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2011 NIKE EYBL PEACH JAM REPORT (PART I)

July 13, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Brian Bosworth

The top high school talent in the nation invaded North Augusta, South Carolina on Tuesday morning as the 2011 Nike Peach Jam got underway. As the culmination of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), the tournament features the top 24 Nike sponsored AAU teams in the country. I knew I was in for a special day when I walked into the gym around 8:15 in the morning for a 9:00 tip-off and NBA superstar Chris Paul was on the court getting a personal workout in. His club, the CP3 All-Stars, was tipping off at 9 and he was on hand to support them. Action was fast and furious throughout the morning with high-major talent standing out all over the court.

Here are the results from the first set of games:
Athletes First 74, Georgia Stars 71
Indy Spiece 57, Texas Titans 56
CP3 76, City Rocks 63
Mac Irvin Fire 65, Meanstreets 56
Team Takeover 73, All-Ohio Red 68
Oakland Soldiers 87, Boo Williams 78
Memphis YOMCA 73, California Supreme 71
BABC 61, All-Iowa Attack 69
Houston Hoops 76, Arkansas Wings 61
Baltimore Elite 60, Louisiana Select 51
The Playaz 90, The Family 82
Howard Pulley 94, CIA Bounce 79

Here are some of the most notable performers from the morning…

Brice Johnson (CP3 All Stars/2012) – Johnson is a 6’9” power forward with a wiry frame and very long arms. He dominated a match up with the highly touted DaJuan Coleman by dunking everything in sight on the offensive end and giving Coleman fits on the other end with his superior length and timing. Johnson rebounded at a high level as well using his explosive leaping ability to rise over opponents and snatch balls out of the air. While he needs to get in the weight room and add strength, Johnson does know how to play to his athletic advantages. Coleman is among the strongest players in America and Johnson did not got pushed around inside at all in this contest.

Rodney Purvis (CP3 All Stars/2012) – A 6’4” combo guard from Upper Room Christian Academy in Raleigh, NC Purvis is working on transitioning to the point full time. Today’s action would suggest that the transition is going very, very well. Purvis got into the lane at will where he looked to set up teammates either for wide open 3 point attempts or easy looks at the rim. He finished himself inside as well including one thunderous dunk coming straight down the lane. Purvis finished with 17 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds in his dominant performance.

Ricardo Ledo (Albany City Rocks/2012) – One of the most sought after shooting guards in the 2012 class left no doubt as to why after this morning’s game. Ledo can simply score the ball whenever he wants to in almost every way imaginable. He was aggressive attacking the rim in this contest evidenced by his 9 free throw attempts and also finished both on mid range pull ups and by getting all the way to the rim. He finished through and around defenders at the rim absorbing contact and still putting the ball in the hole. In addition to his work inside, Ledo showed off his silky smooth jump shot making one as far as 28 feet out. Ledo finished with 29 points in this game and also led his team with 8 rebounds.

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Theo Pinson (CP3 All Stars/2014) – Playing up at the 17U level, Pinson has all the makings of an elite wing prospect in the 2014 class. He is 6’6” and has a very long lean frame yet sometimes mans the point for CP3. Most impressive is the calm, cool demeanor Pinson plays with despite his young age always making the right play and not forcing things as young players have a tendency to do. Also a very high level athlete, Pinson has no problem sending down big time finishes either on the break or roaming the baseline in the half court set.

Nerlens Noel (BABC/2013) – Noel is widely regarded as the best shot blocker in America and someone whose defense has been ahead of his offense for quite awhile. Today was evidence that Noel has been in the gym working to change that as he showed an offensive arsenal I had not yet seen from him. He went to work on the low block making jump hooks in the lane with both hands. He also faced up from 16 feet and once knocked down a contested jumper while also using 2 dribbles to get to the rim and hammer down a ferocious two handed dunk. All this was done against 7 footer Adam Woodbury who recently won MVP at the NBA Top 100 camp. If Noel keeps this up he is in the running for top overall player in the 2013 class.

Jake Layman (BABC/2012) – A 6’8” combo forward, Layman has been growing by leaps and bounds this spring. Offensively, he has range to the 3 point line and can also use a few dribbles and finish high above the rim. On Defense, he mans the front of BABC’s vaunted press and uses his incredible length to give opposing back courts fits. Once thought to be a mid-major prospect Layman has clearly elevated himself to high-major status and should have a long list of suitors by the end of July.

Wayne Selden (BABC/2014) – Selden has a very developed body at the shooting guard position and looks like he should be coming off his freshman year in college instead of his freshman year in high school. He is an explosive leaper and truly revels in dunking on helpless opponents at the rim. He never backs down from bigger and older defenders and carries himself like he is the best player on the court. Like all prospects, Selden must keep working and developing but he’s well on his way to being a top 10 prospect nationally in the 2014 class.

