2009 McDonald's All American Game Recap

Wed, 04/01/2009 - 11:23pm

The East squad topped the West by a score of 113-110 in the the 2009 McDonald's All America game. It was an exciting edition with numerous dunks and high flying plays. The West trailed for most of the game before grabbing the lead late. They held a 110-109 lead in the final minute but were unable to score as Derrick Favors converted an ally oop to take the lead with 40 seconds left. After a 3 point miss by Mason-Griffin, Lance Stephenson found Favors for the game clinching dunk.

This year's crop looks a lot more promising than last years group. Although the High School Class of 2009's big headliner John Wall was declared ineligible for this game due to being a 5th year senior, it ended up being an excellent one by All Star game standards. Favors scored 19 points and was named MVP. Here is a recap of each prospect's performance including their final stats.

West Team

Avery Bradley -- 15 pts, 6-10 fg, 1-2 3p, 2-3 ft, 6 rebs, 2 stls, 1 ast, 2 to, 23 min -- Was the 2009 McDonald's dunk champion, and got the first basket of the game with a follow up dunk. Handles the ball with ease and showed nice passing ability running a pick and roll with Mason Plumlee that ended in a Henson dunk. A small 2-guard but continues to raise his stock. He's just 6-3 but has a good wingspan, excellent athleticism and a great shooting stroke.

Abdul Gaddy -- 6 pts, 3-9 fg, 0-3 3p, 0-2 ft, 1 blk, 1 stl, 2 ast, 3 to, 20 min -- Struggled shooting the ball. A solid athlete with excellent size for the PG position. Understands how to run the show and lead a team. Displayed excellent ball handling ability although he turned the ball over 3 times to just 2 assists. Doesn't overwhelm with speed and athleticism but solid.


Keith "Tiny" Gallon
Keith Gallon -- 20 pts 8-11 fg, 1-1 3p, 3-3 ft, 7 rebs, 1 stl, 1 to, 21 min -- "Tiny" Gallon, who once weighed 360 lbs, is by far the most improved player in the country over the past year. He was the big surprise of the game, and the leading scorer. Announcers noted him being 300 pounds, and one half time report had him at 293. But he appears to have dropped considerable weight, more likely in the 265-270 neighborhood (nearly 100 lbs from a few years ago) and is looking much more mobile. Gallon's considerable skills were on display as he immediately drained a 3 pointer upon entering the game. Showed his improved athleticism on a breakaway converting an emphatic Statue of Liberty dunk. Also went coast to coast for another impressive dunk. Displayed extraordinary hands catching a tough behind the back pass (from Snaer) with one hand with ease. He also handles the ball like a guard. At 6-8, as opposed to 6-9, Gallon is reminiscent of an Anthony Mason only with more athletic ability. Gallon has passed up Sidney in terms of potential and has a bright future if he can keep the weight off.

Xavier Henry -- 14 pts, 5-11 fg, 3-6 3p, 1-3 ft, 5 rebs, 1 blk, 2 stls, 2 asts, 1 to, 23 min -- Smooth lefty who displayed both his stroke from outside and his athleticism dunking the ball. Has a pro body and a good understanding of the game. Looks on the small side for 6-6. Still working his way back into shape after being involved in a car accident in late October.

John Henson -- 14 pts, 7-10 fg, 3 rebs, 2 blks, 1 ast, 16 min -- A bigtime athlete with a underdeveloped body. Still skinny as a rail, but his body is showing some signs of improvement with some additional muscle tone. Freakishly long wingspan. Had an emphatic dunk showing his athleticism early in the game after a leak out. Soared high for a rebound and went coast to coast, dribbling the length of the floor and flushed to at the other end. Henson has a very bright future both at the college and NBA levels.

Tommy Mason-Griffin -- 5 pts, 2-11 fg, 1-6 3p, 1 reb, 1 stl, 4 asts, 3 to, 20 min -- Seemed determined to score but couldn't get his shots to drop. Looked very small but has good strength. Struggled early turning the ball over, but displayed a lightning quick crossover. Shows tremendous ball handling ability. Should be able to come into Oklahoma and take over as the floor general. Was not dismayed by his 2-10 FG opting to take and miss the final shot for the West. The best thing you can say is that he wasn't bashful about shooting.

Mason Plumlee -- 6 pts, 3-8 fg, 0-2 3p, 4 rebs, 2 blks, 1 stl, 2 asts, 1 to, 18 min -- The future Dukie looked solid. Has good agility and seems to have a good grasp of what he's doing, despite not having a great shooting night. Appears to be a legit 6-10 with good foot speed. Swatted one DeMarcus Cousins shot early. Also had a nice pass to himself off the back of Jennings to create a lay up. Displayed nice athleticism and creativity in the dunk contest, in particular the rock the cradle reverse and the 3 ball dunk attempt. Note to Mason, please get a successful attempt filmed and placed on Youtube.

