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Monday, April 23, 2007

MJ Classic Recap

I watched the Jordan Brand Classic on Saturday night. As with most all-star games, it was more than a bit ragged but a huge step up from the McDonald's game, largely due to the absense of Mayo and Beasley, both of whom were utter ballhogs in that game (Mayo, to his team's detriment). I was keeping an eye on Wright and Freeman, but I also came away impressed with the Chris Wright who is headed to Dayton, Donte Greene (Cuse), Derrick Rose (Memphis), and Corey Fisher (Nova). Wright (Georgetown) and Freeman certainly distinguished themselves, as among the very best in their class. Both will be impact players from day 1. Wright showed remarkable quickness and very impressive passing skills. I think he will be the best passer on our team next year. His ability to hit seems was tremendous. Freeman dominated for stretches. His ability to finish from mid-range is relatively unique and he is built like a truck so he can take a great deal of contact and still finish. Wright also has the body of a junior or senior. I can't see either having that much of a learning curve. Here's nbadraft's take on their performances:

Austin Freeman -- Freeman lacks optimum size at around 6-4 1/2 but he's a physically imposing athlete who overpowers opponents on this level. His mid range game is very advanced as he shows a highly developed offensive game. Hit a three point runner from a few feet inside the half court line to end the first half. He's a step below the elite guys, but a talented prospect. Similar to Kevin Love, his immense width makes him appear shorter than he really is. Along with Chris Wright, Freeman will be an instant impact freshman at G'town.

Chris Wright (Georgetown) -- The DL Hughley look alike was very impressive matching up with Derrick Rose and playing well. He finished with 14p and 9a but stumbled down the stretch as Rose got the best of him late in the game. Jimmy Dykes made the bold prediction that Wright will end up the top point guard from this class when all is said and done. He may have the best college career, as it's unlikely players such as Rose, Mayo or Gordon will stick around for more than 1-2 years, however Wright may not either. Don't look for him to overtake Rose, but he definitely can be very good. He showed tremendous floor vision with a number of terrific feeds to teammates for baskets, one to Parsons threading the needle and hitting him in stride as he cut to the basket, and another to Greene. His combination of strength, toughness, point guard ability and athleticism reminds me of Jameer Nelson, only Wright is a bit bigger has a chance to be better.

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