The Ball For It All Classic had it all for a high-level, NBA-flavored exhibition game. Well, maybe not much defense, but there was plenty of action as the Goodman League will head back to D.C. with a 170-167 win over the Knox Indy Pro Am team.
This type of game is no substitute for the NBA but it sure was fun. The players competed in individual spurts while also opening things up for some spectacular dunks and impressive long-range shooting.
The Goodman team had plenty of Indy flavor with Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Shelvin Mack and UIndy's Darius Adams filling out the roster. But the big names that showed up to rep the Goodman didn't waste their trip to Indy. John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Jeff Green all put up monster numbers while pushing the visitors to the win.
The Indy squad had its moments as well, with Zach Randolph stirring things up in the second quarter and Eric Gordon putting on a shooting clinic in the third. With the exception of D.J. White the Indy roster were all former Indiana high school players.
After the jump, the numbers and a few observations from the event.
- John Wall was the game MVP finishing with 41 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. He has that extra gear no one else can shift too which seems unfair at times. He and Gordon really stick out for their athleticism with the ball.
- Gordon had 40 of his own, including 12 points in the third when he couldn't miss no matter how far out he was before shooting. Two missed threes late in the game put a cap on the comeback effort for Indy.
- Z-Bo and DeMarcus Cousins went at it when they were on the floor together. Z-Bo seemed to be getting under his skin in the second quarter, but Cousins kept it together all night and ended up getting the better of the matchup. Cousins finished with 33 points and 15 rebounds. He even worked to get a rebound for a putback off a missed free throw. I think he just surprised everyone else though. Randolph arrived a little late but still pitched in 21 points and 10 rebounds.
- Another fun matchup to watch was Paul George on Gordon Hayward. They made acquaintanceds in their rookie year if you remember with Hayward flushing one on PG at Conseco Fieldhouse. Tonight they had several possessions in which they went at each other which I would say finished in a push. It was nice to see George knock down some open shots. He also had a couple of sweet, high-flying finishes at the rim. Hayward finished with 20 and 10 while PG had 24 and 11.
- Lance Stephenson finished with 16 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. He also picked up the game's lone T on a lame call by the ref. The game was getting testy and John Wall picked up a foul he didn't agree with. Stephenson had picked up the loose ball and as the whistle was blowing he just flipped toward the hoop at the other end of the floor. Oh well. His game was a little sloppy at times as he tried to do too much with the ball in traffic. Please, please don't make any judgments about his development from this game. This was not an NBA game.
- George Hill was not at the game tonight. I was looking forward to talking with him.
- I did talk with Josh McRoberts, Paul George and Lance Stephenson along with a few other players so I'll have more from them in the next few days.
- Jeff Green gave a great effort all game and was probably the difference when you consider EJ and Wall cancelling each other out. Green will not suffer from an iron deficiency with all of the dunks he had in this game. Seemed like he wanted to make the most of his trip out here as he was active from the opening tip and finished with 35 points and 12 rebounds.
- Great line from the PA announcer as Cousins and Z-Bo were going at it with Cousins dunking and Z-Bo using his bag of tricks around the rim to score from the floor. He said, "DeMarcus Cousins is what we saw from Zach Randolph ten years ago, now Z-Bo is just laying it up for $75 million.
- Josh McRoberts mixed it up much of the night and added a few nice dunks to the proceedings while finishing with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
- JaJuan Johnson showed off his pogo sticks a few times and finished with 21 points and 5 minutes.
- Very cool of the Goodman team to let recent UIndy grad, Darius Adams play a few minutes. Adams finished with 4 points and 3 rebounds and showed some serious hops.
- Players did a nice job after the game coming back out to give the fans a chance for autographs and pictures. The game was not a sell out but I'd say there was somewhere around 2500 at the game. Hard to tell with a lot of people standing, so I'd say that is the high-end approximation.
- As I mentioned above, this was great fun but no assessment of any player's game or development should be drawn from the game. I repeat, this was not an NBA game. Just a lot of fun.