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Nike EYBL evaluations; recruiting news, notes

The Nike EYBL is known for its excellent amount of talent showcased at every event and every game. However, one of the best parts of this event is the fact that you’ll always find sleepers, especially when lower-ranked prospects get the opportunity to match-up against some of the top players in the country. We had the chance to evaluate over two dozen guys this weekend and will discuss both he best of the best and some of the surprises from the second session of the EYBL in Virginia. We also have some recruiting notes from the day at the bottom of the page that features class of 2013 standouts point guard Anthony Barber and power forwards Marcus Lee and Julius Randle.

Standouts

Tyus Jones | Class of 2014 | Point Guard | 6’1 | 171

The Minnesota native was one of the top two players I saw all weekend along with class of 2014 small forward Andrew Wiggins. Jones had an impressive shooting stroke, could score on all three levels and was silky smooth in everything he did. He did a beautiful job of penetrating and getting into the lane on a consistent basis and was very quick with the ball. He finished through contact, displayed good ball-handling skills and showed a high basketball-IQ. Jones was also a good passer and masterful directing the offense. He was able to put the ball wherever he wanted to and displayed very good court vision. Jones averaged an astounding 23 points per game and over seven assists through five contests. He played well on defense too and netted a good amount of steals.

Andrew Wiggins | Class of 2014 | Small Forward | 6’7 | 205

The Canadian was simply outstanding in every phase of the game. One of the special things about Wiggins is that he’s able to dominate the game without dominating the ball. He lets the game come to him and takes advantage of an opportunity when he sees it. Wiggins is great inside 15 feet, has a good mid-range jumper and is an excellent finisher. He boxes out very well, rebounds on both ends of the court and is a smart player. He also has great length and athleticism and has a good spin move he uses in the paint. Wiggins is without question the best prospect in the class of 2014.

Kendrick Nunn | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’3 | 180

The Chicago product affects the game in almost every way possible between his athleticism, intelligence and feel for the game. He is tough on defense because of his ability to block shots (yes, he blocks shots as a two guard), his ability to keep in his man in front of him and not let him get into the lane and his knack for getting his hands into the passing lanes which nets him some steals. He is able to extend the defense with his three-point shot and has a smooth, consistent stroke but he also does a terrific job penetrating and getting into the lane. He’s a good ball-handler and quick with the rock and has a great motor and effort level whenever he’s on the court.

Jarquez Smith | Class of 2013 | Power Forward | 6’9 | 210

The Georgia native looked excellent and really helped his stock in front of hundreds of college coaches. Smith displayed a smooth stroke from three-point land and has a very good shot with good range and consistency. He is also able to score around the bucket and has a great combination of length and athleticism. On defense, he rebounds and blocks shots is and is a presence around the rim.

They Are Who We Thought They Were

Ishmail Wainright | Class of 2013 | Small Forward | 6’6 | 225

One thing that has significantly helped Wainright’s game is how much muscle he has put on since transferring to Montrose Christian Academy (Maryland), which has helped him rebound and defend. He also has a more aggressive attitude in attacking the boards and get rebounds on both ends of the court. He’s a guy who plays above the rim and is able to finish with either hand. He makes good passes, finishes through contact and looks to create scoring opportunities for his teammates as well as himself. One thing that he needs to work on his outside shooting, although he did make a buzzer-beater three to lift his team to victory over Houston Hoops in one of the best games of the weekend.

Troy Williams | Class of 2013 | Small Forward | 6’6 | 190

The Virginia native was much more impressive the second time we saw him than the first time. Although he wasn’t bad Saturday, he displayed everything he can do Sunday. Williams is a spectacular athlete who is terrific in transition and plays above the rim. He finishes through contact, moves well without the ball and rebounds well. He knocked down three-pointers and gets to the basket whenever he wants. He also blocks shots, has a floater and displayed good range on his shot.

Jaren Sina | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’2 | 175

The New Jersey floor general is a smart player who positions himself and moves without the ball well. He is smart and played good denial defense. He is a consistent shooter from deep who can make three-pointers from all around the floor. Sina also made tough, contested jumpers in the mid-range game and was able to create scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates.

