DU75 went to the McDonald's game last night and sends us these notes.
Chris' earlier win of the 3-point contest was acknowledged by a few replays
shown on the Jumbotron.
I was surprised by the noticeable presence of a number of signs and cards
with Chris's name being held up in the crowd--he was named more than any
other individual player I could see.
As in all of these McDonalds' affairs, it was impossible to maintain any
normal continuity of play for the players (particularly defensively).
Therefore, any evaluation of defensive skills was impossible.
I was disappointed that Chris was not given more ball-handling responsibility
than he got. Except for one stretch in the second quarter, it seemed that
the West coach assigned his other guards the duty of bringing it up from the
Chris's outside shot wasn't on--he was off on the longer distance jumpers I
saw him take, and on a couple of drives he short-armed it.
More than any of the other West guards, when he had the ball he tried to set
up his other teammates first, before looking for his own shot. He worked a
couple of nice alley-oop passes to the West big men and he made a smart and
quick three-quarter length pass on the run. He also did a belly-flop along
the sideline in an unsuccessful attempt to save a ball from going out of
bounds--that was a nice indication of the level of effort he was giving, even
in this all-star exhibition.
None of the guards in this game did much moving without the ball--they either
jacked it up or passed it into a forward, from where it was never returned.
Chris's anticipation on making his entry passes seemed quite developed, and
this was on an all-star team which had only a couple of practices as a unit.
Chris's ballhandling skills looked very polished, although there wasn't a lot
of ball-hawking defense in this game. Even so, I think his addition to our
backcourt next year will take a lot of pressure off Jason and will make a
huge difference in terms of breaking the kind of double-team pressing
defenses that Florida seemed to succeed with in the Tournament.
[As an aside, Neal Fingleton (a local product who is one of Carolina's
signees) played quite unimpressively. Although I think he will eventually be
a force in the middle (he towers over people in the paint), at this level of
competition--which I think equates in a lot of respects with the level in ACC
play--he reacts quite slowly and was driven on with success by quicker
players. He also was out-rebounded by much shorter players who just reached
around him or out-fought him for the ball. He is not now as strong as his
size will allow him to be sometime in the future.]