High school All-Stars take Columbus court
Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
Every year the best high school basketball players in the nation come together to compete in the McDonald's All-American game. The East and the West teams of high school stand-outs will play in Columbus' Schottenstein Center tonight.
Here are several things to keep your eye on.
The Associated Press National Player of the Year and headliner of OSU's 2010 recruiting class, Jared Sullinger, will suit up for the East squad tonight.
The 6-foot-9-inch center from Columbus Northland has the kind of size, athleticism and post presence that the Buckeyes have lacked for the last few years. Although his strength is definitely playing in the low post, he is plenty capable of stepping out and hitting a jump shot, making him a tough matchup for opposing defenses.
It is unclear whether he will play center or forward for OSU next season, but either way he will be an impact player from the minute he steps on the floor.
If Sullinger is the No. 1 recruit in OSU's incoming class, his teammate on the East team, DeShaun Thomas, is a very close second.
Thomas isn't necessarily the inside threat that Sullinger is, but for a guy with his size he has an uncanny ability to beat people off the dribble and create his own shot. The 6-foot-7-inch forward from Fort Wayne, Ind., averages an impressive 33.9 points and 16.3 rebounds per game and, like Sullinger, could step in and play right away for the Buckeyes.
Big Ten Bound
Two members of the West team in tonight's game will likely be playing their first of several games in the Schottenstein Center. Michigan State recruit Keith Appling and Illinois recruit Jereme Richmond will both play opposite Sullinger and Thomas tonight on the West team.
Appling was the winner of Monday's skills competition and is a guard in the mold of current Spartan Kalin Lucas. He handles the ball well, can consistently score from the perimeter and, like Lucas, could give Buckeye fans trouble for the next several years.
Richmond, who compares himself to NBA star Kevin Durant, is an athletic forward who does his best work on the defensive end. Smith averages more than 11 rebounds and nearly three blocks per game.
This past season was a bit of a disappointment for North Carolina and coach Roy Williams.
As the defending national champions, the Tar Heels had high expectations for the 2009-10 campaign, but youth, injuries and inconsistency designated Carolina to a rare appearance in the NIT. Its struggles, however, will likely be short lived.
Three of the All-Americans in tonight's game, two from the East and one from the West, will play their college ball in Chapel Hill.
The most highly touted of the future Tar Heels is Harrison Barnes. The 6-foot-8-inch forward from Iowa is No. 1 on ESPNU's list of 2010 recruits and is considered by many to be this class' most complete player.
Joining Barnes at Carolina are the East's Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall, both guards.
Best of the Rest
Brandon Knight, a guard on the West team, averages more than 32 points a game, and is No. 1 in the 2010 class according to Rivals.com. No. 4 on that list is guard Josh Selby, who won Monday's slam dunk contest. Neither Knight nor Selby has made a decision as to where they will play college basketball, but for those interested Buckeye fans, neither is said to be considering OSU.
The biggest player in tonight's game, and coincidentally the player with the best name, is Fab Melo who stands 7 feet tall. Melo will play at Syracuse.