Roundball Classic: Game Player Breakdowns

Roundball Classic: Game Player Breakdowns
Apr 05, 2007, 05:02 pm
The 2007 Roundball Classic came and went with the West taking a 144-123 victory. J.J. Hickson, Kevin Love, and Corey Fisher were given MVP honors for the West all-stars, while O.J. Mayo’s 27 point, 6 assist performance gave him the MVP for the East team. DraftExpress was there to take in all the action, and has provided detailed player breakdowns on all of the top performers.

O.J. Mayo, 6’5, PG/SG, Signed with USC
27 points, 6 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 11-18 FG, 5-10 3PT, MVP of East team

From the tip it was clear that Mayo was attempting to disprove the reputation that he had as a selfish player after the McDonald’s game. In the first half, he absolutely discredited the notion that he was only out there for himself, distributing the ball to all of his teammates and only shooting when the opportunity presented itself. When he did look to score, he connected on an extremely contested three pointer, as well as two gorgeous takes to the rim where he cuffed the ball as if it were a football and finished at the basket with his right hand. The combo guard showed off his excellent court vision on numerous passes, including one in traffic that DeAndre Jordan finished with a monstrous dunk. He left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he completely has the ability to play point guard WHEN he wants to, and can be unselfish almost to a fault at times. O.J’s unselfishness was a large part of the reason that his team fell behind early, with the East team relying heavily on his dynamic scoring ability.

New half, new Mayo. With his team trailing he finally decided that he needed to take over, and that he did. It appeared as if we were watching an NBA player out there with 17 year olds, as O.J. scored ten consecutive points via two gritty takes to the rim as well as two three pointers. Over a three minute span in the fourth quarter, he had 13 points and 2 assists, cutting a 25 point lead down to 11. He made everyone in attendance believers in that when he’s hot, there is not a player in the country who can do anything to stop him by his performance in the fourth quarter.

After a horrendous McDonald’s performance, the Huntington star came out with a killer mentality to prove all of the critics wrong who felt he was overrated after his game in Louisville. He played just as hard, if not harder then anyone on the floor and showed the leadership skills necessary to play point guard at the highest level. Despite his play in the McDonald’s game, we still feel that Mayo will be the top pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, barring the unlikely possibility of Greg Oden or Kevin Durant returning to college.

Kevin Love, 6’9, PF/C, Signed with UCLA
21 points, 16 rebounds, 6 blocks, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 10-17 FG, 1-3 FT, MVP of West team

Lack of athleticism, ideal height, and quickness are criticisms that the big man has faced over the years, yet he continues to prove everyone wrong at every single stage with his incredibly productive play. The Roundball was no different story, as he proved to be easily the most dominant big man on either team. Love showed off his amazing passing ability not only on outlets, but by hitting cutters left and right when double teamed on the low blocks. His motor just did not stop, evidenced by his corralling of a game high 16 rebounds and tying for a game high with 6 blocked shots. The Oregon standout showed off his emerging perimeter game, drilling several jumpers from just inside of the three point line. He also had the best hands in the game easily, catching and finishing everything that he touched inside of the paint.

While many were skeptical of Kevin’s ability to dominate on the next level, he showed in his final high school game that he will be able to do this against anyone in the country, as he tore uber freak DeAndre Jordan to shreds. He is finally getting his body into better shape, and is a vastly underrated athlete in terms of leaping ability. Look for Love to step in right away and make a huge impact at UCLA, giving them a formidable inside presence while also providing a “one man fast break” with his abnormal ability to throw an outlet pass.

J.J. Hickson, 6’9, PF, Signed with North Carolina State
24 points, 8 rebounds, 12-17 FG, MVP of West team

Three McDonald’s practices, the McDonald’s game, two Roundball practices, the Roundball game…Zero bad performances from Hickson. Not only has he extended his game out to 18 feet, but he has become downright automatic from inside the three point line when facing the basket. The way that he has evolved his game since the summer is downright remarkable, as he used to be merely an athlete with nice moves on the low block. Now we are looking at a complete power forward, who has great hands, an NBA body, and can score from anywhere on the floor.

