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McDonald’s AA Game: Breaking Down The Matchups

Posted on 15. Feb, 2010 by Nolan Shulman in High School, Tournaments

 Now that we know the 24 players representing the East and West in this years McDonald's All-American game, let's take a look at which side has the advantage. Which team has the better lead guards? Is it the East and their pass first floor generals? or is it the West and their lightning quick scorers? How about inside. Will the Ohio State connection dominate the paint? or will the defensive minded West front court keep them in check? Look no further, we've got the answers.



The Point Guards

Kyrie Irving, Josh Selby, Kendall Marshall


Cory Joseph, Brandon Knight, Ray McCallum


For the East, Kyrie Irving and Kendall Marshall are both elite level distrubutors who will be asked to set the table for Sully and Deshaun Thomas in the half court.  While it may be a better game plan to pound it in to the big fellas, it's an all-star game and that means it'll be a run and gun affair.  No problem for these two point guards, they are equally effective on the fly.  Look for C.J.Leslie, Perry Jones, and Jelan Kendrick to be the beneficiaries of some easy hoops in transition.  When the East needs a shot in the arm scoring, 6-2 bulldog Josh Selby will take it to the tin and bring the fans out of their seats.  He's determined to get in the paint and knows what to do with it once he's there.  Selby had the highlight of the night at the Boost Mobile Elite 24.  On the flip side, the West features 3 tremendous defenders and scorers.  Cory Joseph and Brandon Knight are blazing fast with the ball in their hands and next to impossible to contain in the open floor.  Both of them are also unbelievable three-point shooters.  The West boasts bigs more known for rebounding, blocking shots, and protecting the rim which should give the West guards a chance to do what they do best.  Score the basketball.  Both players are extremely clutch and proven winners too.  Brandon Knight is the reigning Gatorade National player of the year and Florida's Mr. basketball while Cory Joseph is now 57-2 as Findlay Prep's starting point guard… a run that includes a win in the 2009 National Championship game .  McCallum will act as the steady hand, ready to run half court offense and bring stability down the stretch.  He led Team Detroit to the Reebok Summer Championship and gives the West a reliable ball-handler and someone who will be unfazed by the moment.  Defensively the West has an edge with Cory.  He's the best defensive guard in the country and will take it upon himself to deny dribble penetration.  Can Brandon Knight and Cory use their lateral quickness to keep Irving and Selby away from the paint?  I believe they have a better chance of slowing down the East than vice versa and thus I give the edge to the West.  This should be an outstanding battle of high level lead guards. 





The Scoring Guards

Joe Jackson, Reggie Bullock


Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones, Keith Appling


The scoring guards is a little easier to pick.  Joe Jackson has proven he can put buckets on anyone in any situation.  He led his Memphis Magic to the Championship of the Adidas Super 64 by making big shot after big shot.  He's not afraid to battle with anyone, and he's proven he's going to take it to you regardless of the name on the back of your jersey.  The East's other guard, Reggie Bullock, is a long bomber with tremedous wingspan and excellent elevation and mechanics on his jumper.  If Kyrie and Selby are able to penetrate past Joseph, Bullock will be waiting behind the arc to make the defense pay.  The West has talented scorer's no doubt, but can they go head to head with Jackson and Bullock?  Doron Lamb might have the best mid range game in the country.  He's got tremendous body control and is tremendous scoring the basketball.  Little man can play defense too.  He drew the assignment of guarding 6-9 space eater Jared Sullinger at the Hoophall Classic and held the #1 player in the country without a field goal.  Terrance Jones is a guy who dominates the West Coast.  He's a guard who can do a little bit of everything.  He can score it, distribute it, and is a high flyer.  Look for one of the game's best highlights to come from this young man.  Appling is a young man who saves his best games for the biggest moments.  Last time he was on a stage this big, he went for 49 points in the State Championship finals.  All three guards for the West are talented guards who deserve to be All-American's, but none have the star power of Joe "Cool". 






