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NIKE EYBL SESSION #2 – BOO WILLIAMS (DAY III)
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
The Boo Williams Invitational wrapped up on Sunday and with it concluded the second session of Nike’s EYBL circuit. Unlike the majority of AAU tournaments Sunday is not playoff day at Boo Williams but rather just continued EYBL regular season play as all 40 teams are competing for spots in July’s Peach Jam. Star performances showed up in droves just as they had on the first two days. Below are a sampling of the best showings NBE has the pleasure of viewing.
Top Performance of the Day:
Kameron Williams (Baltimore Elite 2013) – Despite being undersized for the shooting guard position at 6’2”, 170 pounds Williams is an elite scorer. His most dangerous weapon is the jump shot but labeling him as “just a shooter” is rather short sighted. Players who are strictly shooters rely on others to create open shots for them but Williams is more than capable of creating his own looks. He’s smart enough to know that at his size challenging the trees in the paint is a low percentage shot whereas his jump shot is very efficient. Williams makes deep three balls off the dribble or the catch but is most effective using 2-3 dribbles to create space and then burying midrange shots. In an afternoon comeback victory over King James Shooting Stars he put on a scoring clinic going for 30 points on 11-18 shooting including 5 triples. I honestly don’t recall him missing a shot in the entire second half as his Baltimore Elite squad made their furious comeback. Kam Williams is a scoring machine and not enough high major programs have looked past his lack of elite size to realize that yet.
Alex Schwartz caught up with Williams on Friday night as the Red Hot Williams is Picking Up Recruiting Interest and he proved once again this weekend that more high majors should be in pursuit.
Sleeper Performance of the Day:
Kobie Eubanks (Each 1 Teach 1 2014) – In the game I watched Eubanks knocked in all 4 of his 3 point attempts leading to 16 points total and showed excellent form on the jumper in doing so. Given his powerful 6’5” frame and solid athleticism around the rim, this stroke automatically makes him a prospect of note. In future viewings I would like to see more of an all around game but even if Eubanks stays only a shooter he can be good enough at that niche skill to have a major role in the college game.
Other Standout Performances:
Emmanuel Mudiay (Texas Pro 2014) – A surprise addition to the Texas Pro squad after not participating in Minneapolis, Mudiay instantly became the best player on the floor for his team and showed why he’s an elite point guard prospect. He’s best in transition where his athleticism can shine as can his ability to navigate through multiple defenders as he flies up and down the floor. Mudiay’s jumper is improved since viewing him in December but still needs a lot more work. He’s never met a defender that could stay in front of him so if he gains consistency on the perimeter shot, Mudiay will become basically unguardable.
Kameron Chatman (ICP Elite 2014) – Listed as a combo forward Chatman played the role of point guard primarily in the game I saw and netted major positive results. His length and handle running the show at 6’6” make him a very difficult cover as he best in screen/roll when lumbering defenders couldn’t stay with him. Chatman’s eventual position is still in question but after Sunday’s performance his status as at least a mid major player certainly is not.
Zachary Brown (Texas Pro 2013) – The 6’6” wing was the beneficiary of many of teammate Mudiay’s drive and kicks as he consistently knocked down perimeter shots with a beautiful, long, high arcing shot. Brown also mixed it up in the lane both on the offensive glass and by slashing and cutting. Showcasing the ability to get his own shot consistently can propel Brown’s game to the next level.
Dayshon Smith (NY Lightning 2013) – His team as a whole struggled on the weekend going 0-5 but Smith himself was terrific while I was watching. With his team trailing by double figures in the 2nd half against Team United, Smith sparked a rally with his outside shot, pestering defense, and attacks into the paint. It ultimately fell short but he continued to cement his status as a mid major plus type player in my eyes.
Derrick Griffin (Houston Hoops 2013) – verbal to Texas A&M (football) – Griffin is among a handful of players in the running for top athlete at this weekend’s event. An elite wide receiver prospect on the gridiron in addition to his significant basketball talents, Griffin skies above the rim and hammers down dunks with extreme force. He also serves as a major rim protector defensively and runs the floor with the speed of a point guard. He should instantly be the best basketball walk-on in the nation at Texas A&M assuming he follows through on his current plan and plays both sports.
Keith Frazier (Houston Hoops 2013) – After impressing with the deep, deep jump shot on Saturday Frazier showed more facets of his game on Sunday. With his shot not falling Frazier made the adjustment and starting attacking the basket clearly evidenced by his 14-16 from the foul line. If he can continue to find balance between smooth jumpers and attacking drives, Frazier’s offensive arsenal projects him as a possible top ten prospect in the 2013 class.
Samuel Craft (Bluff City Legends 2013) – With high profile teammates diverting attention Craft took advantage of openings and kept his team on the game. Most of his work came on jumpers which he made both off the dribble and the catch. He netted 16 points total including 4 long balls. At 6’1” Craft will need to show more of an ability to run a team and not just be a shooter to further his development.
Johnathan Williams III (Bluff City Legends 2013) – A very well known name nationally for a few years now, Williams had a strong showing by scoring both inside and out. His lefty hook on the block is deadly as are his straight line drives from outside the 3 point line. My only question with Williams is his motor as he tends to float at times in games and not produce to quite the level his talent would suggest. If he plays hard all the time, Williams can have an immediate impact as a freshman at any school in the country.
Dakari Johnson (Each 1 Teach 1) – One of the most dominant performances of the weekend, the only thing keeping Johnson from top billing for me is that his team came up on the losing end. He is a new man after sitting out the high school season at Montverde Academy based on his body transformation. A little overweight throughout his earlier years, Johnson has gotten himself into fantastic shape and his game is reaping the benefits. The near 7 foot behemoth is running the floor with purpose, sealing defenders on the block, and scoring everything inside. He is an absolute monster and perhaps the only player capable of challenging Andrew Wiggins for the top spot in the 2014 class.
