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April 3, 2004
USA Select's Position Breakdown
Two of the quicker point guards in the class of 2004 will lead the USA Select team against the World Select team on Sunday afternoon in San Antonio. Sebastian Telfair and Jordan Farmar will face World Select point guards that come in at 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-6. Both Telfair and Farmar, though not outside shooting specialists, can get to the basket and distribute the ball. Their quickness versus the size of the Word point guards will make for an intriguing match up.
J.R. Smith and Malik Hairston are two shooting guards that would love to be set up by the penetration of their two point guards. The well built Smith, who can jump out of the gym, can stretch a defense with his deep range farther than any other player in the class of 2004. Although he does not possess the ridiculous range of Smith, Hairston has a much stronger midrange game than his teammate. The two will provide a nice offensive contrast at the shooting guard position.
Just as J.R. Smith likes to play beyond the arc, Josh Smith and Rudy Gay love to hover behind the arc and knock down jumpers. Long and athletic, both players will also need to provide a presence inside the arc for the USA team. They will also need to play strong on defense against the large World select team, who has six players over 6-foot-9. If the USA team can get into the transition game, Smith and Gay should make a difference in the game.
2004's top prospect Dwight Howard will not be making it to San Antonio for the game. His void with be filled by D.J. White. White will team up with fellow Alabamian power forward Mike Williams. Both are capable and solid players, but certainly not in the caliber of Howard.
LaMarcus Aldridge is another no show for the USA team. His slot is being filled by Joseph Jones. Leading the way at the center position will be the big bdied and powerful Al Jefferson. Jefferson is a player that can bang the glass, seal off a defender and score with his back to the basket, and also face up in the midrange and be effective.