In the first full day of practice the East team put in some plays, did some three-on-three shell drills, and then got up and down the floor in five-on-five situations. It wasn't the most intense day in the history of the McDonald's practices, but still a few prospects really shined with their play.
Alex Poythress, SF/PF, Kentucky - Poythress really stood out with his play today. He is an excellent athlete, but it is his skill game that has been so impressive. Poythress was knocking in threes, making good moves off the dribble and really was very productive. He did look a bit better in the shell and three-on-three stuff than the five-on-five, but still overall he might have been the East's top performer and quite simply showed that his skills for a combo forward are on a different level than the rest of his teammates.
Kris Dunn, PG, Providence – Right there with Poythress was Dunn. Dunn was an absolute monster with his play. He really knows how to use ball screens and his athleticism and shot making both look improved. Also Dunn is a willing passer and a solid effort defender. Not much to pick a part in his game today, though he did have a few turnovers.
Kyle Anderson, SF/PG, UCLA – The most unique player in the class showed why he can be so effective. He made a few nice passes, but mostly he used his change of speeds to get to the rim and his size to score over shorter defenders. Anderson was solid on the defensive end, though he did get beat a few times. Overall it was a good day from Anderson, but he wasn't as dominant as he has been at times in the past.
Rodney Purvis, SG, North Carolina State – It was a pretty good day for Purvis. As usual he was doing a good job of getting to the rim and using his athleticism and strength to beat defenders. Now he did struggle some finishing which isn't normal with him, but the fact that he was able to get into the lane almost at will was very impressive. Purvis needs to bring the effort on every possession, but he had a strong day overall.
Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State – The future Spartan had a typical effort. He played hard on the defensive end making several steals and then used his athleticism to finish on the break with authority. Harris' shot wasn't always falling today, but he showed he is more than capable of making them from distance. Will need to be more assertive as the week goes along, but it was a solid first day for Harris.
Tyler Lewis, PG, North Carolina State – It was an up and down day for Lewis. When his team went five-on-five and it was all up and down the floor he looked good and did an excellent job of setting up his teammates. However in the three on three shell stuff in the half court he really struggled, especially on the defensive end. Obviously he is at his best in a free flowing situation, and Lewis proved when the game takes on that flow he will be a problem for opponents, no matter what the talent level.
T.J. Warren, SF, North Carolina State – As usual Warren showed his ability to put the ball in the basket. He scored from the perimeter and in the mid-range, and did do a little bit of rebounding. He however needs to be much better when it comes to communicating and giving effort on the defensive end. He let his man get by him way to often and didn't communicate in transition. Still his scoring touch was clearly on point.
Amile Jefferson, PF, Undecided – One thing about Jefferson is he is always communicating and being vocal on the floor. For a team that did virtually no talking that was one thing that stood out and people took notice of. He did struggle quite a bit with the physical strength of the players he was going up against, but Jefferson battled hard and made some plays rebounding and with his length on the defensive end.
Perry Ellis, PF, Kansas – One of the more skilled players for his size, Ellis was making some jump shots in the mid-range and even showed off a little more athleticism than he has shown in the past. He finished decently in traffic, though he definitely should be more aggressive on both offense and defense in trying to take control. He can get caught floating at times.
William Goodwin, PF/C, Memphis – One of the best athletes in the class, Goodwin had a huge block on Jefferson that made people take notice. Also he finished well with his right hand with a few jump hooks to go along with scoring around the rim. The problem was Goodwin too many times got lost on defense and really he didn't defend ball screens well at all. A higher level of focus and intensity will be needed out of Goodwin the rest of the week.
Tony Parker, C, Undecided – For such a big player who is usually more than willing to go down low, Parker either was intimated by the size of his teammates or simply had no desire to do the dirty work in the paint. He settled for jumpers, a few of which he hit, and was only average by his standards rebounding the basketball. Also Parker needs to get up and down the floor on the sprint much better. Too often he only played on one side of the floor during the five-on-five segment of play.
DaJuan Coleman, C, Syracuse – Coleman is the biggest player here, but he didn't use that to his advantage at all. He was too finesse around the rim and missed shots instead of finishing through contact and scoring. With his strength and size he should thrive when he gets a little contact on the arm, but instead he turned things into fadeaways. Also he showed more skill with his ball handling on the perimeter, but went to that too much instead of posting up and using his physical gifts to make plays. More will be wanted from Coleman as the week goes on.