Wayne Selden (BABC 2014) – A local New England product whom I’m very familiar with, this was my first chance to see Wayne since early in the high school season as he suffered an ankle injury and missed the end of the season. It’s safe to say he’s fully recovered. A frighteningly explosive athlete from the guard position, Selden had 3-4 of the weekend’s biggest highlights in the one game I watched. I’m fairly certain he hit his head on the backboard on one alleyoop attempt which at 6’5” is absolutely ridiculous. There is not a better scoring guard in the 2014 class than Wayne Selden.
James Young (The Family 2013) – Young’s team was blown out by league leading CIA Bounce when I watched but that didn’t stop him from showing off his immense talent. At 6’6” with NBA 3 point range and major athleticism there aren’t many things that Young can’t do offensively. He is a threat for 30 every time he steps on the floor regardless of competition and will continue to be that at the next level. When Kentucky head coach John Calipari is a mainstay at all of your games, you’re an elite player and that’s the boat James Young finds himself in.
Earlier in the weekend NBE caught up with Young on his recruitment, and the interest coming from John Calipari has his full attention: Kentucky Checking Out James Young at EYBL.
E.C. Matthews (The Family 2013) – While not quite the elite talent his teammate Young is, Matthews is a very fine prospect in his own right. He has a similar offensive package to Young as both lefties score from all three levels with relative ease. Matthews isn’t quite as tall at 6’4” or quite as explosive athletically but he can certainly help just about any high major at either guard spot.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes (CIA Bounce 2013) – Rathan-Mayes did what I’ve grown accustomed to seeing him so on Sunday. He made deep shots in bunches and got them off with little or no time. He’s one of the best shooters in the 2013 class and has the ability to put a team on his back for long stretches by burying shots. Shot selection remains an issue for Rathan-Mayes as his percentage is lower than it should be because of some bad looks. If he cleans that up and focuses on taking only the open shots he’ll score a lot of points in college.
Rathan-Mayes had a beek opening weekend in the EYBL in Minneapolis and he caught up with NBE as Rathan-Mayes becomes Hot Recruit leading up to the second leg of the EYBL. His recruitment will only continue to gain steam after another big weekend and a 9-0 start for CIA Bounce, the only undefeated team of the 40 EYBL participants.
Let’s take a look at which college programs which tracking which games during Sunday’s action.
Texas Pro vs. ICP Elite – Coaches from Kentucky, Oregon State, SMU, Penn, Creighton, Ohio State, and Umass were all in attendance.
NY Lightning vs. Team United – Coaches from Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Umass, Quinnipiac, Creighton, UAB, Indiana, Georgetown, and NC State were all in attendance.
Houston Hoops vs. Bluff City Legends – Coaches from Alabama, SMU, Arizona, Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Murray State, and Kent State were all in attendance.
Baltimore Elite vs. King James Shooting Stars – Coaches from Miami, Villanova, Columbia, George Washington, Rutgers, Umass, USF, and Dayton were all in attendance.
Each 1 Teach 1 vs. BABC – Coaches from Virginia, Florida State, Miami, UNC, Tennessee, Umass, Georgia Tech, Creighton, George Washington, UCLA, Villanova, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Texas, and Penn were all in attendance.
CIA Bounce vs. The Family – As the last game of the weekend many coaches had already left and thus it was the smallest crowd either Andrew Wiggins or James Young drew all weekend. Still coaches from Villanova, Florida State, NC State, UCLA, Michigan State, Florida, Texas, and Georgetown were all in attendance.
Keith Frazier (Houston Hoops 2013) – Frazier is taking things very slowly with his recruitment stating that he definitely plans to wait until the late signing period next spring to make his decision. As of now he is choosing between national powers such as Arizona, Texas, Texas A&M, Providence, Tennessee, Kansas, Baylor, Marquette, and Kentucky along with local North Texas.
Justin Jackson (Houston Hoops 2014) – Another Houston kid taking his time Jackson remains wide open with no set list of any kind but that hasn’t stopped major national names from trying to make an impact on the young man. He currently holds offers from Ohio State, Washington, Georgetown, Texas, Baylor, Virginia, and Virginia Tech combined with interest from North Carolina, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Stanford, and Marquette. Jackson cited academics as the first priority in his eventual school choice with the coaching staff and overall basketball philosophy as other deciding factors.
Wayne Selden (BABC 2014) – Always very tight lipped about his recruitment Selden opened up albeit only slightly after his team’s upset victory over E1T1. He rattled off an impressive list of offers including UCLA, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio State, Boston College, Connecticut, West Virginia, Virginia, Providence, and Missouri. Selden said that he plans to really delve into his recruitment and narrow down a set list at the end of the summer once the aau season is over. He’ll be looking for schools that play an up-tempo style and can help develop him as a player for the next level.
Rene Castro (BABC 2013) – In addition to the offers from Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Northeastern, and Massachusetts that Castro held when we last spoke in February, he has picked up new ones from St. Bonaventure, George Washington, and Pittsburgh. He’s still taking his time and acknowledged that Villanova is one school he would like to get involved with his recruitment that has not done so as of yet. With ‘Nova head coach Jay Wright courtside for Castro’s great performance including a game winner against E1T1, Rene just may get his wish.
Jordan Bell (ICP Elite 2013) – The jumping jack big man has long been a hot commodity on the West coast and that is starting to spread nationwide. He claimed offers from the entire Pac-12 except Utah, Virginia Tech, UConn, and Notre Dame.