Jahlil Okafor may have led his East team to a defense-optional 158-147 victory in the Jordan Brand Classic game in Brooklyn, N.Y., Friday, but he wasn’t the only big man who impressed during the all-star contest.
Kansas commit Cliff Alexander paced the scoring for the West team with 23 points, 19 of which came in the first half, and handled his own down low against the Duke-bound Okafor.
ESPN College BBall shared one of Alexander’s ferocious dunks with fans who tuned into the game:
If Okafor was the best big man on the floor, Alexander was a close second. He impressed CBS Sports’ Jeff Borzello during the process:
Prediction at four most productive college guys next year from this game: Jahlil Okafor, Cliff Alexander, Stanley Johnson, Emmanuel Mudiay.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 19, 2014
The fact that Alexander performed so well against the nation’s top-ranked recruit Okafor, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, is a testament to his vast potential and should encourage Jayhawks fans about what’s to come.
You aren’t going to find a better low-post presence than Okafor in the 2014 class, and you would even be hard-pressed to find one across the entire college basketball landscape. Talent-wise, Alexander should be fine as a freshman.
Alexander should be able to step into the Big 12 right away and contribute in the scoring department and on the glass if he brings the same type of intensity to the table that he did in the Jordan Brand Classic.
He is the No. 3-ranked player in the country in 247Sports’ composite rankings and the No. 1-ranked power forward.
Alexander is one of the most physically imposing prospects in the entire 2014 class, but his game isn’t only about pure strength. He is athletic for his 6’9” size, which helps him alter shots in the paint, dart into passing lanes and grab rebounds on both ends of the floor. He is gradually becoming a better offensive player, which is bad news for the rest of the Big 12.
Will Cliff Alexander earn All-Big 12 honors?
What would be even worse news for Alexander’s future opponents is if Myles Turner decides to join him in the paint in Lawrence.
Alexander said that he is trying to convince Turner to take his talents to Kansas, via Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star: “He said he hasn’t made up his mind yet, so hopefully we can entice him to come to Kansas. I told him: ‘Come be a Jayhawk, Bill Self will get you ready.'"
If Turner does decide to be a Jayhawk alongside Alexander, it’s not difficult to imagine yet another Big 12 Championship for the program.
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