This year’s Jordan Brand Classic was the event’s highest scoring game ever. The two clubs in one of the nation’s most prestigious national all-star games combined for a whopping 305 points as the East club defeated the West Club 158-147 Friday evening at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The up tempo game (and lack of transition defense) meant a plethora of points for the participants. In the end, however, the cream rose to the top as the nation’s top four voters in the final Student Sports Mr. Basketball USA Tracker combined for 95 points.
…Among the three Mr. Basketball USA finalists on the West club, the most impressive performer was National Player of the Year Cliff Alexander. This year’s Mr. Basketball USA honoree from Curie (Chicago) had a 23-point, 8-rebound performance and dominated play in the first half as the West trailed by only a point (72-71) at halftime.
Alexander dominated the interior with his presence and threw down a couple of authoritative dunks. He also had blocked six shots (no one else had more than two) and made offensive players think twice about driving in near him.
…Small forward Kelly Oubre Jr., bound for Kansas, finished with 23 points, including 3-of-4 3-point field goal attempts that went in. Oubre’s play on the post-season all-star circuit and at Dick’s Nationals for Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) was impressive to say the least.
With 13:13 remaining in the game, Oubre’s two free throws made the score 104-93 for the game’s first double digit lead by the East. The East Club’s lead grew to as big as 17 points in the second half.
East: Jahlil Okafor @BigJah22 (29 points, 9 rebounds) & West: Cliff Alexander @humblekid11 (23 points, 8 rebounds)
Congratulations to Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander for winning MVP. #TakeFlightJBC 2014 @jumpman23
My god, Kansas' Cliff / Ellis frontcourt is going to be good. Prob even more productive than Ellis / Embiid
Thank you! Cliff Alexander has more skill than he gets credit for.
Cliff Alexander has now swatted Jahlil Okafor and blocked Karl -Anthony Towns
Cliff Alexander is obviously completely different from Joel Embiid, but if you're Bill Self you've gotta be excited about him coming in.
Cliff Alexander's calling card rim level rebounds, power finishes and blocking shots!
Not-so-bold prediction: Cliff Alexander will hear his name called by Adam Silver very early in about 14 months
2014 Mr. Basketball USA Cliff Alexander (@humblekid11) credited with 1 block at @nikehoopsummit had @ least 3
2014 Mr. Basketball USA Cliff Alexander (@humblekid11) credited with 5 blocks at @JordanClassic had @ least 6
Asked one scout for the most talented player at the Jordan Brand Classic -- he said Kelly Oubre
Kelly Oubre lefty stroke with deep range and he will straight line drive and finish through contact and above the rim as well.
NBA scouts are already interested and intrigued in Oubre and Jackson because of their size and skill.
An NBA Eastern Conference scout said this about both players: "Oubre can become an NBA 2-guard as he handles it well enough and can make jumpers with good length.
ESPN Video: Check out the Jordan Classic 3-D Projector
Kansas’ frontcourt will be in good shape next season whether or not the Jayhawks land five-star center Myles Turner, the nation’s top uncommitted prospect. Alexander is an explosive athlete who excels on both ends of the floor. His ability to block shots and attack the rim have garnered plenty of attention – he is ranked as the No. 4 player in the class of 2014 by Rivals – and he should have plenty of success in college. Though Alexander needs to refine his mid-range game, he is a force around the basket and protects the rim well. He scored 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked five shots in earning the West Team’s Most Valuable Player Award. After the game, Alexander said he hoped Turner, who is scheduled to announce his college decision on April 30, would join him in Lawrence next season. “Hopefully we get Myles Turner to fulfill Joel’s spot,” he said. Alexander also said he, fellow Kansas signee Kelly Oubre and former Kansas center Joel Embiid, who was sitting courtside, have lobbied Turner to pick Kansas. “He says he’s just weighing out his options right now,” Alexander said. “Me, Kelly and Joel have been talking to him. Joel talked to him earlier today at the hotel, trying to get him to commit. Hopefully he does that.”
