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March 25, 2007

McDonald's practices get underway

The action should heat up Monday morning at the McDonald's All American Game practices as both squads eased into things at Sunday afternoon's practice. Several players, including Patrick Patterson stood out with their performances during the first practice.

Patterson, who is coming off a state championship season at Huntington (W.V.) High School, shoot the ball with touch from the mid-range and was active around the basket on both ends of the court.

As one of the two uncommitted players at the event along with Jai Lucas, Patterson told the media after the practice that despite being completely surprised by Tubby Smith leaving Kentucky, the Wildcats are still in the hunt for his services.

"A couple days after the McDonald's game, I'll narrow it down to three schools and then go with that until the second week in April," said Patterson. "I'll sit down with my family and go over what I like and don't like about all the schools. The things I'll consider are fan support, academics, the coaching and relationships with the players on the team."

Two of the schools speculated to be at the top of his list have players in the all star game who have been actively recruiting Patterson at the event.

"The Duke guys have been hitting me up and Nick Calathes from Florida," said Patterson with a smile. "Even Chris Wright has been talking to me about going to Georgetown."

East practice

The East practice involved a lot of individual skill work and then starting with one-on-one drills worked up to four-on-four to finish the practice.

Observations:

Jonny Flynn was impressive pressuring the basketball in the full court one-on-one drills.

Chris Wright shot the ball very well in the shooting drills.

Corey Stokes lit it up from outside in the competition drills.

J.J. Hickson was the biggest presence on the East squad.

Kosta Koufos had success scoring off the dribble from the perimeter.

West practice

The West practice began with some transition drills and then went into a long session of five-on-zero before finishing with a five-on-five scrimmage. It appears that the West will go with a starting five comprised of the top five prospects in the Rivals150. Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, Kyle Singler, Michael Beasley and Kevin Love worked together as a group when learning the plays with Taylor King as the sixth player on that end of the court.

Eric Gordon sat out the scrimmage portion of the practice because of a pulled hamstring he suffered in last nights state championship loss. He told Rivals.com after the practice that he will be ready to go by Wednesday night.

Cole Aldrich took it to Kevin Love during the scrimmage. The Kansas signee hit a couple jumpers and scored on some jump hooks and put back dunks.

Michael Beasley and Blake Griffin took turns taking it to each other in their match up.

Kyle Singler was impressive with his defense on Jerryd Bayless and his play in the open court.

Derrick Rose was explosive to the basket on the dribble, snagged a number of defensive rebounds and knocked down some jumpers.


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