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Jordan Brand Classic Preview, aka First Look At Jordan Hamilton

The Game

Conceived as a rival to the McDonald's All-American Game, the Jordan Brand Classic lags behind in cachet and overall talent, but does possess the distinct advantage of being played at basketball's mecca -- Madison Square Garden, a venue that saw many memorable performances by the Classic's namesake, His Airness. Played on April 18th at 7 pm CT and televised by ESPN2, the Classic is entered it's eighth year in existence. In addition to the high school game played in prime time, two other games will be played during the day -- the International game played at 2:30 pm CT and the Regional game played at 4:30 pm CT.

The Rosters

Away team (black jerseys)

  • Kenny Boynton, guard, Florida
  • Avery Bradley, guard, Texas
  • Dominic Cheek, forward, Villanova
  • DeMarcus Cousins, forward/center, Kentucky
  • Derrick Favors, forward/center, Georgia Tech
  • Abdul Gaddy, guard, Washington
  • Jordan Hamilton, forward, Texas
  • John Henson, forward, North Carolina
  • Lamont "MoMo" Jones, guard, undecided
  • Ryan Kelly, forward, Duke
  • Alex Oriakhi, forward/center, UConn
  • Durand Scott, guard, Miami


Home team (white jerseys)

  • Keith Gallon, forward/center, Oklahoma
  • Marcus Jordan, guard, Central Florida
  • Wally Judge, forward, Kansas State
  • Tommy Mason-Griffin, guard, Oklahoma
  • Daniel Orton, center, Kentucky
  • Mason Plumlee, forward, Duke
  • Renardo Sidney, forward, USC
  • John Wall, guard, undecided
  • Royce White, forward, Minnesota
  • Jamil Wilson, forward, Oregon
  • Mouphtauo Yarou, forward, Villanova

Players To Watch

  • John Wall - Possessing a rare combination of size, explosiveness, quickness, and defensive aptitude, Wall is worth watching whenever he steps on a basketball court. Undoubtedly, Wall will face off during the game against Avery Bradley, who cemented his reputation as a shut-down defender with strong performances on the summer circuit last year against Wall. Will the undecided superstar get his revenge?
  • Jordan Hamilton - After being forced to sit out this season even though he had only played three years of high school basketball, Hamilton will finally get to see the court again in live action. Of particular interest will be his ability to get to the basket off the dribble, his rebounding, and his defense, as some observers question his lateral quickness. How much athleticism does Hamilton possess? There is no doubt about his scoring ability, but does he rank among the best in the game in terms of pure, raw quickness and leaping ability?
  • Avery Bradley - Texas fans paying any attention to Bradley's performances in the McDonald's game, NHSI, and Hoops Summit now know what to expect from Bradley -- a polished mid-range game, exceptional effort defensively, remarkable quickness and leaping ability, incredible blocks in transition, and a high basketball IQ with the understanding of how to let the game come to him. His mid-range jumper isn't the only old-school aspect of Bradley's game, as the Findlay Prep star lets his game speak for him, seeing no reason to taunt opponents after spectacular plays.
  • Tommy Mason-Griffin - Even for a high school all-star game, TMG showed remarkable selfishness and remarkably poor shot selection in the McDonald's game. Will he attack the basket more often and show off his point guard skills by getting his teammates involved or will he continue to be a chucker?
  • Jamil Wilson - A relatively late commit who considered Texas up until he made the decision to play at Oregon, Wilson is of interest as a player that the Longhorns missed out on, but didn't necessarily need. Will Wilson make Texas fans feel the loss?
  • Abdul Gaddy - Despite playing in the McDonald's game and Hoops Summit with his former high school teammate Bradley, the connection between the two has not been apparent. Is this the game that the two finally combine for the highlight reel plays expected?

Commit of the Day: Jordan Hamilton (10/13/08) (via maxxathlete)