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NIKE EYBL – OAKLAND (FRIDAY RECAP)
Chase for Peach Jam slots intensifies
By Raphielle Johnson, NBE West coast Editor/Recruiting Analyst
The final “regular season” session of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League tipped off on Friday night at the Dream Courts in Hayward, with teams having six more chances to lock down a spot in the Peach Jam.
Friday’s action provided a surprise (in margin of victory), with Mean Streets beating previously undefeated CIA Bounce 68-49. Kendrick Nunn led the way with 22 points, and the win moves the Chicago-based team to within a game of CIA Bounce for first place in Division D.
While there’s still much to be played for at the top of each division the games for those final spots should garner the most attention. Below are some thoughts on the action from Friday night, including notes on James Young and Allerick Freeman.
- Player of the Day: James Young (The Family)
Troy (MI) wing James Young has played very well throughout EYBL, skyrocketing up the rankings as a result. His excellent play continued on Friday in The Family’s win over Speice Indy Heat, as he displayed the ability to knock down perimeter shots and get to the basket off the dribble.
The southpaw is a tough matchup due to the fact that teams have to put a larger defender on him to deal with his size, only to see Young show off his ability to get to the rim. Speaking with Young after the game, he says that his focuses during the summer are to improve his ball-handling, rebounding and defense.
- Sleeper of the Day: G Kameron Williams (Baltimore Elite)
OK, we know, not sure Williams qualifies as a sleeper by any stretch of the imagination as he holds multiple high-major offers, but he was one big reason why B-More Elite held off Howard Pulley Panthers. Williams was active in the passing lanes defensively, helping to slow down an under-the-weather Tyus Jones.
Williams, who is looking to improve his point guard skills and basketball IQ during the summer, showed off solid handle and quickness with the basketball for much of the night. Teammate Daxter Miles also played well for Baltimore Elite on the perimeter.
More Friday Night Standouts:
- Trey Lyles (Speice Indy)
Lyles played well for much of Speice’s defeat at the hands of The Family, especially when considering the fact that he was asked to guard James Young for much of the game. He’s got good size and athleticism, and was able to finish around the rim.
- Jaquan Lyle (Speice Indy)
Lyle was rather quiet in the first half, not really getting much going offensively until the game was out of reach. During that stretch he was able to get to the rim off the dribble, but it’s going to be interesting to see how well he performs on Saturday after the setback.
- EC Matthews (The Family)
Matthews was one of my favorite players to watch on Friday night. An athletic slasher who didn’t have much trouble getting to the rim, Matthews also played the passing lanes well defensively while helping to limit the Speice Indy guards.
- Wesley Clark (The Family)
Clark was quiet during the first half but knocked down a couple key jumpers in the second to help The Family pull away. He’s not asked to do as much off the dribble with guys such as Matthews and Young being on the team, but Clark did a good job of taking advantage of what was available to him in the final 16 minutes.
- Tyus Jones (Howard Pulley Panthers)
Jones may have been under the weather on Friday, and the defense of the Baltimore Elite guards didn’t help matters either, but it was easy to see some of the skills that have so many raving about the 2014 point guard. Jones is true floor general, and in stretches he showed off the vision that coaches like to see from their point guard. Look for him to bounce back this weekend.
- Daxter Miles (Baltimore Elite)
As was the case with teammate Kameron Williams, Miles was very active defensively while also showing off the ability to get to the basket off the dribble. That attacking style proved to be the difference for B-More Elite, as their work to get to the basket early in the second half earned them much-needed separation. Miles is an above the rim athlete who can finish in traffic as well.
- Akolda Manyang (Howard Pulley Panthers)
Manyang’s a bit raw at this stage, but in all honesty what 7-footer isn’t? Manyang did some things well, most notably running the floor. But it would be good to see him become a bit more active in the paint over the course of the weekend, and the offensive skill set needs refinement as well.
- Beejay Anya (Team Takeover)
Beejay Anya is a grown man. No other way to put it than that, and his ability to take control in the paint can be a serious difference-maker. If Anya gets the ball in front of the basket more times than not he’s finishing with a dunk, and he also showed good footwork defensively with hard hedges and rebounding outside of his general area.
- Ishmail Wainwright (Team Takeover)
Wainwright is an impressive physical specimen, with a solid build and long wingspan. But while versatile and athletic, his offensive game could use some polish in the summer months. Add a consistent perimeter shot to his game and look out.
- Anthony Barber (Boo Williams)
Barber was right there with EC Matthews for favorite player of the night. Cat-quick off the dribble, Barber was also knocking down perimeter shots at a solid clip to help lead Boo Williams past the Tennessee Travelers.
- Troy Williams (Boo Williams)
Lanky scorer who’s going to be an outstanding player at the collegiate level. His long arms make it difficult for opponents to guard Williams, and he showed off tighter handle on Friday night. Solid defender who can play the passing lanes but there’s still another level that he can reach on that end of the floor.
- James Young mentioned the following schools: Michigan State, Ohio State, Providence, Kentucky and Kansas in no particular order. Young, who is considering studying business in college (but nothing definite), is looking for a school that has good coaching and facilities in addition to a quality education.
- EC Matthews listed Arizona, USC, Indiana, Virginia, Oregon, Xavier and Minnesota. He’s looking for a program that plays out in the open floor, this working to his strengths.
- Kameron Williams has heard from Miami, Wake Forest, DePaul, Richmond, South Florida, VCU, Ohio State and Georgetown the most. In terms of the schools that stand out he gave four: Miami, Richmond, Wake Forest and South Florida. He’s looking for an opportunity in which he’ll be able to contribute early and mature on and off the court.
- Daxter Miles has been contacted by NC State, Oklahoma State, Miami, Virginia and Providence not to mention others. His top three as of right now: NC State, Miami and Oklahoma State. Miles feels that he would best fit in a system that features physical guards and a man-to-man style.
- Al Freeman has a list of five schools that have been most active in his recruitment: Kansas, UCLA, Duke, Villanova and Ohio State. Freeman wants to go to a school where he can play immediately.