EAST PRACTICE DAY ONE VIDEO RECAP --
EAST PRACTICE DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS --
During the two hour practice session the West Team, which is coached by West Aurora (Ill.) HIgh coach Gordon Kerkman, went through full court drills, one-on-one scenarios and even scrimmaged for the final 20 minutes.
Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor – Because of his size and length, Austin can impact games by blocking shots and bothering plenty of other attempts. In practice, Austin was able to do just that and also made some plays on the offensive side of things. His raw talent and potential is there. He put together a strong senior season and I'm curious to see how he performs on the big stage on Wednesday against the nation's top post prospects
Anthony Bennett, PF, Undecided – During practice, Bennett's effort level was top notch. Having sat out the last part of his senior season, it was clear Bennett was eager to get on the court. As always, the 6-foot-7 power forward competed on both ends. In transition he showed his explosive leaping ability, plus his knack for finishing through contact. An uncommitted prospect, Bennett was one of the guys that competed every possession.
Yogi Ferrell, PG, Indiana – What stands out about Ferrell is his speed and quickness. In an up and down environment, Ferrell is going to be tough to handle. On Monday the Indiana commit was solid. He limited his mistakes, but also never fully got it going on the offensive end. While he's often times known for his shooting ability, Ferrell made a handful of nice passes during practice.
Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky – During the two hour practice session, Goodwin struggled to get his shots to go down. With that said, Goodwin, a Kentucky signee, did show his explosive burst and ability to get to the rim. Whether it be in transition or in the half court, Goodwin finds ways to get to the rim and is a tremendous all around scorer. A game like this should set up nicely based on the 6-foot-4 guards strengths.
Grant Jerrett, C, Arizona – Jerrett made a strong impression on both ends of the floor during the West's practice. Defensively he showed intensity and an ability to swat away shots. His best defensive stretch was when he matched up against Cameron Ridley and blocked four consecutive shot attempts. Offensively he knocked down a three, showed touch around the rim and in general was efficient.
Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Undecided – By far the top performer on the west squad, Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 strongly built wing, had a big day in front of upwards of 40 NBA scouts. He dove for loose balls, rebounded his area and in general played harder than every other player in attendance. Muhammad dunked everything around the rim, worked the mid-range game and scored at will in the one-on-one drills. It was a heck of a first day for the top rated wing in the 2012 class. Muhammad also won the dunk contest.
Marcus Paige, PG, North Carolina – It was an up and down day for North Carolina's future point guard. In the drills Paige looked uninterested and lackadaisical at times. But then the West squad scrimmaged and Paige did a 180. He ran his team, threw a sweet pass in a pick and roll situation and knocked down an 18-footer off a cross over. His effort level and overall aggressiveness picked up in the scrimmage and it showed.
Devonta Pollard, SF/PF, Undecided -- One of the better athletes participating in the McDonald's All-American festivities, Pollard made plays in transition and in the 3-on-2 drills. He didn't hunt jump shots, but was able to make plays at the rim. He's a tremendous leaper that gets off the ground quite quick. Pollard also appears to be pushing 6-foot-8.
Cameron Ridley, C, Texas – It was a rough day for Ridley. Offensively he couldn't get much going and had his shot blocked a handful of times by Jerrett and Austin. The Texas commit has a big reputation and is capable of better performances.
Marcus Smart, SG, Oklahoma State – You can always count on Smart to bring it from a toughness and energy standpoint. The 6-foot-3 guard was his normal self, as he made plays in transition, locked up the opposition in the one-on-one drills and knocked down a handful of jumpers.
Brandon Ashley, PF, Arizona – Unfortunately Ashley spent some time on the sidelines this year because of an injury and it appeared the talented 2012 big man is still trying to get his wind back from that. Still the 6-foot-9, 215-pound power forward is an impressive talent with good skills on the block. He struggled to finish at the rim during practice on Monday.
Rasheed Sulaimon, SG, Duke – What stood out about Sulaimon's performance was his all around scoring ability. Over the course of the last two years he's improved his ball handling and shooting off the dribble. On Monday, Sulaimon posted up on two different occasions and his turn around jump shots. His scoring package is impressive and continues to expand. The Duke commit had a good day on the Attack Athletics courts.
WEST PRACTICE DAY ONE VIDEO RECAP --
WEST PRACTICE DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS --