Held in Michael Jordan’s birthplace for the second consecutive year, the 2014 Jordan Brand Classic saw Chicago’s highly-touted big men take over Brooklyn. Duke-bound Jahlil Okafor and Kansas-signee Cliff Alexander combined for 52 points. Both regarded as the national player of the year — Alexander was awarded the Naismith Player of the Year title, while Okafor was named the Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year. Okafor finished with 29 points and 9 rebounds for the East, while Alexander had 23 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Among the marquee match-ups of the night was at the PG position between Tyus Jones and Tyler Ulis (9 points, 9 assists). Jones demonstrated why he is regarded as the top pure point guard in the class with a game-high 12 assists to go with 10 points and 7 rebounds. SMU’s Emmanuel Mudiay was a walking highlight-reel all night long, showcasing the up-and-under reverse lay-up on multiple occasions, and a crowd-pleasing double-pump spin lay-up. He finished with 19 points and 6 assists. Arizona-bound wing Stanley Johnson chipped in 24 points.
The East squad defeated the West 158-147.
With over 12 mines to play in the second half, the scoreboard had already surpassed last year’s final score. Good offense this year, or not as good of defense as last year — you be the judge. Additionally, while not one player surpassed the 20-point mark in last year’s contest, five players scored 20 or more in Friday night’s all-star game. For the second year in a row the MVP award goes to a Chicago native.