McDonald's Practice Insider: Day 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Tuesday was another busy day for the McDonald's All-Americans, including a practice session and media day activities. As it was the last full day before the big game, Inside Carolina presents a jam-packed report …

PRACTICE NOTES

* The West squad finally did some scrimmaging today, so we got a better look at Harrison Barnes. In practice he had a handful of highlight reel plays, including a half court drive and dunk plus a two-handed tip dunk.

* Around the gym today the question was posed: who is the nation's top player? Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier Journal told us Harrison Barnes is his No. 1 player and he said he didn't think it was close. One NBA scout in attendance said of Barnes, "He's on another level than these guys."

*The same scout also had this to say about UNC's future point guard, "I've been impressed with Kendall Marshall. He runs the team, he knows how to play and he defends."

* One thing we noticed in particular about Marshall was his ability to use his body. The 6-foot-4 guard knows how to position himself when he's attacking and he has pretty good body control.

* This isn't the best setting for Reggie Bullock. He's an unselfish guy that doesn't like taking bad shots. In a game filled with poor shot selection, it may be tough for Bullock to stick out because of his willingness to defer.

* Following the practice today was Media Day at the Ronald McDonald house in Columbus. Barnes, Bullock and Marshall were summoned for plenty of interviews.

* Unless there's a last minute change, Barnes and Bullock will be in the starting lineups tomorrow. Barnes will start for the West alongside Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Brandon Knight and Fab Melo. Bullock will start for the East with Kyrie Irving, DeShaun Thomas, Jared Sullinger and Tobias Harris.

TAR HEEL ROUNDTABLE

Marshall on why he chose UNC…
"I felt like it was the best situation for me. I wanted to play with great players and coach Roy Williams is a great player and I think he can make me a great player and person."

Barnes on their bond…
"For me I got to know Kendall a lot just from him recruiting me and I got to play against Reggie a lot. Building the relationship through the AAU circuit - its fun now to come to an event like this where we are all committed to the same school and building that bond."

Bullock on playing for UNC…
"I know we had a down season for UNC this year, but with all the recruits that are coming in – me, Kendall and Harrison – we just want to put a show on out here for Carolina fans and let them know what they have in store."

Barnes on the skills & three-point competition…
"I was a little disappointed that none of the Carolina boys could pull one out. We were two deep in every finals event in the skills and three-point. It was great to go out there and represent UNC and hopefully show them what we have coming in next year. "

Marshall on the skills competition…
"It hurt a little bit. I thought I was going to pull it out. It's crazy how I'm known for passing, but I couldn't get the chest pass right. It's all good. It was fun and I enjoyed being out there."

Marshall on his relationship with Barnes and Bullock…
"I try to talk to Reggie and Harrison a lot. Me and Harrison have gotten a lot better. Me and Reggie have a really tight bond seeing that we've been committed together for the past two and a half years. I think me and Harrison's relationship is also getting to that point."

Bullock on how they'll contribute next year…
"Some of the weakest points that they've had me, Harrison and Kendall contribute to that a lot and that's perimeter scoring. Me and Harrison do that real well and Kendall shares the ball and gets the ball up the court. Basically we are all great players and great athletes. Hopefully we can carry all of that into North Carolina.

"The weakest points that they have those are the things that we do. As long as we perform well in these elite games that we have which is the Jordan, McDonalds and Hoop Summit in Portland, I think my skills and Harrison's perimeter scoring and Kendall with his great passing IQ that we can bring in some good things at North Carolina."

Bullock on his McDonald's experience…
"It's been real good. I've been interacting with all the other top players that are here. I've been building a strong relationship with Tobias Harris and all the other great players that are committed to schools and putting on for their team."

Bullock on the competition…
"I think I'm stacking up real well. We just need to push the defensive effort. My high school coach pushed defense and I hate when players out here don't play defense. As long as I'm doing the things that I'm doing and people see what I'm great at doing, which is defense, reboumding the ball, scoring and sharing the ball, I'll get seen."

PEER REVIEWS

Kyrie Irving on his relationship with Barnes…
"It started the first time we went to NBA camp. We were actually at dinner. I'd never met him before. I'd never seen him and he'd never seen me. After that we just started hanging out."

How disappointed were you when he chose UNC?
"I was a little disappointed at that particular moment, but I could only be happy for him. He's like my big brother right there, so I could only be happy for him."

What do you think of his game?
"His potential is through the roof. He's so fundamentally sound right now. He's going to get that much better at the next level, I know he is. I'm expecting great things from him."

How will the battles be?
"This friendship extends on the basketball court, but we are both competitors."

Tobias Harris on Reggie Bullock…
"I think Reggie's very good. He can shoot the ball very well. He's fast. He's a cool dude.

"I think with his speed and shooting ability from the outside that not many players are going to be able to guard him. He plays good defense also. He should do a great job (at UNC)"

Tobias Harris on Kendall Marshall…
"He's probably the most pure point guard in the class. He gets everybody involved. He's one of those guys that doesn't care about how many points he scores. He cares about winning and getting assists more than anything. He's a great guy also.

"I don't know what the lineups are like, but I want him in my lineup as the point guard. Better than being a point guard, he's a great person. He's easy to talk to and we can talk about anything. He's one of my best friends here.

"I think he's going to have a great impact (at UNC) because they have scorers like Harrison and Reggie coming in. That's when Kendall is at his best, when he has guys that can shoot and score around him."


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