I watched the first half of the McD's game last night, and I will watch the second half in a few hours. There will be plenty of highlights, though, I can assure you of that. About 10 minutes into the game, a tall, thin player for the West squad gets the ball off a steal on the other end just passed the half court line. One man is waiting for him in the lane, preparing to cut off his path to the basket. Instead of pulling back and waiting for help, as some players might do, he drove towards the basket, taking off from a few feet inside the free throw line and soaring in for a thunderous dunk.
The player was Julian Wright, and he's going to be a star at Kansas.
In the first few minutes of the second half, Mario Chalmers took over the game, scoring 16 points in less than 5 minutes and single-handedly pulling his team back into the game. Says KUsports:
his(Chalmers') biggest moment of the night came on his bread-and-butter play. It started with a repeat performance of Monday night, when Chalmers, a KU signee, claimed the crown in the three-point competition.
Wednesday, he hit one at the top of the key after coming off a screen with 15:46 left, and then stole the inbounds pass, and within seconds drained one in the corner. As the crowd got on its feet, Chalmers showed his enthusiasm with a chest-pounding and screaming display.
"That's my patented move right there off the steal. I always run back for the three," Chalmers said with a grin.
Though he didn't score as many points, Wright had an excellent game as well, including a couple of absolutely sick dunks. Downs played well in the first half, though not spectacularly well, and sat most of the second half, much to his dismay. Here's the part that KU folks will be discussing for the next 4 months - is Micah Downs the next David Padgett:
Every time coach Al Rhodes put someone else in the game and passed Downs up, Downs put his hands in the air in frustration. His body language showed that attitude in the second half, as he shook his head in disbelief a few times. He sat for about the final 15 minutes of the contest.
"I was frustrated," Downs said. "I don't know why I wasn't getting minutes. When I was out there, I was hitting threes and getting assists and stuff. I was just like, Why aren't I getting in there, you know? I'm just as good as anybody here.'
This smacks an awful lot of his concern that he hadn't made First Team All State. I think Micah's a good kid, and I'm not overly worried about it, since he is after all, 18 years old, but my advice to the Downs family is to try not to vent your frustrations about such things, however understandable (Micah did score 8 points in 11 minutes of play), on the public stage. Suck it up, take your lumps and play good, team basketball. His comments are also not repeated in full. If you read this article, you'll discover that he was also discussing their trip to the Ronald McDonald House and in my opinion, his quotes don't seem nearly as bad. I for one am very excited about these three playing for Kansas. Here's the McDonalds High School All-America game box score if you're interested:
EAST 115, WEST 110
WEST - Ellis 3-10 1-3 8, Zeller 0-2 0-0 0, Webster 6-15 2-2 16, Frasor 0-4 2-4 2, Hansbrough 4-7 6-6 15, Eaton 2-3 2-8 7, Johnson 0-5 1-2 1, Chalmers 8-16 1-3 20, Downs 3-5 0-0 8, Wright 7-9 0-1 14, Miles 5-10 0-0 13, Brockman 3-6 0-0 6. Totals 41-92 15-29 110.
EAST - D.Green 2-6 2-2 7, Paulus 2-6 9-10 13, Williams 5-10 3-3 14, Hendrix 2-3 2-4 6, McRoberts 7-8 1-3 17, Devendorf 4-9 4-6 13, G.Green 8-12 2-3 24, Barber 0-0 4-6 4, Bynum 3-5 3-3 9, Costner 1-8 0-0 2, Mitchell 3-5 0-2 6, Boateng 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-72 30-42 115.
Halftime - East 65-43. Three-point goals - West 13-35 (Miles 3-5, Chalmers 3-9, Downs 2-3, Webster 2-7, Hansbrough 1-1, Eaton 1-2, Ellis 1-5, Wright 0-1, Frazor 0-2), East 11-25 (G.Green 6-9, McRoberts 2-3, D.Green 1-2, Devendorf 1-2, Williams 1-3, Paulus 0-2, Costner 0-4). Fouled out - None. Rebounds - West 50 (Hansbrough 8), East 52 (McRoberts 12). Assists - West 21 (Chalmers 5), East 20 (Paulus 9). Total fouls - West 27, East 24.