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March 24, 2005The West all-Stars defeated the East 136-119 Tuesday night before 14,598 enthusiastic fans in the 41st annual Roundball Classic All-Star Game at the United Center in Chicago. The West team was led by co-MVP's Brandon Rush and Eric Devendorf. Danny Green and Nate Minnoy were named co-MVP's for East squad. For details click on Rivals.com Ultimate Ticket.
In somewhat of a surprise the West all-stars jumped out to a 36-23 first quarter lead, and pushed the margin to as many as 30 points enroute to their 136-119 victory in the nation's original all-star game, started by founder/director Sonny Vaccaro in 1965. The leading scorer for the West all-stars was unsigned 6-foot-6 guard/forward Brandon Rush with 21 points on 10-14 field goal shooting, and making 1 of 2 three-point attempts. Rush's shot chart of made baskets included eight that were either spectacular dunks or layups, one 15-foot jump shot, and one three-pointer. He also had 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, and 2 blocked shots.
Rush was switched from the East team after three players scheduled to play in the game for the West all-stars did not attend. Notre Dame-bound, 6-foot-11 center Luke Zeller, and his Washington, Ind., High School team are still playing for an Indiana state championship; as is N.C. State signee, 6-foot-9 forward Brandon Costner of West Orange, N.J., Seton Hall Prep. Mississippi State recruit, and perhaps the nation's top guard prospect, 6-foot-4 Monta Ellis, decided not to participate after leading Jackson, Miss., Lanier High School to the Mississippi state title.
Syracuse-bound, 6-foot-3 combo guard Eric Devendorf had an outstanding performance, scoring 17 points (6-11 FG, 4-4 3-point shots), 7 assists, and 2 steals to share West team co-MVP honors with Brandon Rush.
L.S.U. recruit, 6-foot-7 forward Tasmin Mitchell had 17 points, 8 rebounds; Louisville signee, 6-foot-9 center/forward Amir Johnson contributed 17 points (8-11 FG), 4 rebounds, and 4 blocks; DePaul-bound, 6-foot-9 forward Wilson Chandler, and Louisville signee, Bryan Harvey both scored 13 points; Memphis recruit, 6-foot-8 wing forward [/db]Shawne Williams[/db] added 12 points; and Duke signee, 6-foot-10 power forward Josh McRoberts had 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks. After going scoreless in the first half, McRoberts hit 3-4 3-point attempts in the second half, and showed why he is rated as one of the top players in the Class of 2005.
North Carolina recruit, 6-foot-6 guard/forward Danny Green scored 15 points (6-13 FG), along with 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks, to share co-MVP honors for the East all-stars with Purdue recruit, 6-foot-3, 280-pound "Charles Barkley-play-alike," Nate Minnoy. Minnoy used his bulk, plus a deft outside stroke to score 16 points (7-14 FG, 2-4 3-pointers), and grab 6 rebounds.
Highly-touted Oklahoma State signee, 6-foot-8 guard/forward Gerald Green led the East team in scoring with 17 points (5-12 FG, 0-4 3-point attempts). Green scored 9 of his points in the final quarter, and had 1 rebound, 0 assists, and 3 turnovers. According to NBA scouts at the Roundball Classic, Green should definitely attend Oklahoma State before venturing to the N.B.A. But, will he?
Unsigned 6-foot-11 center/forward Andray Blatche, despite having to be taken to the hospital on Sunday for stomach problems, had an impressive outing with 13 points (5-12 FG, 1-1 3-point shots), a game high 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Blatche does need to play more in the post, rather than trying to extend his game to the perimeter. He will likely be a late first round N.B.A. draft pick.
Other East standouts included UNLV signee, 6-foot-7 forward Davon Jefferson with 12 points (5-15 FG), and 10 rebounds; future Marquette guard, 6-foot-3 Jerel McNeal with 12 points (5-9 FG, 2-2 3-pointers); and massive unsigned 6-foot-8, 290-pound center/forward DeAndre Thomas with 11 points and 5 rebounds.
Thomas told Rivals.com that he now plans to visit four schools: Kansas, Illinois, Florida State, and Georgetown.
Rivals.com will have Roundball Classic players evaluations in our next update.