Marcus Paige (All-Iowa Attack/2012) – committed to North Carolina – The 6’3” lefty point guard was a priority for me after I had seen him wearing a gaudy knee brace earlier in the spring when he clearly wasn’t himself. Paige looks much healthier now and plays a game eerily similar to that of current UNC point guard Kendall Marshall. He is always looking to set up teammates and can find them in the tiniest of spaces all over the court. He also is able to keep defenses honest with a consistent and confident 3 point stroke that makes it very difficult for opponents to go under screens.

Kale Abrahamson (All Iowa Attack/2012) – Abrahamson is an athletic 6’7” wing prospect who does most of his work from the left corner for All Iowa. He can make the 3 ball from that spot with regularity and also uses the shot fake to get to the rim where he has no problem finishing plays. His handle is an area that needs improvement as he doesn’t look comfortable if he has to use more than a couple dribbles but Abrahamson already appears to be a high-major wing in the Midwest.

J-Mychal Reese (Houston Hoops/2012) – On a team overflowing with high-major guards, Reese was the most impressive this morning. The 6’3” lefty has incredible handle and quickness with the ball and used it to get into the lane over and over again. He struggled to finish his floater once there but has proven in the past it’s a shot he can make. Most of Reese’s damage came on his 12-13 free throw attempts in this contest as Arkansas Wing defenders became increasingly frustrated as he blew by them time and again.

LJ Rose (Houston Hoops/2012) – Rose is one of the truly elite passers in the 2012 class and showed the whole arsenal in this game. He got in the paint and kicked to shooters. He threw a picture perfect alley-oop from behind the 3 point line. He threw hit ahead passes to streaking teammates in transition. He made cross court passes through tiny holes in the half court to find teammates. Rose made every pass in the book en route to 11 assists and made a big imprint on this game without even scoring a point.

Rasheed Sulaimon (Houston Hoops/2012) – committed to Duke – Sulaimon seems like a perfect fit in Duke’s system as he is an outstanding perimeter shooter, plays with incredible energy and passion, and loves to get after it defensively. In a matchup against Archie Goodwin, Sulaimon was chosen by his coaches as the man to take the defensive assignment. He harassed Goodwin all over the floor making him work for everything and eventually held him to 14 points on only 6-15 shooting.

Justin Jackson (Houston Hoops/2014) – When it’s all said and done, Jackson may end up as the best of bunch from Houston’s group of guards. He’s a 6’7” shooting guard with a long lean frame who has been drawing comparisons to Reggie Miller and one high major head coach even told me Jackson reminded him of George Gervin. His perimeter shot is his strongest offensive weapon right now but he also has a gorgeous floater that he showed off on a baseline drive and a jump hook in the lane over a bigger defender.

College Coaches in Attendance:
Now that the July live period is in full swing college coaches are out in droves scouting their future stars. Here’s a breakdown of who I saw peaking at the 3 games I was scouting this morning.

CP3 All Stars vs. Albany City Rocks – John Calipari (Kentucky), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Frank Haith (Missouri), Buzz Williams (Marquette), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Seth Greenberg (Virginia Tech), Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Tubby Smith (Minnesota), Ed Cooley (Providence), and Tony Bennett (Virginia) were head coaches in attendance. In addition assistants from St. John’s, Washington State, and Clemson were on hand.

BABC vs. All-Iowa Attack – Rick Pitino (Louisville), Billy Donovan (Florida), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Frank Haith (Missouri), Roy Williams (UNC), Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin), Tubby Smith (Minnesota), and Bruce Weber (Illinois) were head coaches all seated courtside for the action.

Houston Hoops vs. Arkansas Wings – Josh Pastner (Memphis), John Calipari (Kentucky), Billy Donovan (Florida), Roy Williams (UNC), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Trent Johnson (LSU), Mike Anderson (Arkansas), Brad Stevens (Butler), Bill Self (Kansas), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Scott Drew (Baylor), Buzz Williams (Marquette), and Sean Miller (Arizona) were the head coaches I saw watching. Assistants from Alabama, Oregon, Kentucky, Memphis, and Arkansas joined them.

Recruiting Updates:
Brice Johnson – After putting on a show against DaJuan Coleman, Johnson was getting a lot of buzz in the gym. His head coach for CP3 told me that he has major interest from Ohio State, Florida, Clemson, South Carolina, Missouri, and a “host of other SEC schools.”

Nerlens Noel – Still early in the process as a member of the 2013 class, Noel basically has his pick of any program in the nation. He told me that he doesn’t have a narrowed list at all but is planning to look at that in August and get it down to about 15 schools. He did mention that he currently holds offers from Big East schools Syracuse, Connecticut, Providence, and Georgetown.




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