The Jordan Brand Classic All-American game did not disappoint as all of the touted young stars brought their A-games. The East team pulled out the victory over the West team 158-147. The players who stood out in this offensive affair were:
Jahlil Okafor, C – Okafor dominated in the paint the entire time he was in the game. He had some impressive offensive rebounds and highlight follow-up dunks. He always seems to be able to get post-position on his defender and once he receives the ball down low, he’s tough to stop. Okafor also displayed his silky-smooth spin move to finish over the opposing bigs. He and the other Duke commit, Tyus Jones, have such great chemistry together already and both put on a show. Okafor ended the game with 29 points and 9 rebounds, and was named the MVP of the East team.
Cliff Alexander, PF/C – The Kansas recruit was extremely impressive in this game. It almost seems like he took it a little easy in the practices this week compared to how he came out in this game. He showed off a little of everything as he was very strong in the paint–offensive rebounds, dunks and blocks–and knocked down some long range shots as well. He’s an outstanding athlete with a huge, strong frame, which should lead to plenty of success at the next level. If he can continue to knock down outside shots at a consistent clip, his potential is through the roof. He ended the game with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks, and was named the MVP of the West team.
Kelly Oubre, SF – Oubre put up 24 points and 5 rebounds and will be make up a scary duo with Alexander next season at Kansas. He showed off his quick first step and explosiveness, as well as his body control and ability to finish through contact. He was able to get inside at will against the relaxed defense and either finish or get to the line. Oubre is also able to seemingly create something out of nothing, which will help him get his own shot at the next level.
Stanley Johnson, SG – Johnson started the game the same way he played all week in practice, on fire. He was scoring from everywhere on the floor, facilitating, getting to the rim with ease and finishing. He didn’t stand out quite as much in the second half, but still had a very solid game. At times, he appears to be on another level than most of the other guards. He can create his own shot and has good range. He’s a smart, confident player that should shine on the college stage at Arizona.
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG – Like Oubre and Johnson, Mudiay had a great game and really stood out. With his size, he’s going to give college point guards all kinds of problems next season. He has incredible explosiveness and can change speeds to get inside and finish. He sees the floor well and if he can improve his decision-making, he’ll become a dangerous point guard at the next level.
Tyus Jones, PG – Jones is a pure point guard with a very high basketball IQ. He is a perfect pairing to play alongside Okafor next season at Duke and has a bright future ahead of him. Jones finished the game with 10 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds. He’s a skilled penetrator and has nearly perfected his floater in the lane. He has incredible court-vision and made some great passes in the game.
Trey Lyles, PF – Lyles is a very skilled big man and he proved that during the game. He can score facing up, has great hands and a nice looking jumper. He doesn’t have a good handle and needs to learn to give the ball up before losing it, but overall he had a great game. He’ll be an integral part of Kentucky’s crowded frontcourt next season.
James Blackmon, Jr., SG – Blackmon really impressed in this game with his scoring after putting up only 3 points at the Nike Hoop Summit last weekend. He’s the best shooter from both teams and also showed off his penetration and passing skills. He was able to get inside and either facilitate or hit the pull-up jumper. He finished the game with 23 points and should help make up a great Indiana backcourt next year.
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