Here are just a few quick impressions of the Kentucky 2011 recruiting class at the 2011 McDonald's Al-American Game. I just saw the first half and intend to review the second half when I get a chance, so these only include the first stanza.
First of all, how awesome is it to have your entire recruiting class play in the biggest high school all-American game in the land? I really can't get over that, it's just amazing. It has probably happened before, but I don't remember when.
Second, all these kids are really good. I was impressed, to some degree, by every player that played. I can't say I've always been that way about this game, but this year's crop is extremely talented and wildly athletic. With all that said, here are quick impressions of the Kentucky recruits:
Anthony Davis -- This is the first time I have seen Davis play other than in highlights. This kid is as advertised, long, lean, and skilled. He seemed to block everybody's shot, and the first-half tomahawk jam he put on was scary good. Extraordinary.
Michael Gilchrist -- Gilchrist is one of the sneakiest players I have seen. He is wildly athletic, has a great handle, but has very little flash to his game. His jumpshot needs some refinement, but his basketball IQ is remarkable. Despite his talent, Gilchrist did not make himself a black hole, he shared the ball, defended and rebounded surprisingly hard.
More after the jump.
Marquis Teague -- The word that best describes what I saw from Teague is "long." He is only 6'2",l but I was surprised at how long his arms were. He has speed comparable to Brandon Knight end-to-end, and handles and finishes really well with his left hand as well as his right -- almost Wall-esque. He doesn't have Wall's incomparable top end speed (who does?), but he is a first-rate distributing point guard who can score off the bounce. He got to the rim at will.
Kyle Wiltjer -- Wiltjer is not what you think. He looks sort of like an ordinary big kid in the mold of a Plumlee or a Zeller, but he is not. Wiltjer can score with either hand, and shoots the ball confidently to the professional 3-point line. He is also very intense and competitive -- I saw him slap away other player's hands numerous times, and he gets down in the paint and bangs. His looks belie his talent and intensity. This kid is good.
Overall, the first half was the most competitive and intense Mickey D's I have seen, probably ever. All these kids were very good, and will make their respective teams much better. I really loved how this half had much more defense than I'm used to seeing in an all-star game, and the Kentucky recruits were a big part of that.
There are lots of links to game results and information here at Next Cats. Hat tip: John Clay.