While J.J. is a good athlete, there were more athletic big men in the game whom he would not be able to shoot over the top of. Realizing this, he used a plethora of ball fakes and pivot moves to draw opposing defenders up in the air. The North Carolina State recruit is not the strongest defender at the moment, although he has the makeup of a good defender in the future with the proper coaching. Look for Hickson to make an immediate impact for the Wolfpack next season, even though they already have Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley in the post. YES, he is that good.

Corey Fisher, 6’1, PG, Signed with Villanova
13 points, 16 assists, 7 turnovers, 3 steals, 3 rebounds, 5-9 FG, 2-4 3PT, 1-2 FT, MVP of West team

Fisher has been a player whom many have always felt would be a perfect fit in a Nova uni, and he showed exactly why in the Roundball, dropping 16 assists in only 26 minutes of action. He looked like a Kyle Lowry clone, with his outstanding change of pace dribble moves and remarkable vision. There is no doubt in my mind that he will contribute from day one in college, as he has many of the same traits as the current Memphis Grizzlie Lowry holds. He is a fearless guard with the body of a running back, whom uses his body to get into the lane and score over bigger defenders. Given the Wildcats perimeter oriented offense, it is certainly not out of the question to imagine Fisher leaving Villanova early for the NBA draft. His tough play, outstanding court vision, and ability to score are just too much to pass on for NBA teams, and will be put on the big stage once he hit’s the hardwood in college.

Anthony Randolph, 6’10, SF/PF, Signed with LSU
21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 9-17 FG, 0-4 3PT, 3-4 FT

In terms of raw talent and potential, there are few who offer more then the 6’10 forward from Texas. He was easily the most athletic player in the game, utilizing his jet like end-to-end speed and freakish leaping ability to change the game on the defensive end. Randolph had numerous dunks that just left observers shaking their heads in disbelief, and boasted his blinding first step when taking opposing power forwards off of the dribble. Although he did not connect from a bomb from three point land, he did make numerous 18 foot jumpers and showed that he is far more comfy facing the basket then he is down on the low blocks.

Anthony’s biggest weakness is by far his strength, or lack thereof. He is incredibly frail down low, often crumbling to the ground once he absorbs contact. He owns upside that no more then six or seven player of the class of 2007 offer, and with some refinement and strength development at LSU, could easily be a lottery pick before it is all said and done.

Jonny Flynn, 5’11, PG, Signed with Syracuse
8 points, 13 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 4-7 FG

Flynn proved yet again that he is not a shoot first point guard at the Roundball, after his nice performance at the McDonald’s game. He showed his ridiculous playmaking skills after collapsing the defense with his outstanding quickness. The vision and ability to run a team exhibited by the diminutive guard were matched only by Corey Fisher, and he surely disproved the notion that he was a “shoot first point guard”, or even a shooting guard for that matter.

On the defensive end, Jonny showed that he can and will be a lockdown defender next season in the Big East. His strength and lateral quickness give defenders fits, often forcing them to just get the ball out of their hands without even looking to score. It was downright scary when Flynn and Fisher were on the floor at the same time throughout the game, as their complimentary skills completely dominated the East squad. If forced to pinpoint a weakness for the Syracuse recruit, it could be said that he can be a bit out of control and ball dominant at times, although he does not make poor decisions when he becomes wild with the ball. All in all, there hasn’t been a player who has shown more in the all-star sessions then Flynn, who should be the starting point guard by the end of the season due to Josh Wright’s inconsistent play.

DeAndre Jordan, 7’0, C, Signed with Texas A&M
6 points, 5 rebounds, 6 blocks, 4 turnovers, 2-7 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-6 FT

At times Jordan looked like he could be a lottery pick this year (if able to enter), while at times he looked like he had a long way ahead of him before he should consider entering his name in the NBA Draft. His physical attributes are comparable to only that of Dwight Howard, as once he gets the ball in the paint and is going towards the basket, you have two choices: Foul him or let him dunk on you. Jordan’s size, length, athleticism, and NBA body already have scouts drooling, and have Aggie fans hoping that they will be fortunate enough to have him for more then a single season. He will come in and make his presence felt immediately on the defensive end, due to his mammoth size and leaping ability. That is where the surety’s end with him, however.

