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NIKE EYBL – LOS ANGELES: SUNDAY RUNDOWN
By Raphielle Johnson
On a day that featured a great matchup between the Oakland Soldiers and Albany City Rocks (won 72-68 by the Soldiers), it was the final game of the night that took the honors for Sunday’s best. Boo Williams and CIA Bounce (Canada) put on a show, needing double overtime to decide things in a two-point win for Bounce. The major performers were all over the floor, with Virginia commit Justin Anderson (2012) lighting it up for Boo Williams and 2013 prospect Xavier Rathan-Myers doing the honors in the latter stages of regulation and both overtime periods for Bounce.
Anderson displayed a wide range of skills in the contest, one he had to leave late due to major cramping issues (Anderson did return for a final possession but the ball did not end up in his hands). Early on Anderson made his way to the basket while also setting up teammates, finishing inside with contact as it became quite apparent that Bounce would have their hands full with him. But in the second half the fun really started, as each three-pointer Anderson put up seemed to be further back than the last one. Guessing that one of the shots came from 30 feet out would not be an exaggeration, and his form didn’t change. Virginia is getting a serious player come 2012.
As for Rathan-Myers, whose next high school seems to be up in the air, wow. He didn’t play a whole lot in the first half, but once on the floor in crunch time the young man got it done. Rathan-Myers displayed a good perimeter shot while also getting to the basket when needed. He’s already got good strength but one would have to think that he’ll get a bit more chiseled before 2013 rolls around.
But while those two stood out there were a number of other solid performers for each team. 2013 point guard Anthony Barber had some issues early in the second half with regards to decision-making, but with Anderson sidelined due to cramps Barber stepped up. Normally a pass-first point, the Hampton, VA native was able to penetrate to the basket and make shots while also knocking down a few perimeter shots. The outside shot will need to improve but Barber is a name to keep in mind.
Also in the 2013 class for Boo Williams is 6’6″ wing Troy Williams, who proved to be a serious difference-maker off the bench in the first half. Williams, who stated after the game that he hopes to improve on his defense and ability to shoot off the dribble, displayed a solid mid-range game that gave Bounce problems. And 2012 Providence commit Josh Fortune struggled with his shot early but did knock down key buckets late. It’s clear by watching him that the form is definitely there (he does need to get stronger, something he mentioned following the game), and the Friars will get themselves a good shooting guard in another year.
For CIA Bounce there were key contributors both young and old, beginning with 2012 guard (and one-time Louisville commit) Negus Webster-Chan. Webster-Chan didn’t light up the scoreboard but one of his strengths is the ability to do a variety of things on the floor. In addition to his offensive tools Webster-Chan is a good defender who embraces that side of the ball, something coaches love to see.
Fellow 2012 prospect Anthony Bennett has an impressive build and finishes above the rim with authority, and with the likes of Amir Garrett, Nick Johnson and Myck Kabongo moving on to college the Findlay Prep attendee could have a big 2011-12 campaign. At the other forward position was 2014 forward Andrew Wiggins, who has the ability to be a star come college selection time. Wiggins does need to fill out physically but once that happens look out. He already finishes reasonably well in traffic and can also get some things done off the dribble.
Some other impressive performers observed on Sunday were:
2012 F Daddy Ugbede (California Supreme)
In the midst of getting another look at guard Katin Reinhardt (who scored 19 points in their win over the Southern Kings), the opportunity to see Ugbede play extremely well presented itself. Ugbede scored a team-high 21 points in the win, attacking the glass while proving to be a tough player to defend on the block.
2013 F Emmanual Ndumanya (California Supreme)
Between the two big men Ndumanya is more of a project at this stage, but he’s also got a build that lets any observer know that he’s in shape. Ndumanya has work to do on the offensive end, but he’s solid as a defender and rebounder.
2014 G/F Theo Pinson (CP3 All-Stars)
Pinson, who plays on the same team as highly-regarded former Louisville commit Rodney Purvis, is an outstanding athlete who can finish well above the rim on the break. Pinson was also able to get some things done offensively off the dribble, and as he continues to fill out physically look out.
2012 G Madison Jones (CP3 All-Stars)
Jones doesn’t get to play the role of primary ball-handler as much as one would like thanks in large part to the presence of Purvis, but he performed well in both games he played in on Sunday. Jones can run a team, and his jumper is solid if not spectacular at this point in time.
2012 G Jordan Price (Southern Kings)
The name is already familiar to many due to the fact that Price also plays with the Atlanta Celtics (along with Shaq Goodwin and Jarnell Stokes), and the game should be as well. In the matchup with California Supreme Price displayed the ability to get to the basket off the dribble and finish at the rim either with or without contact.
2012 G J-Mychal Reese (Houston Hoops)
The southpaw performed very well in the Hoops’ close win over CP3 All-Stars in the evening session, displaying a quickness off the dribble that’s tough to find. Reese was able to get to the basket off the dribble to either score or set up his teammates. And it also helps to have a pair of teammates in LJ Rose and Rasheed Sulaimon who also know what they’re doing on the court.
