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What to watch for in the McDonald’s All-American Game

With 24 of the country’s best players being brought together for a single game, you know there will be a lot of intriguing match-ups with all that talent on the floor. Here’s a breakdown of what to watch for organized by position:

Point Guard- Marquis Teague (West) vs. Quinn Cook (East)

This match-up has one of the widest disparities in the rankings with Teague being the best point guard in the class and Cook not even being in the top-five. Expect Teague to excel in transition and to get a lot of easy points and assists in that part of the game and to get by Cook between his quick first step and excellent ball-handling. However, Cook is a very nifty passer with great floor vision who you can expect to get his own fair share of assists and to finish well when he’s gets into the lane. Edge- Teague

Other point guards to watch: Myck Kabongo (West), Shannon Scott (East)

Shooting Guard- Austin Rivers (West) vs. Bradley Beal (East)

This will be the most exciting duo to watch since they are the two best scorers in the country. Both of them will light up the scoreboard with their excellent shooting abilities and will wow you with their three-point range. Beal will have the edge on the defensive end since he has good height, length, and athleticism but Rivers’ offensive sills will simply be too much for him to handle. Rivers has a great mid-range game which puts him a notch above Beal but they can both get to the basket at will giving them the ability to score in a variety of ways. Edge- Rivers

Other shooting guards to watch: Wayne Blackshear (West), P.J. Hairston (East)

Small Forward- Michael Gilchrist (West) vs. LeBryan Nash (East)

This is another exciting match-up to watch because of the difference in style between the two. Gilchrist is more talented, but Nash is very athletic, explosive, and aggressive. However, there are many similarities between the two since they are both great slashers, great finishers, and very tough. It will be interesting to see if Nash takes Gilchrist down to the low-post since Nash is very good on the block and Gilchrist is a good interior defender. Nash is a better scorer on the offensive end, but Gilchrist is superior on the defensive end and in general but expect this match-up to be pretty even. Edge- Gilchrist

Other small forwards to wach: Branden Dawson (West), Adonis Thomas (East)

Power Forward- James McAdoo (West) vs. Anthony Davis (East)

This will be intriguing to follow throughout the game since McAdoo is an old-school big-man with great fundamentals technique whereas Davis is a top prospect due to his raw talent and physical abilities. McAdoo is great all around and impacts the game in many ways whether it’s through scoring, rebounding, or playing defense. It will be interesting to see how McAdoo handles Davis’ length and versatility on both ends of the floor since Davis will challenge his shots and has the ability to take McAdoo out on the perimeter. Edge- McAdoo

Other power forwards to watch: Johnny O’Bryant (West), Khem Birch (East)

Center- Rakeem Christmas (West) vs. Amir Williams (East)

Although these two players are rated the lowest of any starters, they will still make an impact on the defensive end since they are both great rebounder and shot-blockers. They have good length and have the ability to alter shots when opponents get in the lane even if they can’t get a hand on the ball. However, they won’t have too much have an impact on the offensive end other than easy put-backs and dump-off passes from guards since neither player has a great low-post game. Edge- Christmas

Other centers to watch: Marshall Plumlee (West)

The McDonald’s All-American game will air on ESPN at 10:00 p.m. (EST) next Wednesday and you can find full coverage of the game with analysis and more on this website.

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