Monday McDonald's Game Practice Report

Inside Carolina's Eric Bossi files an exclusive, behind-the-scenes report from Monday's practice for the McDonald's All-American Game in South Bend, Ind.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- In a situation that wasn't much different than the first team practices on Sunday afternoon, the East and West teams got together Monday morning in preparation for Wednesday evening's McDonald's All-American game. At this point things are still fairly controlled but after a few practices with so few kids to evaluate it isn't that hard to pick things up.

Playing for the West, Bobby Frasor and Tyler Hansbrough have had a bit more of an opportunity to get out and run than Danny Green has while practicing with the East.


Bobby Frasor - On Monday, Frasor continued to spend more time playing the two guard and he appears much more comfortable there from an offensive standpoint. While he is certainly a capable point guard who gets people where they need to be and makes good decisions, Frasor scores much easier from the wing.

As he picked up screens from his West teammates and had a chance to lose defenders on cuts, the 6-3 guard started knocking home open jumpers. That being said he's been relatively quiet and hasn't had the easiest time fitting in -- and most of that has to do with playing alongside guys like Martell Webster and Monta Ellis during practice sessions. It isn't anything with Frasor, but with those guys on the court there aren't many shots to be found so he has to find other places to contribute.

Defensively Frasor did a nice job providing help from the weak side and he even caused a couple of turnovers by slapping the ball away from big men like Amir Johnson. In one-on-one situations Frasor struggled at times to keep Mario Chalmers in front of him, but so did Ellis and Byron Eaton. Frasor will take part in this evening's three-point shooting contest.

Danny Green - Observers continue to be pleasantly surprised with the play of Green. He isn't particularly spectacular with any one aspect of his game, but Green doesn't have any glaring weaknesses that need addressing either. Actually, the one part of Green's game that could use a bit more work is the ability to create shots for himself off of the bounce. He handles well but doesn't seem to look to blow by defenders via the dribble very often.

Unfortunately for Green and his East teammates they haven't really gotten an opportunity to get out and run as much as their West teammates have. Because of that he hasn't had the opportunity to really match up with a guy like Gerald Green or Eric Devendorf and make them work to score.

Like Frasor, Green is scheduled to participate in Monday evening's three-point shooting contest.

Tyler Hansbrough - It isn't a stretch to say that Hansbrough has been one of the most impressive performers through two days of practice. As expected he's been a bull around the basket and is as competitive as any player on the court.

On Monday, Hansbrough really caused Amir Johnson trouble and he had the 6-9 Californian backing away from him once he caught the ball. Perhaps more encouraging, though, was the fact that he looked comfortable knocking home 17-foot jump shots during shooting drills. It was also a lot of fun to watch him and burly Washington-bound forward Jon Brockman trade some elbows in the paint. When those two match up you are talking about a pair of guys who really like to bump and on a few occasions they looked more like wrestlers in a no holds barred cage match than basketball players.

The way he and his West teammates were split up didn't really allow for Hansbrough to show much or be very tested defensively. So far the player that has caused him the most trouble on either end of the court has been Julian Wright. The future Jayhawk is every bit as competitive and used his length and quickness to frustrate Hansbrough at times.


* Like North Carolina, Kansas and Duke are each represented by three recruits and like Carolina they each look like they have two guys doing really well while one player struggles to shine. For Duke, Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus have been solid while Eric Boateng has had a few ups and downs. McRoberts continues to impress because of his athleticism and rocked the house with an impressive right-handed -- his off hand -- finish of an alley-oop. Paulus has converted open looks and made good decisions but Boateng looks to think a little too much. For Kansas it has been Julian Wright and Mario Chalmers who have been most impressive while Micah Downs has had to fight a little more. Wright is an energizer bunny type with plenty of athleticism and long arms who seems to be all over the court and always has his hands in the mix. Chalmers is an explosive PG who has been blowing by defenders at will and he's a very creative passer in traffic and on the break. Downs' primary struggles are strength related but he's a long wing who is pretty explosive along the baseline.

* You really have to credit Andrew Bynum for how hard he has worked during practices. The seven-footer ticketed for UConn is eager to learn and has taken each and every drill seriously. Odds are that it will serve him well down the road when he has a chance to soak up some tutelage from Jim Calhoun.

* C.J. Miles has a very smooth jumper from downtown and is a clever passer but so far he's been very, very quiet…Picking up the slack for him is Martell Webster. The 6-6 wing from Seattle hasn't passed up many looks and has NBA range on his jumper.

* Perhaps the most impressive performer for either squad has been Monta Ellis. The 6-3 PG/WG is a noted scorer who possesses blazing speed with the ball in his hand. Here's the thing -- he's also a super passer and never seems to be out of control and has the ability to create a shot anytime, or anyplace that he wants to….

* N.C. State fans ought to be eager to get Brandon Costner in a uniform next year. The 6-8 forward is a good rebounder, defends fairly well, and really understands the game. Forget about all of that though, his most impressive quality is his precise shooting eye out to about 21 feet. He looks like he was born to play in Herb Sendek's system and should see plenty of action as a freshman.

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