2013 F Brian Bridgewater (Houston Hoops)
Due to their perimeter strength it’s easy to overlook the Hoops’ frontcourt, but if Bridgewater’s play in the aforementioned win is any indication that’s a bad idea. Bridgewater finished plays on the break above the rim, and he’s more than comfortable with contact.
2014 G Tyus Jones (Howard Pulley Panthers)
Pairing with 2012 guard Siyani Chambers in the backcourt, Jones showed off good shooting from beyond the arc in their afternoon matchup with Spiece. And Jones will only improve all facets of his game as he matures.
2012 forwards Shaq Goodwin and Jarnell Stokes (YOMCA)
There really isn’t much to be said about either of these players that hasn’t been already. Stokes is a beast in the paint, possessing the physical strength to overwhelm the majority of players he faces. Goodwin may not be as physically imposing from a visual standpoint, but he’s one of the top players in the 2012 class for a reason. Both had their moments in YOMCA’s controversial win over Team Final.
2012 G/F Shane Richards (MetroHawks)
Richards proved to be one of the better outside shooters at HAX on Sunday, making eight of thirteen three-pointers in a pair of losses for MetroHawks. Richards wasn’t simply a three-point bomber however, as he led the team in scoring in both contests (20 and seven rebounds vs. Texas Titans, 16 points vs. BABC).
2012 G Jaffland Neverson (MetroHawks)
Neverson, a good athlete who performs well when allowed to run on the wings and finish, accounted for 12 points and four rebounds in a loss to the Texas Titans. Neverson needs to bulk up some but he’s solid currently.
2012 G D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Spiece)
Smith-Rivera is a well put-together guard who was solid in running his team on Sunday. Smith-Rivera can also get to the rim off the dribble or knock down perimeter shots, making it no secret as to why so many are high on him.
2013 F Austin Colbert (Team Final)
Colbert’s an active 6’8″ forward who can go from baseline to baseline, completing plays with a flourish above the rim. He also showed off some solid interior moves in half-court sets, although this (along with physical strength) is something he’ll improve upon as he gains more experience.
2013 G Rondae Jefferson (Team Final)
Jefferson simply gets is done for Team Final, and he finished the loss to YOMCA with 16 points, eight rebounds and two assists. He’s very good at getting to the basket to create either for himself or others, and following the loss he noted that his aims this summer are to get stronger and improve his perimeter shot.
2013 G Davon Reed (Team Final)
Reed is another very good 2013 prospect for Team Final, and in addition to his ability to shoot the basketball he can also set teammates up and get to the basket. Reed would like to improve his decision-making and handle this summer.
2012 F Jerami Grant and 2013 F Beejay Anya (Team Takeover)
This tandem up front is an absolute handful, as they displayed in Takeover’s whipping of Seattle Rotary in the afternoon. Grant is a player who’s best when attacking the basket. and he did a good job on the boards as well. Anya’s strengths right now include shot-blocking and rebounding, although he did pull off a pair of serious jumpers off of jab steps in the win.
2012 G James Robinson (Team Takeover)
Robinson may have had one of the most impressive stat lines of the weekend in the win over Seattle Rotary as he finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and just one turnover. Robinson has excellent floor vision and can do just about anything on the floor. He’s the kind of lead guard that makes it possible for teams to win a number of games.
According to Jordan Price the schools most active in his recruitment right now are Auburn, Memphis and Ole Miss. His parents prefer that he stay close to home for college, with Price looking for a good relationship with the coaching staff (almost like a second family) and a good education.
Jerami Grant‘s list of offers include Clemson, Georgetown, Maryland, NC State, Syracuse, Texas and Virginia Tech. Grant would like to commit to a program that allows him to come in and contribute early while playing his game.
Beejay Anya gave four offers thus far during a conversation following Team Takeover’s win over Seattle Rotary: Georgetown, Ohio State, Texas and UCLA. Anya is looking for a school that’s like a home away from home in addition to being a program that takes pride in its big me.
James Robinson‘s list of offers include Georgetown, Miami, NC State, Notre Dame, Virginia and West Virginia. Robinson stated that he will pick the school that’s the best fir for him both academically and socially in addition to the basketball-related specifics.
2012 guard Myles Davis gave a list of four schools following Playaz Basketball Club’s win over Wisconsin Playground Elite: Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Xavier. Davis would like the school to be a home away from home in addition to having the chance to contribute.
2012 guard Darrick Wood has a number of offers from which to choose right now, including Baylor, Georgetown, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Rutgers, Seton Hall, West Virginia and USC. He’d like the program he chooses to be family-oriented while also being good with guards.
Troy Williams gave the following list of offers that he’s received to this point in his recruitment: Alabama, Georgetown, South Florida, Texas, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Williams also stated that North Carolina has begun to show interest.
In speaking with Josh Fortune, who verbally committed to Providence last summer, he’s solid in his commitment to the school and has spoken with new head coach Ed Cooley.
Negus Webster-Chan indicated following Sunday night’s game that Louisville is indeed still in the running for his services despite his decision to re-open. In addition the Cardinals Iowa State, Missouri, Oregon, Oregon State, Seton Hall, South Florida, Texas and Washington have been the most active in his recruitment (all offers).