SI: Four that stood out
Kansas University basketball signee Cliff Alexander earned most valuable player honors for the West team during Friday night’s Jordan Brand Classic at Barclays Center in New York City.
Alexander, a 6-8 forward out of Chicago’s Curie High, scored 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked five shots in the West’s 158-147 loss to the East.
Alexander’s high school rival, Jahlil Okafor of Chicago Whitney Young High, scored 29 points with nine rebounds in earning MVP honors for the winning East team.
KU signee Kelly Oubre scored 24 points and grabbed five rebounds, while Indiana signee James Blackmon had 23 and Duke’s Tyus Jones 12 assists and 10 points for the East.
Also for the West, Arizona’s Stanley Johnson had 24 points and SMU’s Emmanuel Mudiay 19.
Myles Turner, 6-11 from Trinity High in Euless, Texas, who is considering KU, Texas, SMU and others, missed the game because of an ankle injury.
Self on Sunday visited Myles Turner, a 6-foot-11 senior center from Trinity High in Euless, Texas, who is ranked No. 6 nationally by Rivals.com. Turner’s dad, David, told jayhawkslant.com the visit was “great” and praised Self and assistant Norm Roberts, who made the in-home. Turner will choose between KU, Texas, SMU, Duke, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M on April 30 on ESPNU.
... Devonte Graham, a 6-2 senior from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, completed his campus visit to KU on Sunday. After returning home, Graham tweeted: “Had a great visit at KU .. Happy to be home now ! Happy Easter Everyone.”
The perception may be that Myles Turner is leaning towards Texas, but Kansas is working hard to get the 6-foot-11 Texas big man to jump across state lines.
Kansas head coach Bill Self will meet Sunday with Turner in Texas, David Turner confirmed to SNY.tv.
That meeting will come some 48 hours after Joel Embiid, the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, and the two Kansas pledges in the Jordan Brand Classic tried to get Turner to commit to Kansas while in New York.
“He says he’s just weighing out his options right now,” Kansas-bound Cliff Alexander said after getting MVP honors for the West by putting up 23 points and 8 rebounds in a 158-147 loss to the East. “Me, Kelly [Oubre] and Joel have been talking to him. Joel talked to him earlier [Friday] at the hotel trying to get him to commit. Hopefully, he does that.”
…“Myles Turner is a human injury, he’s hurt all the time,” New York recruiting guru Tom Konchalski told SNY.tv. “And that’s a function I think of him having to get stronger and really work on his body. He’s a long way away physically from being able to play in the NBA. I think he has tremendous potential but he’s a long way away physically.”
…Justin Simon, a 6-4, 180-pound junior shooting guard from Temecula Valley High School in Calif., tells JayhawkSlant.com that KU coach Bill Self will visit his school on Monday. Simon is ranked No. 23 in the Class of 2015 by Rivals.com. Simon is considering KU, Arizona, Colorado, Creighton, Louisville, Santa Clara, USC, Washington, New Mexico and San Diego State.
Kassoum Yakwe, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward from Our Savior New American (NY), is one of the rising prospects in the 2016 class. Yakwe played in the 2014 Jordan Brand International Game and scored 13 points and grabbed two rebounds for Team White as they defeated Team Black 74-71.
Yakwe played an efficient 19 minutes, shooting 4-for-5 from the field. He also displayed an improved handle and a nice outside touch, hitting 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.
“I’m getting more confident,” Yakwe said when asked about his outside shot. “I’ve been working in the gym getting shots up. I’m getting better [at] it.”
Yakwe has drawn interest from high major schools, and told SNY.tv and The Juice Online that “Kansas, Syracuse [and] Villanova” are recruiting him the hardest. Still, his college decision isn’t his top priority right now.
“I’m not focused on that,” Yakwe said. “I just want to work on my game.”
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