McDonalds postgame: Wildcats' Gordon leads West to win

2013-04-03T20:29:00Z 2013-04-03T22:41:45Z McDonalds postgame: Wildcats' Gordon leads West to winBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 03, 2013 8:29 pm  • 

CHICAGO -- A day after announcing he would play for the Arizona Wildcats next season, Aaron Gordon led the West team to a 110-99 win over the East in the McDonalds All-American Game at the United Center.

Gordon was named the game's MVP after scoring 24 points, the vast majority of which came from a variety of rim-rattling dunks, and eight rebounds. 

He is UA's third MVP in the McDonalds game and first outright winner, after Chase Budinger shared it with Kevin Durant in 2006 and Khalid Reeves was a co-MVP with Shawn Bradley in 1990.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, UA's other signee in the prestigious high school game, had nine points and two rebounds while playing strong defensively for the East. Jefferson forced the West into a 10-second violation at one point when the West failed to cross the midcourt line.

Gordon's dunks were among the game's splashiest. He pulled off a 360-degree dunk as well as a slam after he lofted the ball up and caught it himself.

But after the game, Gordon was considerably less demonstrative.

"I just focus in and come out to play," he said.

Gordon also talked about the other aspects of his game apart from dunking.

“I try to focus on the technical parts of basketball,” Gordon said. “In an all-star game where it’s not that structured, that really helps.”

Gordon actually wound up with a stat line that showed he did more than just dunk. He had two steals and two assists to one turnover, while playing credible defense in the kind of game that isn’t known for it.

“A lot of people focus on shooting, passing, scoring,” Gordon said. “What I try to focus on is every single aspect of the game. Every single aspect.”

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Hollis-Jefferson said he didn't worry about scoring, either. He played only three minutes in the first half but made his mark quickly on the defensive end. 

“That’s what I like to bring to the table, a lot of energy and defense,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “Everybody here knows we can score. Everybody knows we’re good players. That’s why we’re here. So I just stepped outside the box and decided to do something I love to do and play defense.”

Hollis-Jefferson finished with nine points, two rebounds, two assists, two turnovers and one steal.

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-- Andrew Wiggins of Ontario, Canada led the East team in scoring with 19 points, while Kentucky-bound Julius Randle led the East in rebounding with seven. Gordon and Parker were the West’s leading rebounders with eight boards each.

-- Of the other Pac-12 representatives, Cal-bound Jabari Bird had nine points, three rebounds and three assists while Washington-bound Nigel Williams-Goss had 10 points and six assists.

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Our full coverage will be posted at midnight.

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