McD: Day 1 Notebook

CORAL GABLES, Fla. --- The McDonald's All-American festivities began Sunday afternoon with a two-hour practice in the University of Miami's brand new practice facility.

The game, which consists of 24 of the best senior prospects in the country, will feature four North Carolina signees – John Henson, Dexter Strickland, David Wear and Travis Wear.

With all McDonald's All-Americans in attendance, except Lance Stephenson, the two teams began their first practices. Both squads had light practices that consisted of putting in a few plays and some 5-on-5 action.

Henson's Length Bothers Defenders

During a brief scrimmage today, John Henson managed to show why he's a consensus top five prospect.

At 6-foot-10, 200-pounds, Henson has a long, lean frame and is equipped with a pair of massively long arms. His length is among his biggest strengths, as it helps him on both ends of the court.

Sunday he used his length and impressive timing to affect shots. In one instance he snatched a shot out of the air and pushed the break. During another possession, Henson gave up nearly 100 pounds to Keith Gallon, but still managed to get a piece of his shot.

His upside is scary, as he looks more confident handling the ball and appears to be ready to take his game up a level.

Wear Twins Look Eerily Similar

It should come as no surprise that Travis and David Wear are virtually the same player.

It's tough to tell the two apart, on and off the court. Both have a skilled game that allows them to face up defenders or post on the block, where they can turn to a jump hook with either hand.

On Sunday each showed what they can bring to the table. In brief scrimmage action, Travis managed to hit a fadeaway jumper from 10-feet, made a great pass in transition and had a strong finish inside on his twin brother.

David, on the other hand, faced up a defender and buried a 12-footer. Just a few plays later he attacked the rim, shielded off a defender and finished with his off hand.

Strickland Gets Same Room Assignment

It doesn't matter what event Dexter Strickland attends, he always winds up with the same roommate assignment.

The McDonald's All-American game is no different. The 6-foot-3 combo guard out of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick currently doesn't have a roommate, but once Lance Stephenson makes it to town they'll room together all week.

"Every camp I'm at, whether it's USA camp or adidas camp, he's always my roommate," Strickland said. "I don't know why, maybe somebody sets that up."

Strickland says he and Stephenson, of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln, have become close friends over the years.

Upcoming Events

The East and West teams will practice again Monday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Then Monday evening the Jam Fest, which consists of the dunk contest, three-point contest and skills competition, takes place at BankUnited Center. The action is from 7-9 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN2.

On Tuesday practice will resume at 9 a.m. and go until 11 a.m. The game itself will be Wednesday evening, with the boys game tipping at 8:00 p.m. The game will be live on ESPN.


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