The Wing Players

Tobias Harris, Jayvaughn Pinkston & Jelan Kendrick


Harrison Barnes, Jereme Richmond


Tobias Harris going up against Harrison Barnes is something I'd pay a lot of money to see.  Both players take conditioning and hard work to another level, both players are extremely versatile, and both players love to compete and will take this matchup personally.  Tobias has developed the ULTIMATE face-up game and is ready to show the world he can play out on the wing with the very best in the country.  Barnes is ready for the battle.  He's been up 14 hours already today figuring out a way to gain a mental and physical edge.  He's basically a 6-8 two guard with an NBA body hanging out on the wing and toying with anyone that gets in his way.  This matchup could be the most important of the game.  Pinkston, Kendrick, and Richmond are all unbelievable athletes and talents who should excell in the run and gun style out in transition.  They've never had guards distribute to them of this calabre and all three should have quite a bit of fun.   Slight edge goes to the West.  Barnes is the #1 wing in the country and remains the favorite until someone proves otherwise. 




The Post Players

Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, C.J. Leslie, Deshaun Thomas


Fab Melo, Tristan Thompson, Josh Smith, Patric Young


Great offensive players vs. outstanding defensive players is usually a phenominal matchup.  At an all-star game, not so much.   Generally the intensity is reserved for the offensive side of the ball.  For the East, Sullinger and Thomas both excell in the low post.  If the guards spend anytime feeding the post (rare in this setting) than the East should have a huge advantage.  More than likely it will be an up and down affair which see's C.J.Leslie and Perry Jones finishing on the break.  Both players are superb running the floor and should put on a show for the fans in Columbus.  For the West, Tristan Thompson should dominate the boards and limit the East to one shot per possession.  Him and Sullinger are two of the top 5 rebounders in the country and it should be an outstanding battle on the glass.  Fab Melo is a 7-0, 270 pound big man who will be asked to protect the rim for the West.  He's got offensive skills too.  We may see him shoot a 20 footer, take someone off the bounce, or demonstrate one of the more polished right hooks in high school basketball.  Patric Young is a Florida commit and one of the best defensive players in the country.  He could draw the defensive assignment of big smooth (Sullinger) which would be really fun to watch.  Josh Smith is the West's best offensive threat in the paint.  Like Sullinger and Thomas, he has the ability to dominate the paint.  If he can get any touches, he'll convert them for two's for the West.  So who's got the advantage?  The East has the #1 player in the nation in Sullinger, and he's proven time after time that he refuses to lose.  I don't see this battle being any different. 



Flagrant Fouls will be interviewing as many of these future stars as possible leading up to the big week in Columbus.  Make sure you tune into our radio podcasts for their take on how this game will shake down. 

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5 Responses to “McDonald’s AA Game: Breaking Down The Matchups”

  1. McDonald’s All-American Week - Live Blog | Flagrant Fouls 28. Mar, 2010


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  2. Truth 24. Mar, 2010

    If you were paying attention, Patric Young smoked Jared Sullinger when their AAU squads met. I think the West has a big advantage in their big men.

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  3. Loughlin & Rice Advance in CHSAA Playoffs | Flagrant Fouls 07. Mar, 2010

    [...] By becoming a force in the paint the last two quarters, Loughlin was able to push by All Hallows behind its McDonald's All-American. [...]

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  4. Tobias McDonald's Matchup - VolNation 16. Feb, 2010

    [...] Tobias McDonald's Matchup Looks like he's going head to head with Harrison Barnes. That should be incredibly fun to watch. How do you think he'll fare? McDonald’s AA Game: Breaking Down The Matchups|Flagrant Fouls [...]

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  5. McDonald's AA Game: Breaking Down The Matchups | Flagrant Fouls | Drakz Free Online Service 16. Feb, 2010

    [...] more here: McDonald's AA Game: Breaking Down The Matchups | Flagrant Fouls Share and [...]

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