April 4, 2013

McDonald's All-American Recap

The McDonald's All-American game has always been an honor for any high school player to be a part of, showing off each players talent on national television and being recognized for their level of play in high school.

North Carolina has been used to having some of the top players in the country to play in this game, as UNC has had 65 McDonald's High School All-Americans.

North Carolina actually has had an All-American on the roster every year so far since 2008.

This year is no different as the Tar Heels had two players in the game last night in Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks, both from the state of North Carolina.

Hicks is from J.F. Webb High School, out of Oxford, NC while Meeks was located in the Charlotte area at West Charlotte.

Both players come in as strong needs for the Tar Heels, as they will be able to provide an inside presence for UNC, something that Roy Williams is used to having.

However, in the past season, Williams had to get away from what he is has been comfortable with in the past, going with the four guard lineup, which allowed the Tar Heels to go 25-11 this past season, before losing to Kansas in the round of 32.

Hicks provides the ability to rebound and block shots, along with his scoring. His length gives him the edge against smaller guards, while adding some weight at UNC, will provide him the ability to work down low with the big men in the paint.

As one might have heard, Hicks was able to post a 34 point, 30 rebound game in his last game at Webb, as they were able to take home the championship.

He will be able to spread the floor if he is able to form a consistent jump shot, while having an inside presence down low.

At the McDonald's game, one can see that Hicks could run the floor pretty well for such a large man, something that he will be able to use his athletic ability up and down the court.

Towards the end of the game, Hicks was able to get some defensive stops along with getting two easy buckets around the rim. Hicks ended his night with four points, two rebounds, and two blocked shots.

Meeks is a big guy, almost a perfect vision of what Sean May was when he came in to North Carolina, who can provide a big body down low, but will focus on getting and keeping in shape for the up and down tempo at UNC.

Meeks averaged a double-double in high school, as he has soft hands around the basket while being able to grab rebounds down in the paint; a true space eater.

The one attribute that has to be his hands and passing ability, knowing that Williams will love to have Meeks down in the paint and kicking it out on the break.

In Chicago, Meeks seemed to struggle a little getting up and down the floor, as he will have to get in better shape to compete at UNC in his freshman year.

However, in the All-American game, most of the game is based around the offense, with little defense being played, something that affected Meeks getting up and down the floor.

But that didn't shy him away from pulling the trigger, shooting 0-3 from the floor, including two three pointers. Meeks went scoreless in the game, while grabbing a rebound in seven minutes of action.

Other notable players in the All-American game were Andrew Wiggins (19 points), Juluis Randle (11 points), Anthony Barber (11 points, four assists), Jabari Parker (10 points), and Matt Jones (four points).

Both players will be coming into North Carolina, competing in a position that is up for grabs when one is talking about playing time.

Having big men down low that can both spread/run the floor, while the other competes on the boards and in the paint, could spell a recipe for success in the future to the Tar Heels.

North Carolina is still waiting to hear from Reggie Bullock, P.J. Hairston, and James Michael McAdoo in their decisions to stay in school or head to the NBA.

However, the future is bright for the Tar Heels and will have some key components coming in next year; pieces that the Tar Heels were missing last year.

Hicks, Meeks, and Nate Britt will solidify a deep team, providing some spark for the Tar Heels next year, as they look to make a run in the Tournament to a National Championship.

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