from the ball. He also converted a tough pull-up jumper shorter thereafter. However, his highlight play probably came on something that the box score will never show. In the East's offensive set, Frasor hit Minnoy on the right wing with a pass and then cut down the lane and veered slightly to the right to screen off Minnoy's defender and give him a clear path to the basket. A subtle play to say the least, but also the type of play that coaches appreciate.

For his part Danny Green shook off a rough first half where he made only 2-of-7 FG's and turned the ball over three times. Although he never found his range from deep, he made hustle plays around the basket and showed once again that he has ample athleticism to hang with some of the country's finest athletes. During the second half Green was 4-for-6 from the field and grabbed seven of his nine boards. What stood out was his willingness to play tough D in a game that didn't feature much. About the only negative for Green was an uncharacteristic six turnovers.

MORE NOTES FROM THE ROUNDBALL GAME

Still contemplating a potential leap to the NBA, it was important for Brandon Rush to have a big game Tuesday night. After mixed reviews during workouts, the 6-6 WF/WG and Kansas City native who has been prepping at Durham (N.C.) Mt. Zion came up with a fine effort. As usual he delighted the crowd with his skywalking act that included a huge two-handed 360 and a couple of alley-oops he caught off of the backboard. More importantly, he stuck a few jump shots, displaying some effort on defense and showed that he can take other long and athletic off the wings to create for himself or others. … Josh McRoberts didn't get that many touches around the basket and he was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball at times (five turnovers), but he still impressed. He's an exceptional passer, blocks shots, cleans the boards and was also hitting NBA range threes in an 11-point, seven-board and three-block outing. … Of the high schoolers pondering a leap to the NBA, perhaps nobody is as hot with scouts as Gerald Green is right now. He was very impressive in workouts and shook off a slow start to score a lot of late points and finish with 17 for the East. He's the premier athlete in his class and has lots of range (although his shot was off Tuesday evening) and a nice mid-range game that he should utilize more often. According to some NBA types he could end up in the top 10 of the draft if he has another good week at McDonald's and performs well during individual workouts. He maintains he's going to college, but the signs that he's jumping are all there. …

After his Tuesday night performance Eric Devendorf mentioned that he could entertain thoughts of going league. The 6-3 WG has improved his playmaking ability but he should be thinking Syracuse, Syracuse, Syracuse at this point. … It will be interesting to see how Nate Minnoy's game translates on the college level when he makes his way to Purdue. The 6-2 (tops) wing goes 250 pounds and plays a punishing brand of hoops as he bulls his way into the lane. His touch from outside is fairly soft and he's surprisingly bouncy around the rim. However, his lack of height really hurts him against taller and more athletic wings. … Louisville-ticketed BF Amir Johnson did what he does best in a 17-point, four-block, four-rebound evening and that means he stayed close to the rim and used his athleticism and quickness. He'll need to hit the weight room hard to add some weight and muscle though. … Even when he isn't playing to his full potential Andray Blatche still manages to fill up the stat sheet and the odds that he ever goes to college are longer than his tentacle like arms. He's a gifted rebounder who always seems to be in the right place and snatched 14 caroms to go along with his 13 points….

Serving as honorary coaches were (rappers) G-Unit members Lloyd Banks (East coach) and Young Buck (West coach). Young Buck also proved that he has a little game himself. During the early afternoon shootaround, the 5-10 rapper grabbed a ball and without warming up threw down several athletic dunks and buried several jumpers from NBA range while wearing baggy jeans, a baggy jersey and enough ice to keep everybody in the houses' Big Gulps chilly. … Finally, the crew from Brother Rice (dubbed the "Crusader Crazies") deserves a lot of credit for their spirit and some creative and hilarious cheers. When Banks arrived they serenaded him with chants of "G-Unit, G-Unit, G-Unit" and "We want 50 (clap-clap-clap)" in reference to his boss and fellow rapper and G-Unit member 50 Cent. Any and everybody was fair game during the evening and they helped to keep the crowd of 14,598 energized during a few slow moments. ...

TV Note - The game will air on tape delay on College Sports TV (CSTV available only on satellite) next Tuesday at 8 p.m.


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