Rutgers fans eagerly anticipating the arrival of freshmen Corey Chandler and Mike Coburn can get a preview of coming attractions this Saturday in the 2007 Jordan Brand All-American Classic at Madison Square Garden. Not only are they both participants, but they're also teammates, who'll be on the court together much of the time. I hear they've looked real good together in practice so far.
"Mike makes it so easy for Corey", a source told me. "He makes sure that Corey gets good shot attempts and chances to score. They have a real natural chemistry between them. They play real well with each other".
Chandler and Coburn will play in the Regional game for the Suburban team, which will square off against the City Team. Why Chandler, who is from Newark, and Coburn, who is from Mt. Vernon, were chosen to play for the Suburban team, is something of a mystery, but as long as they're being paired together, who's to suggest anything else?
Fellow suburbanites include Rashad Bishop, Rashon Dwight, Chris Smith, Corey Raji, Idris Hilliard, and Alex Wangmene. For the City team, some of their notables are Mike Glover, Malik Boothe, Jabari Edwards, Andrew Gabriel, Mike Cavatalo, Darion Benbow, and Jamie Harris. I like the Suburban team in this game. They definitely seem more talented, but we'll see what happens. I know Corey Chandler feel's he's definitely worthy of playing in the All-American game that follows, as he told me so himself.
I know he definitely bristles at being relegated to play in the preliminary affair that precedes the "big" game, whose participants include OJ Mayo, Kyle Singler, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, Austin Freeman, Jerryd Bayless, Nick Calathes, Chandler Parsons, and Patrick Patterson. The two New Jersey representatives are St Patrick's teammates Corey Fisher and Jeff Robinson Their head coach Kevin Boyle will serve as head coach of one of those teams (Oak Hill's Steve Smith will coach the other squad. Corey and Mike are being coached by Linden's Phil Colicchio, and his counterpart will be St Raymond's Oliver Antigua).
Now that I think about it, I'd like to ask Mike Coburn, now a Mt. Vernon legend who made the varsity as an 8th grader and started for them a year later, if he feels he could hold his own against that crowd. It would be easy to speculate what the ensuing answer would be.
"Mike is a coach on the floor", this source told
me. "When we played them, he was the coach of that team, not their head
coach", he said of an encounter with Coburn on the AAU circuit. He added:
"And the Corey that Rutgers gets now will not be the same Corey they have
in four years. He's just scratching the surface".