Renardo Sidney -- 11 pts, 5-14 fg, 1-3 3p, 6 rebs, 1 blk, 3 asts, 17 min -- Sidney looks to be in better shape than in June of '08, but he was still putting his spandex long sleeve shirt to work. His lazy demeanor and lack of hustle are extremely concerning. Sidney knocked down a nice 15 foot baseline jumper and traded an amusing bear hug with Cousins on the next deadball. Cousins has basically become what Sidney was supposed to be, a bigman with both the strength to bang inside and the versatility to handle, pass and shoot from the perimeter.

Michael Snaer -- 13 pts, 6-9 fg, 0-2 3p, 1-2 ft, 2 rebs, 1 ast, 2 to, 17 min -- Was anything but electric in the dunk contest reenacting a terrible movie "failure to launch". Had a better showing in the actual game doing what he does well, getting out in the open floor and utilizing his speed and athleticism. Appears to be undersized at the 2-guard position. Showed nice athleticism converting on a few rebound put backs and one bigtime dunk on a breakaway. He then threw up a tomahawk chop which didn't go over too well with a Miami based crowd.

David Wear -- 0 pts, 0-2 fg, 0-1 3p, 3 rebs, 1 ast, 1 to, 14 min -- Many felt the Wear twins had no business playing in this game. They have slipped from once being considered top 30 prospects. David had 3 boards, but little else to speak of.

Travis Wear -- 6 pts, 3-5 fg, 1 reb, 1 stl, 3 asts, 1 to, 11 min -- Got into the game before his twin brother. Knocked down a runner in the lane. Made an excellent one handed catch and pass setting up Plumlee for a dunk. North Carolina?

East Team

Kenny Boynton -- 10 pts on 4-11 fg, 0-4 3p, 2-3 ft, 4 rebs, 3 asts, 2 to, 20 min -- Playing close to home, this was a disappointment for Boynton who had quiet production by his standards. Could not get the three ball going. His ugly form normally has effective results, but not in this game. Boynton didn't show what he's capable of, but look for him to have an immediate impact next year at Florida providing clutch performances.


Dominic Cheek / TI
Dominic Cheek -- 15 pts, 6-8 fg, 2-2 3p, 1-5 ft, 3 rebs, 1 blk, 1 stl, 14 min -- The TI lookalike had an impressive showing. Got out in the open floor and converted some nice dunks. Also displayed his excellent shooting stroke from outside knocking down both of his 3 point attempts. Nice agility, moves well. Body looks somewhat frail particularly his legs. He will need to add a lot of strength in college. The rich get richer as Final Four bound Villanova has an excellent talent in Cheek coming in next year.

DeMarcus Cousins -- 14 pts, 6-9 fg, 1-2 3p, 1-4 ft, 8 rebs, 1 blk, 1 ast, 2 to, 17 min -- Easily outplayed Sidney as the two guarded each other throughout the game. Got out on the break for a nice throw down, cupping the ball on the way in. Has tremendous size and strength already and versatility. Large wingspan. Upper body looks very strong but could use some toning. Shows a good shooting form rattling home one 3 pointer. Displayed his versatility bringing the ball up in traffic and finding a teammate for an easy basket.

Derrick Favors -- 19 pts, 9-13 fg, 1-3 ft, 8 rebs, 1 blk, 18 min -- Won the game MVP as the high scorer of the winning squad clinching the game with two dunks. Nearly all of his points came on dunks so it's difficult to assess any improvement in his offensive game. He didn't impress the times he tried to make plays outside of 5 feet from the basket, so he's got work to do. However, anytime he gets the ball within 3 feet of the basket it's a wrap (dunk), and that's basically what happened over and over in this game. Missed the first 1:20 of the game after forgetting one important garment before the game: his jersey, which he had to scramble to find in the locker room and missed the tip. Converted on an ally oop showing his tremendous wingspan. Won the Morgan Wootan National high school player of the year. It's a toss up on whose arms are longer between his and Cousins.

Milton Jennings -- 4 pts on 2-3 fg, 4 rebs, 1 blk, 1 stl, 1 to, 14 min -- Was not much of a factor. Played limited minutes and got few touches. Made a nice play soon after entering the game. Stepped over the 3 point line for a smooth, one dribble pull up on his first touch. The Clemson recruit seems to have some potential and appears to be developing into a perimeter player, but still looks raw and mostly unassertive.

Ryan Kelly -- 6 pts, 3-6 fg, 0-1 3p, 2 rebs, 13 min -- Displayed a soft touch. Not overly athletic but long and agile and his forte is shooting the ball. Poor Kelly appeared out of place in the game. He was looking to set picks and rotate defensively while everyone else was playing AND1 ball. Had back to back dunks in the second half showing decent leaping ability, although slow getting off the floor. Kelly apparently likes playing with fire as he's dating former Steeler head coach Bill Cowher's daughter.

