Jahlil Okafor and Justin Jackson gave Tobacco Road fans a little taste of what they have to look forward to next season as Okafor led his West squad to victory over Jackson’s East in last night’s 2014 McDonald’s All-America Game, 105-102. The two players shared the game’s MVP honors.
Okafor, one of four Duke commits on display, poured in 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting but his dunk late in the game gave the West the lead for good. Jackson, a future North Carolina Tar Heel, paced the East with 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting.
Tyus Jones, a future Duke Blue Devil, made a three with just under two minutes left to pull the East to within 99-98 lead before his baseline fade away gave them the lead, a lead they’d soon relinquish thanks to Okafor’s jam. Jones finished the with seven points and a game-high ten assists.
Fellow Duke commits Grayson Allen (four points, one rebound, one assist) and Justise Winslow (nine points, three rebounds). Future Tar Heels Theo Pinson (three points, three assists, two rebounds) and Joel Berry II (seven points, four assists, two rebounds) also put their talents on display.
Allen, a shooting guard who was donning a Jay Williams Duke jersey, won the dunk contest by leaping over his 6-foot-11 future teammate Okafor.
If Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood return to Durham to team up with the four five-star players featured last night, Duke might be on to something really special in 2015 while in Chapel Hill, these three incoming freshman will help to build off this year’s success.
The rivalry on Tobacco Road should be alive and well next season.
Lost in the shuffle was future SMU Mustangs guard, Emmanuel Mudiay, who red 15 points and dished out six assists. After being snubbed for the NCAA Tournament this year, Mudiay should be the difference maker in getting head coach Larry Brown and the Mustangs back to the Big Dance in 2015.