STAT LINES ...
Sean May: 10-15 FG, 3-4 3FG, 3-4 FT, 10 Rebs (7 defensive), 5 assists, 1 block, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 1 foul in 28 minutes of action - the most for the White.
Rashad McCants: 10-13 FG, 3-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 4 Rebs (4 defensive), two assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls.
The 2002 Jordan Brand Capital Classic was a game of agendas.
Amare Stoudemire (23 pts, 17 reb) and Carmelo Anthony (27 pts) attempted to solidy their NBA Draft status. John Gilchrist and Jarrett Jack pulled out just about every dribbling trick in the book. Sean May and Rashad McCants played nearly flawless basketball.
May's deadly perimeter shooting and ability to run the floor earned him Co-MVP honors with Stoudemire. McCants, meanwhile, wowed the MCI Center crowd with his combination of skills and energy.
May opened the game playing on the wing, guarding the likes of Jimmy McKinney and Bracey Wright. On offense, he was active from the get-go, knocking down a baseline jumper and several plays later drawing a foul, hitting one of the two resulting free throw attempts. After missed putbacks on two separate occasions, he hit a jump shot from the top of the key while staggering backwards and then drained a three soon thereafter. May's second quarter started slow, but he hit another baseline jumper, missed a runner in the lane, and then swished two straight threes to enter the half with 16 points, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
McCants also had a big first half. He started off by hitting a face-up three with the defender in his face, then posted up the unfortunate foe, backing him down for a short turnaround. After a fast break layup and a missed three, McCants was quiet for a few minutes, before finishing the second quarter strong -- burning a defender for an up-and-under layup on the baseline, absolutely stuffing Alexander Johnson's shot on the other end, nailing a pull-up three, and beating a defender left with a crossover on the perimeter for a driving layup. He had 14 points at the break.
At halftime, the White team's red-hot shooting (71% 3pt) had produced a 83-51 lead.
With the outcome already determined, the second half pretty much became one big fast break -- allowing May to showcase his ability to play in such a setting. He missed a mid-range jumper to open the half, but then led a fast break and hit Stoudemire for a dunk. After scoring on a driving lay-in, May threw an impressive half-court alley-oop to teammate Andre Iguodala. In, the fourth quarter, May added some fire to his game. He tussled with Anthony under the boards, which yielded a brief heated exchange. "... then stop grabbing me, man," May scowled. Throw in two made free throws, a putback, a missed open three and a follow dunk on Rashad's miss, and May ended the game with an exclamation by pinning a McKinney shot to the backboard and firing a full court pass to Iguodala for a dunk as time expired.
McCants had a quiet third quarter, not doing much of note other than have his jersey consistently held by Justin Gray. However, he started the fourth with a three-pointer off the dribble and shortly thereafter grabbed an inbounds pass, cleared out the lane and threw down a vicious one-handed dunk. "He is a monster," IC's Clint Jackson muttered on press row. "Rashad's tossing people around like Raggedy Anne in there." McCants later took it strong to the hoop for two and punctuated his 23-point performance by jumping into an opposing passing lane for a steal and finishing the play on the other end with a soaring, one-handed, lefty, Jordan-esque dunk.
The final score: 167-121
During the postgame celebration, McCants and May noticed the camera crew from ESPN's "The Life" program.
"This is The Life," McCants said.
"... Carolina basketball," May added.