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It was apparent early on both teams wanted to win the game in order to secure the most highly-coveted prize -- bragging rights. Through aggressive play in the passing lanes on defense and an effective transition game, the East established a big early lead and withstood a late run for a 107-102 victory.
6-foot-6 shooting guard Tyreke Evans, the nation's top undeclared prospect, led the way for the East, garnering MVP honors in the process through his prolific 21-point, 10-rebound performance. Evans has the ability to score points in bunches, preferring to use his quick first step to penetrate to the basket as opposed to shooting the perimeter jump shot. When he drives, he generally goes right. Once at the rim, Evans uses his upper body strength, long arms, body control and hang-time to absorb contact and make in-air adjustments while still converting the basket.
As he prepares for the next level, he will have to improve his jump-shot in addition to becoming a better ball-handler. At this point of his career, he takes too many dribbles to get to spots on the floor. Evans also has to alleviate his tendency to over-dribble, which only serves to reduce his teammates to spectators. Once he learns to beat defenders with jab-steps and pump fakes, he will enhance his penetration skills and become a more well-rounded offensive talent. For stretches, Evans plays very good pressure defense, using his body and long arms to harass opposing guards.
Oklahoma-bound 6-4 combo-guard Willie Warren spearheaded the West's determined run with his inspired play. Warren penetrated to the basket almost at will, using his reliable handle and quickness to drive past defenders. Warren also has a developed body and good strength, fueling his ability to penetrate into a congested lane, take a hit from an opposing big and still finish the lay-up. When he decides to defend, Warren will body-up smaller, quick point guards and force them into mistakes with his physical play.
Warren sometimes struggles with shot-selection, electing to hoist up ill-advised shots from well beyond the 3-point line. Though he has a nice follow-through on his jump shot, he has a tendency to shoot the ball from his chest, which sometimes causes his shot to fall short. When he utilizes a higher release point, he usually makes his jump shots. Though more of a shooting guard prospect in playing style and mentality now, Warren could develop into a very nice point guard on the next level if he improves his ability to involve others on offense.
-- Antonio Williams, Scouts Inc.
|Tyreke Evans, one of the two uncommitted players participating in the McDonald's All-American Game, took over late in the second half to lead the East to victory.|