DeAndre’s post moves are still incredibly underdeveloped, as he scores virtually everything when going to his left hand. His shooting range is limited to about 8 feet at the moment, and he struggles mightily when double teamed. It is not uncommon to see him score only on dunks, when he is unable to get in a rhythm throughout the game. The Texas big man has a tendency to go for many shot fakes, allowing Kevin Love to score on him all night long.

Nyal Koshwal, 6’8, PF, Signed with Depaul
19 points, 5 rebounds, 9-19 FG, 0-2 3PT, 1-1 FT

”Mac” had an awfully solid performance in the Roundball game, even though there were bigger, more skilled players out there on the floor. He makes up for not being a freak athlete through his superman-esque strength and crafty play. He caught absolutely everything inside, using his body to shield off taller, longer defenders from blocking his shot. The Sudanese forward is pretty darn skilled for such a strong player, exhibiting excellent ball handling skills and a consistent jumpshot from 17 feet and in. With the possible departure of Wilson Chandler to the NBA, Koshwal will have an immediate chance to play a sizeable role for the Blue Demons and show the Big East his powerful, yet smooth game.

James Harden, 6’5, SG, Signed with Arizona State
16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 turnovers, 7-15 FG, 2-6 3PT

Quietly Harden had one of the better all around games of any player in the Roundball, He shot the ball well from the outside, found the open man in transition, and showed off his deceptive athleticism on a few slam dunks. While the Artesia product is never going to blow you away in any facet of the game, he is one of those players who quietly gets it done and “wows” you once you take a look at the box score. Look for him to team up with his former high school teammate Derrick Glasser at ASU, where James will have the opportunity to put up big scoring numbers from the second he steps foot on campus.

Gani Lawal, 6’9, PF, Signed with Georgia Tech
16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, 6-11 FG, 4-5 FT

After some felt that his performance in the McDonald’s game was a fluke, Lawal came out and proved all of his critics wrong yet again with his performance in the Roundball game. He got it done on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor, with his nonstop motor and incredibly active style of play. The Norcross HS star finished just about everything he touched inside of the paint, while exerting more effort then any other big man the event had to offer. His “no fear” style of play, athleticism, and length will surely make him a rotation player next year at GT, despite his underdeveloped skill set.

Corey Stokes, 6’5, SG/SF, Signed with Villanova
15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 6-14 FG, 3-9 3PT

One of the nation’s top pure shooters showed his streaky ability to put the ball through the hoop, all the way out to 25 feet. Stokes hit two thee pointers from beyond the NBA arc, while attempting several more that just missed. He showed off a little bit of an off the dribble game, which is considered to be one of the weaker areas of his game. The New Jersey native will be an outstanding fit with Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher, as he will be able to get countless open looks off of his two point men’s penetration abilities. As long as Corey is able to improve on his off the dribble game and defense, we should surely see him in the NBA by the time it is all said and done.

Justin Burrell, 6’8, PF, Signed with St. John’s
14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 5-13 FG, 0-1 3PT, 4-5 FT

If you want to know one of the nation’s more underrated big men, look no farther then Bridgton Academy power forward Justin Burrell. Holding only offers from St. John’s and Hofstra last January, the jumping jack blew up nationally this past season, but still honored his verbal commitment to the Red Storm. He is a force on the offensive glass, has an NBA body, and is a downright freak athlete who causes nightmares for big men who choose not to box out. The NYC native is not overly skilled, but makes up for that with his hustle plays ability to finish inside against bigger opponents. While he is not an immediate NBA prospect at the moment, that could certainly change if he is able to extend his shooting ability and improve on his low post moves.

Cole Aldrich, 6’11, C, Signed with Kansas
2 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 1-7 FG

Aldrich struggled a bit offensively in the Roundball after having a couple of great practice sessions less then a week earlier at the McDonald’s game. He never really seemed to get in the rhythm of the game scoring, but did leave a few bright spots for Jayhawk fans. First of all, he threw about 6 or 7 gorgeous passes that most seven footers aren’t supposed to be able to throw. He did an incredible job of passing out of the double team, while also getting the fast break started with his excellent outlet passes. Aldrich was tough on the defensive end, finishing as one of the game’s leading rebounders while also exhibiting excellent timing on the defensive end as far as blocking shots were concerned. Although he feels that he is the “missing piece” to KU winning a national championship, we won’t go quite that far, but we do feel that he will be a solid contributor next season in Lawrence.

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