Grading the McDonald's West Roster
Keep in mind that these grades reflect only how each player performed during the East's 126-96 win over the West in last Wednesday's McDonald's All-American game — though we did factor in performances from last Monday's slam dunk contest and 3-point shootout whenever appropriate.
You'll also notice we haven't handed out many low grades. That's because no matter how poorly somebody might have played, these are still the 24 best high school ballers in the country. As long as they didn't trip over themselves, they aren't getting a "D" from us. So maybe we're guilty of a little grade inflation. These kids deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Here are the grades for the West roster. Click here to see the East roster grades.
Sheldon High (Calif.)
When a team loses by 30 points, it shouldn't be a surprise that nobody on that team earns higher than a B+. Sure, Nelson scored a team-high 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting, but he didn't really do anything extraordinary. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound combo guard shot 0-for-3 from 3-point range, and many of his baskets came on layups. He was definitely the best of the West and showed aggressiveness in taking it to the rack, but there were a couple instances where he could have given the ball up on a breakaway and instead decided to take it himself, including his missed dunk attempt at the end. Still, a solid outing for the future Blue Devil.
Bakersfield High (Calif.)
Swift continued to help his stock by scoring all 10 of his points in the first quarter and proving he can hold his own against guys like Dwight Howard and Al Jefferson. Swift, a legit 7-foot-1, 265-pound center, finished with 10 points, five rebounds and one block, with the only blemish being his 2-for-6 foul shooting. Swift has reportedly been mulling a jump to the NBA, and while he wasn't spectacular in the McDonald's game, he did nothing to tarnish his reputation as a fundamentally sound big man with a ton of potential.
Taft High (Calif.)
Farmar's offensive stats weren't overly impressive — six points and three assists — but if you watched the game closely, you had to appreciate the effort and intangibles the 6-foot-2, 170-pound point guard brought to the table. His defense alone is worthy of mention, as he collected an amazing seven steals and continually hounded the East's guards. Farmar can certainly score when called upon, but what UCLA fans should be most excited about is that even when his shooting touch isn't on, Farmar still helps his team in a number of ways.
Renaissance High (Mich.)
Crawford had a strange game. He obviously played well, tallying 15 points (on 6-for-12 shooting), five rebounds and two steals. But we had to re-watch the tape a second time just to notice what the 6-foot-4, 205-pound shooting guard did out there. In other words, he kind of snuck under the radar during the game, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. He'll definitely be a player at the next level.
Renaissance High (Mich.)
Hairston had a similar game to his high school teammate, Crawford, in that he played well but didn't really stand out. The 6-foot-6, 200-pound swingman finished the game with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists while shooting 5-for-10 from the field and 1-for-4 from beyond the arc. He's extremely smooth and athletic. Random fact: Hairston played 22 minutes in the game, more than any player on either team.
University Lab (La.)
At 6-foot-9, 330 pounds, it's hard not to notice Davis when he's on the floor. The good-natured big man scored nine points, grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and even took a charge on defense. "Big Baby" also continues to impress with his mobility for a player his size. It's hard to predict whether Davis has the explosiveness needed to someday play in the NBA, but he'll be a load to handle at the college level with his size and skill.
Jesse Jones High (Texas)
Gibson had a decent outing in the game, scoring eight points while shooting 3-for-8 from the field and 2-for-6 from 3-point land. Like many of the players on the losing West squad, however, he didn't really make his mark on the game. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound combo guard did have a good showing in the 3-point contest — making it to the finals — and he might have won if not for a "wardrobe malfunction" (the string in his shorts came untied and he kept having to pull his shorts up after each shot). See, and you thought Janet and Justin made that phrase up.
Bremerton High (Wash.)
North Carolina (NBA?)
Williams came into the game with a lot of buzz, but he didn't really show much, finishing with three points and one rebound on 1-for-6 shooting. However, he reportedly was extremely impressive in practice during the week, and one bad game doesn't change the fact that this kid is one of the top players in the country. In fact, you'd think his showing might have hurt his NBA stock, but word is that NBA scouts are still very high on this 6-foot-9, 220-pound combo forward.
Peoria Central High (Ill.)
The much-anticipated Shaun Livingston-Sebastian Telfair showdown never really materialized as Livingston turned in a lackluster performance. We can handle the fact that Livingston scored only one point and shot 0-for-4 from the field, but a meager three assists was surprising for a guy who's known for his passing ability. Where was the flair he showed in winning MVP honors at the adidas ABCD Camp all-star game last summer? This is the type of game the 6-foot-7 playmaker should have thrived in. Instead, he appeared to just be going through the motions.
Milby High (Texas)
Perhaps McClellan was simply worn out after a carrying Milby to the Texas Class 5A state title during the season, but he didn't look too good in the McDonald's game. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound swingman was one of only three players who didn't make a field goal in the game, finishing 0-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line for three points, along with two steals and two boards.
Centennial High (Calif.)
Afflalo is a better player than he showed in the McDonald's game, in which he was less than impressive. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound shooting guard shot 1-for-7 from the field and 0-for-6 from 3-point range to finish with three points and four rebounds. When you look at the shooting totals of the last four players we've graded (Williams, Livingston, McClellan and Afflalo) and realize they combined to shoot 2-for-23, it's easy to see why the West lost by 30.
Seagoville High (Texas)
Aldridge may have been the most disappointing player in the game. Don't get us wrong, the 6-foot-11, 235-pound power forward is still a phenomenal player. But considering he entered the game as one of the guys considering a jump to the NBA, it's hard to explain his lackluster five points and one rebound. A 6-11 kid grabbing one rebound won't impress NBA scouts. Perhaps it's no coincidence that two days later, Aldridge announced he won't enter the NBA Draft and will instead enroll at Texas.