Alex Oriakhi -- 5 pts, 1-3 fg, 3-5 ft, 4 rebs, 1 blk, 1 stl, 1 ast, 14 min -- Doesn't blow you away with any single aspect of his game. Has solid size and athleticism. Shows solid form on his shot. Looks somewhat mechanical in his movements. Likely a four year guy with some NBA potential due to his long arms.

Peyton Siva -- 6 pts, 3-5 fg, 0-1 3p, 3 rebs, 1 stl, 9 asts, 3 to, 19 min -- Extremely quick off the dribble, at one point blowing by his man and getting to the rim for a nice feed. Got loose for a dunk on the break showing his ups. Also found Taylor for a nice ally oop at one point. His quickness makes him extremely difficult to contain as he got into the paint with ease. Got some ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd with one of the plays of the game, his 360 lay in, in traffic. Just 6 points, but made his presence felt.

Lance Stephenson -- 12 pts, 6-11 fg, 0-2 3p, 0-2 ft, 4 rebs, 3 stls, 6 asts, 6 to, 23 min -- Had a rough go of things committing 6 turnovers. Showed good speed in the open floor with the ball, but gets out of control. On one occasion, he got off the ground before passing causing a turnover showing his lack of fundamentals. He did make some solid plays down the stretch including the game clinching pass to Favors. Has a nose for scoring. Really excels attacking the rim off the bounce. On the negative side his feet look awkward, as he runs up on his toes, not fluid. Talented kid with a great body for his age, but below average athleticism for the NBA level and his fundamentals, work ethic, and body language are big concerns.

Dexter Strickland -- 2 pts, 0-4 fg, 0-2 3p, 2-2 ft, 4 rebs, 1 ast, 1 to, 15 min -- Had a tough time making anything happen in this game. At 6-3, Strickland's long term success will likely hinge on whether he can develop into a point guard. He seems more of a natural 2, and while he's a nice athlete, he lacks a great body (needs weight) and appears to be a borderline pro prospect at best. Which is good news for Tar Heel fans as he's a top 30 recruit who will likely be a four year guy.

Dante Taylor -- 15 pts, 6-11 fg, 3-3 ft, 6 rebs, 1 blk, 1 stl, 2 asts, 1 to, 15 min -- Shows good size (big wingspan) and solid agility. Scored a number of baskets but didn't stand out. Got stuffed by Henson on one dunk attempt. He scored on some jumpers and shots around the basket. A solid prospect but nothing extraordinary.

Maalik Wayns -- 5 pts, 2-6 fg, 0-1 3p, 1-1 ft, 1 reb, 7 asts, 1 to, 18 min -- Got the start at point guard for the East. Blew by Gaddy to the rim for an and 1 early showing good quickness. Was pretty quiet after a nice start to the game, but did finish with 7 dimes to 1 turnover setting up his teammates well.

NBADraft.net contributor Bobby Giller was on hand and after the game spoke with Xavier Henry. Here's what Giller reported:

After the game tonight I was able to briefly speak to Xavier Henry who by the way is an unbelievable kid, you would expect some of these guys to be the typical cocky jocks who don't want to be bothered to be asked a few questions (especially by someone without credentials like me). It could not have been more opposite with Xavier, as he was extremely friendly and willing to chat before leaving the arena. I had overheard him saying that he was planning on studying Sports Medicine in college (wherever that may be), so after introducing myself I told him that I was a student here at the University of Miami and that I was studying Sports Administration. I congratulated him on his game tonight and I asked him "As the #1 overall prospect in this years recruiting class, do you feel that there's anything in your game that you need to focus on improving?"

Henry responded by saying. "Honestly, I'm going to go back home and will dedicate the next few months towards improving my strength, ball-handling, rebounding, passing, running, shooting, everything. I want to improve every aspect of my game right now. Right now I think I'm about a 5 out of 10, I can get a lot better and I plan on improving a lot in the next year", then he paused for a second and added with a smile, "Because I don't plan on being in college for too long if you know what I mean".

Clearly he was telling me that he plans on heading straight for the NBA after one year in school which isn't exactly a shock but the fact that it came from his mouth was a little surprising. Since he referred to school I then asked him "Can you give me any updates on your college situation?", Henry responded by saying, "Honestly I'm just going to head back home, talk things over with my parents and my coaches. We're starting over again and we have to find the right situation". I then asked, "So you won't be going to Memphis?" and Henry replied "No, I won't be going to Memphis". After our brief conversation I congratulated him on his performance and wished him luck in the future.

Another minor note, when Henry was speaking to a few reporters DeMarcus Cousins stuck his head out of the locker room and shouted "Me and my boy gotta stick together!" Obviously he was referencing the fact that he and Henry were both committed to Memphis and now they will both be re-opening the recruiting process. Obviously you can't put too much stock into that comment but Cousins did make it known that he would like it if he and Henry could stick together (and possibly both commit to Kentucky).

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