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March 27, 2011

McD's West team breakdown

MORE McD's: Preview | Meyer's mail | East report

The 2011 McDonald's All-American Game provides a contrast of styles between the East and the West squads. In the West's practice on Sunday, its prowess in the paint and the quickness of the guards such Marquis Teague stood out.

Marquis Teague (Kentucky)- He is quick and powerful, and repeatedly got into the lane during practice. Myck Kabongo has the speed to match Teague, but it is his strength that separates Teague.

Myck Kabongo (Texas)- He brings a lot of energy to the court, and slowly over the course of the practice began to take over a leadership role for the West. Kabongo loves to distribute the ball, which along with his charismatic personality will endear him to his teammates.

Look for the speed of Teague and Kabongo at the point guard position to be a major factor in the game Wednesday night.

Austin Rivers (Duke)- Neither the physical wings or speedy point guards of the West could contain Rivers' lethal first step. Perhaps no one in the 2011 class attacks the basket better from the arc with just one dribble. Rivers also shot the ball well from deep.

Adonis Thomas (Memphis)- Out of the physical, slashing, athletic wings, Thomas was the best in the West practice. Always a strong rebounder, Thomas also passed the ball well off the move and knocked down a couple three-pointers.

Anthony Davis (Kentucky)- His length immediately impacted the practice with his shot blocking and rebounding. There is no mystery why Davis is the top big man in the country. He has the top combination of length, agility and skill of any of the post players in the class.

Amir Williams (Ohio State)- Williams has significantly improved his upper body strength since the summer. And like Davis, Williams has impressive length. Typically just a low post scorer, Williams made a couple of shots from mid-range during the scrimmage.

Kyle Wiltjer (Kentucky)- Although he is not as athletic as the other big men on the West squad, Wiltjer brings a unique ability to stretch the defense with his deadly shooting stroke and composure with the ball on the perimeter.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Best guess on a starting lineup for the West, based on combinations used in practice, is Marquis Teague, Austin Rivers, LeBryan Nash, Anthony Davis and Cody Zeller.

The West will need to physically attack the East defensively on the perimeter to contain the bevy of long range shooters on the East.

The West has a length advantage over the East in the post, but the East has a strength advantage in the post.



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