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NIKE EYBL SESSION #2 – BOO WILLIAMS (TOP PERFORMERS)
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Now that a couple of days have passed since the Boo Williams Invitational and I’ve had time to process all the basketball I watched, it’s time to evaluate which prospects performed best this weekend. Below are rankings by class of all the prospects I was able to watch down in Hampton. As always, these rankings are based strictly on performances from the weekend’s tournament and do not reflect my overall views on these players. It should also be noted that given the amount of talent playing at any given time I was unable to see every prospect in Hampton and thus some players miss out on this list because I didn’t evaluate them. Julius Randle, Theo Pinson, Bobby Portis, and Duane Wilson Jr. all played to rave reviews over the weekend and likely would have cracked these rankings if I’d had the chance to see it for myself. Andrew Wiggins was also the best player at the event by all accounts but happened to have his one modest performance the only time I was courtside and therefore he doesn’t squeeze into the rankings either. Enough setup, here’s who dominated in Hampton.
Class of 2013 Rankings:
1) James Young (The Family) – One of the nation’s elite scorers, Young put up points in bunches from all three levels with Kentucky’s John Calipari tracking his every move. In addition to the interest from UK, his admitted leader, Young mentioned scholarship offers from Michigan State, Ohio State and Providence to NBE over the weekend.
2) Jarquez Smith (Georgia Stars) – Smith’s stock arguably rose more than anyone else’s with his weekend performance as the 6’9” forward mixed deep 3 point range with electric above the rim finishes. Florida State and Georgia as the leaders for his services at this point.
3) Kameron Williams (Baltimore Elite) – One of the tournaments purest scorers, Williams dropped 30 in a thrilling comeback victory over King James by unleashing a brilliant shooting display.
4) Keith Frazier (Houston Hoops) – Another pure scorer, Frazier mixed NBA 3 point range with relentless attacking of the rim netting himself 16 free throw attempts in one outing. Arizona, Texas, Texas A&M, Providence, Tennessee, Kansas, Baylor, Marquette, and Kentucky along with local North Texas, were the schools mentioned by Frazier when asked about his recruitment.
5) Jajuan Johnson (Bluff City Legends) – Johnson was one of the weekend’s best surprises as he outshined higher profile teammates with a smooth shooting stroke and aggressive baseline drives. Johnson holds offers from Memphis, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Marquette, Louisville, Texas, Arkansas, and Auburn. Kentucky and Georgetown are also showing interest
6) Derrick Griffin (Houston Hoops) – committed to Texas A&M (football) – The term freak athlete was invented for players like Griffin as the 6’7” forward skied above the rim on both ends to make high level plays.
7) Tyler Ennis (CIA Bounce) – The leader and point guard of the only undefeated team left on the Nike circuit, Ennis was his usual dominant self in screen and roll sets.
8} Sindarius Thornwell (Team United) – Thornwell mixes elite size for the wing with big time slashing ability to put points up in a hurry. Thornwell appears to still be in the early stages of the recruiting process, mentioning only local options Clemson and South Carolina when talking with NBE.
9) Nick King (Bluff City Legends) – While he didn’t have his best weekend King still showed off his well rounded skill set from the wing that makes him one of the country’s best players. King mentioned he currently has a tentative top 5 of Memphis, Texas, Georgetown, North Carolina, and Florida in no particular order on his recruitment.
10) Tahj Shamsid-Deen (Southern Stampede) – A relative unknown entering EYBL play, Shamsid-Deen was deadly on midrange jumpers including a game winner with 5 seconds left in a Friday night victory over Team Takeover. He came into EYBL play last weekend with offers from Auburn, UCLA, and Northwestern. After a good showing in Minneapolis one he has added offers from Stanford and Butler along with interest from Tennessee and Central Florida leading up to Boo Williams. The recruitment will only continue to grow.
11) Troy Williams (Boo Williams) – Every time Williams touches the ball the entire crowd waits in anticipation as the high riser is a constant threat to unleash Sportscenter worthy dunks on the break.
12) Anthony “Cat” Barber (Boo Williams) – One of the quickest players in the country, Barber would likely be a few spots higher on this list if his teammates could have made shots on his great drive and kicks and driven up his assist totals.
