I just finished watching the McDonald's All American game from San Diego. The West squad, consisting of both Longhorn recruits, took control early in the second half and ran away with the victory 112-94. Some quick thoughts:
*Kevin Durant looked great. He needs 20 lbs of muscle but could start for Texas now at shooting guard or small forward. At 6'10" he has guard skills and an exceptional outside jump shot. I don't know for sure, but Durant should have been named MVP. He finished with at least 25 points.
*Ohio State will be excellent next year. They won the Big 10 and were a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament this season. They will be even better with the additions of three McD's AA including national high school player of the year, Greg Oden. Oden is already a man, just like Lebron James was in high school. He is the guy who you whisper about in high school. "How old is that guy?" He is only 18 but will terrorize Big 10 opponents for at least the next season before heading to the NBA.
*Duke and North Carolina both have strong recruiting classes. Gerald Henderson (Duke) is the long athletic guard the Blue Devils have been missing for years. Carolina overachieved this season and adds three McD AA next season including point guard Tywon Lawson and shooting guard Wayne Ellington. Expect both to start quickly. Carolina also welcomed the news that national freshman of the year Tyler Hansbrough will return to Chapel Hill for his sophomore season.
*Darrell Arthur (undecided) is the real deal. If he goes to Kansas, look out. Along with fellow AA Sherron Collins and returning starters Julian Wright, Brandon Rush, and Mario Chalmers, they should dominate Big 12 North opponents and challenge the Horns for the conference title. I still think Arthur becomes a Longhorn is Lamarcus Aldridge turns pro.
*Even in an all star game DJ Augustin (Texas) was throwing passes his teammates couldn't handle. He doesn't have the same quickness with the ball as TJ did but he's close. AJ Abrams will start at point next season but will have that job challenged by Augustin. Abrams is a better shooter. Augustin is a better passer.
*Connecticut doesn't have a single McDonald's All American and may lose most of their current team (Josh Boone, Hilton Armstrong, Rudy Gay, Denham Brown, and Marcus Williams).
*Watch for news reports on Scottie Reynolds (Oklahoma) over the next few months. With the Sooners about to go on NCAA probation and Coach Kelvin Samson skipping town, it will be interesting to see if Reynolds and the rest of the Sooners' stellar recruiting class all show up on campus. The recruits would not be allowed to go elsewhere unless OU first released them from their signed letter of intent.
*Baylor has a McDonald's All American. 5'11" Demond Carter will join the Bears next season. Carter played well in the game and will be expected to contribute quickly. With Aaron Bruce and Curtis Jerrells returning, Baylor will have one of the top backcourts in the conference. They also get to play non conference games next season. Baylor should finish in the middle of the pack next season.
*The game ended with a spectacular dunk by 5'11" Sherron Collins (Kansas). Collins threw the ball off the backboard too himself (ala Tracy McGrady) and finished with a one handed slam with his left hand. A trailing Kevin Durant was also available, but Collins took it himself.
*Teams in the pre season top 5: Ohio State, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, and Duke.
Update [2006-3-30 10:39:30 by awiggo]:: I probably overstated the importance of UConn not having recruited a player from this year's game. Rivals has their class listed as the third best in the country. Jim Calhoun is brining in six players led by five star recruit Stanley Robinson from Alabama. UConn also adds my new favorite player, Doug Wiggins, a point guard from Connecticut.