In Their Own Words: 2014 McDonald’s All-Americans Describe Their Talents

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You’ve heard the saying: “The kids are alright.”

Well, these kids are more than alright.

As the NBA’s ever-evolving landscape of perimeter-oriented and multifaceted skill sets take the basketball world by storm on a nightly basis, the youth who aspire to compete against their heroes (in 2015 or beyond, thanks to the one-and-done rule) have keenly paid attention to the changes in the game and what they mean for their own personal development as players.

SheridanHoops caught up with nine of the 24 McDonald’s All-Americans at Tuesday’s media day to discuss their games: 

Bauman: Randle, Parker and Wiggins can improve upon spectacular performances

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Julius RandleCHICAGO — Three headlining freshmen. Three spectacular performances.

Julius Randle?

All he did was take his youthful Kentucky Wildcats and rally them with a dominant second half performance of 23 points and eight rebounds against Michigan State, one of the more consistently well coached and talented teams in college basketball.

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Bauman: Rose unveils newest trick against rival Knicks on Halloween

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Derrick RoseCHICAGO — It was Halloween night, and Derrick Rose took the court in front of the capacity home crowd fans before a regular season game for the first time in over a year and a half.

Peering down from the six championship banners of the Jordan era, all felt right for the folks in downtown Chicago as their star fittingly was the last player announced during player introductions.

After all, this is where Rose belongs: It’s his Chicago Bulls team.

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Bauman: Will the Atlanta Hawks re-sign PG Jeff Teague?

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Jeff-Teague-Atlanta-HawksIt might seem like a decade ago, but it happened.

Jeff Teague, a seldom used second-year point guard at the time, outplayed Derrick Rose for the first few games during the second round of the 2010-11 Eastern Conference playoffs:

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Bauman: Noel and Len — Two players, two paths and a collision at No. 1

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nbadraft13_300x250_3 (1)NEW YORK — Nerlens Noel grew up fixated on playing in the NBA.

“Since I was a little kid, like 8 years old, I’ve wished for this to come true, to play in the NBA and now it’s finally here,” said Noel. “All the hard work has paid off.”

Meanwhile, halfway around the globe in Ukraine, Alex Len didn’t know what basketball was all about until he was a 13-year old who was still participating in gymnastics.

“Dude, you don’t belong there,” explained Len, regarding how his first basketball coach escorted him off of the parallel bars and onto the hardwood.

“You belong on the basketball court.”

He did then, and he certainly still does now.