13) Marcus Lee (California Supreme) – While his production doesn’t merit this ranking, Lee’s potential was on full display as the 6’9” big man flashed Blake Griffin-esque athleticism above the rim.
14) Xavier Rathan-Mayes (CIA Bounce) – A lethal outside shooter, Rathan-Mayes made shots in bunches all weekend and helped space the floor opening driving lanes for teammates.
15) E.C. Matthews (The Family) – The 6’4” combo guard scored the ball with ease from all three levels going for 22 points on 10-15 shooting in the contest I saw.
Class of 2014 Rankings:
1) Tyus Jones (Howard Pulley Panthers) – The best point guard in America was the most impressive player I watched regardless of class this weekend. He is stunningly efficient for such a young player and plays a game eerily reminiscent of Chris Paul. As for his recruitment early in the process, Jones mentioned offers from Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Marquette, Duke, Ohio State, Baylor, Arizona, and Providence among others.
2) Dakari Johnson (Each 1 Teach 1) – Johnson spent his high school season transforming his body and his game is reaping the benefits as the monster big man was unstoppable down low all weekend.
3) Cliff Alexander (Mac Irvin Fire) – Alexander was the most dominant of anyone in the 2014 class dunking everything in sight and is only knocked down to #3 on this list because he did so against 16U competition.
4) Wayne Selden (BABC) – 2014’s best scoring guard looked all the way back from an ankle injury that has kept him sidelined hammering down 3-4 of the tournament’s most impressive dunks. Seldon rattled off an impressive list of offers including UCLA, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio State, Boston College, Connecticut, West Virginia, Virginia, Providence, and Missouri.
5) Jalen Lindsay (Georgia Stars) – Had his team won a few games Lindsay might be higher on this list but as it stands the 6’6” wing showcased elite scoring talent both inside and out.
6) Trevon Blueitt (Indy Spiece) – Blueitt’s stock soared based on his play this weekend as he showed the ability to be the top scoring option by mixing long range bombs with hard, straight line drives. Blueitt holds offers from Florida, Indiana, Xavier, Butler, Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State, admitting IU and Butler putting in the most effort currently.
7) Jahlil Okafor (Mac Irvin Fire) – It wasn’t Okafor’s best performances but the load of a young man still showed flashes of dominance in the paint including literally ripping the rim off on a power jam.
8) Emmanuel Mudiay (Texas Pro) – The most athletic point guard in the class, Mudiay was devastating in transition and showed off a vastly improved perimeter shot.
9) Trey Lyles (Indy Spiece) – Perhaps the most skilled 6’10” player in the country, Lyles was a load on the left baseline making jump shots and beating defenders off the bounce.
10) Joel Berry (Each 1 Teach 1) – Berry has become more of a leader and facilitator than ever before and mixed in scoring when needed rather than relying on getting his own to be effective.
Class of 2015 Rankings:
1) Marcus Derrickson (Team Takeover) – The 6’7” combo forward continued his incredible spring scoring on every defender in his path both from well beyond the 3 point arc and by muscling up in the lane.
2) Chris Atkinson (Team Scan) – Too quick to play tight and too good a shooter to back off, Atkinson thrived regardless of the defense on Saturday.
3) Marcus Lovett (Mac Irvin Fire) – Lovett got whatever he wanted offensively burying outside shots and slicing into the paint to find teammates. He’s one of 2015’s best point guard prospects.
4) Malik Maitland (Nike Team Florida) – Continuing with the point guard theme Maitland was destructive in screen and roll sets knocking down threes as defenders went under and turning the corner when they went over.
5) Aaron Ray (Team Scan) – An elite scorer, Ray’s defense was even more impressive as he forced countless turnovers through intense ball pressure and by jumping passing lanes.
Class of 2016 Rankings:
1) Devonte Green (Team Scan) – Green’s offensive game already has the polish of a college upperclassman and helps project the 8th grader as a 5 star player in 2016.
2) Troy Baxter (Nike Team Florida) – Baxter is a 6’7” string bean whose athleticism is breathtaking when he soars to swat away a shot attempt or hammer down a dunk.
3) Josh Jackson (The Family) – Playing with a calm and poise beyond his years Jackson looked very comfortable scoring the ball against much older 16U competition.