Breaking down McDonald’s rosters
Twenty-four girls were named 2014 McDonald's All Americans on Wednesday night and invited to play in the 13th edition of the game on April 2 at Chicago's United Center. Here are our first five impressions of the rosters:
1. Battle at the point. It's high-scoring Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State) against playmaking Jordin Canada (UCLA). First word that comes to mind? Excitement. The West has a bit more depth at the position with Texans Recee' Caldwell and Brooke McCarty. The East can also hand the ball over to the electric Bianca Cuevas. Advantage: West
2. Center of attention. This one is too close to call. The East has South Carolina recruit Jatarie White and the West has Illinois-bound Chatrice White making waves in the middle. Take it to the next round, and there's still no answer. Duke recruit Lynee' Belton and Kentucky signee Alyssa Rice can battle with the best of them. Advantage: Even
3. Two good. With Texas-bound Ariel Atkins, who has rapidly risen to the top of the class, and UConn signee Gabby Williams, who's back from a knee injury, the West seems to have the edge at the 2-guard spot. The East combats that dynamic duo with proven scorers Alexa Middleton (Tennessee) and Sadie Edwards (UConn), but the combination of size and athleticism on the West gives it the edge. Depending on the matchups, the West has the versatility to assist in defending the point guard spot as well, which makes it better in the backcourt overall. Advantage: West
4. Forward thinking. The West has three outstanding small forwards in Gabby Green (California), Mikayla Cowling (California) and Jaime Nared (Tennessee). Myisha Hines-Allen (Louisviile) can match up with Green in the versatility department, so that's a stalemate. The perimeter consistency of Cowling and Nared may give the West the edge in that area, but the East has more of a driving, slashing combination with Sierra Calhoun (Duke), Mariya Moore (Louisville) and Shakayla Thomas (Florida State). Thomas could be the sleeper of the game. Advantage: West
5. Heart of the matter. We can say all we want, but the game very well may ride on which side can get the ball to its heavy hitter more frequently. Can the East feed A'ja Wilson or can the West get the ball to Brianna Turner? The top two prospects in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 could carry their teams' fortunes in their hands. Advantage: To be determined
Here are the complete rosters.