Anthony Barber | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’2 | 165

Barber is a kid who is quick with the ball and has a smooth three-point shot in his arsenal. He is a good ball-handler, creates separation well from his defender and gets into the lane at well. The biggest knock Barber is that he becomes turnover prone once he gets into the lane. He’s a guy who makes good decision on the perimeter and does a good job of opening up opportunities for himself but he needs to get better with the ball in the paint.

Rondae Jefferson | Class of 2013 | Small Forward | 6’6 | 210

The Pennsylvania forward was impressive in multiple facets of the game. He was good in attacking the basket, utilized the pump fake well and made some good passes. He was able to take the ball coast-to-coast and did a good job in getting his teammates involved. He has good range on his shot although he took too many threes. He also needs to get stronger and needs to work on going right more (he’s left handed).

Julius Randle | Class of 2013 | Power Forward | 6’9 | 225

The Texas native showed why he’s widely considered one of the top prospects in the class of 2013. Randle is a versatile big man who did a good job of creating opportunities for both himself and his teammates and displayed good passing abilities as well as good court vision. He was able to drive using either hand and finished through contact around the basket. He also played well on defense and did a good job rebounding.

Wayne Selden | Class of 2014 | Small Forward | 6’5 | 215

The Boston native wasn’t overly impressive the first time we saw him but he stepped up his game the second time around. He has great physical tools between his size, athleticism and length and utilizes them when he rebounds and to get shots off. He had a good stroke from deep and consistently hit perimeter jump shots. He made tough mid-range shots at the top of the key and also displayed a floater once he got into the lane. Selden did a very good job finishing and was able to use both hands around the rim.

Jaylen Brantley | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 5’10 | 160

The Massachusetts native was consistent from behind the arc each time we saw him and he utilized his quickness on both ends of the floor. He constantly got to the basket and netted a few steals because of quick he moved but he needs to finish better around the rim. He took a couple shots that he shouldn’t have but he had good ball-handling skills too.

James Young | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’6 | 210

The Michigan native is a guy who can fill up the basket really quickly in a shot amount of time. He’s a good scorer on all three levels and is especially good at finishing in the lane. He does a good job of absorbing contact and getting the bucket and also has a good spin move he utilizes time to time. His mid-range game was impressive too and he was active in the lane trying to make something happen for his team on offense.

Justise Winslow | Class of 2014 | Small Forward | 6’6 | 195

The Texas native definitely lived up to his billing and was terrific in many areas of the game. He had a reliable three-point shot with good range and a very nice stroke in the mid-range pull-up game. While stretching the defense out, he was also able to consistently get by his defender and then draw a second or third and kick it out to the great shooters on his team like class of 2014 small forward Justin Jackson.

Stanley Johnson | Class of 2014 | Small Forward | 6’5 | 200

The California native looked good Saturday as the Oakland Soldiers were playing without two of their best players, class of 2013 studs shooting guard Jabari Bird and power forward Aaron Gordon. He was terrific on all three levels and displayed how often he can get into the lane and how athletic he is. He has a nice stroke from deep, a smooth mid-range jumper and is a good finisher around the bucket.

Tyler Ennis | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’3 | 190

The Canadian is a good ball-handler who does everything well. He rebounds, has good court vision and is a smart player. He’s smooth around the basket and is a terrific finisher. Ennis contributes to his team in ever aspect of the game but can improve his jumper.

Tyree Robinson | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’3 | 190

The California native did an excellent job penetrating and was fast to the basket. He was able to keep the defense honest by knocking down the perimeter shot and used both hands while dribbling and finishing. Overall, he was impressive when he attacked the basket and he is able to consistently get by his initial defender.

Jalen Lindsey | Class of 2014 | Small Forward | 6’6 | 180

The Tennessee native has a great attitude on the court and could easily force shots up since his Georgia Stars team is just 1-8. Instead, he is selfless and looks to pass, something he’s good at. He also has good court vision and is a really good athlete. He crashed the offensive boards and has a good jumper, too.

Theo Pinson | Class of 2014 | Shooting Guard | 6’6 | 180

The North Carolina native is such a big threat on offense. He welcomes contact around the rim and finishes well in the lane. He has a smooth stroke from beyond the arc and has good range. I also loved his intensity and aggressiveness on defense while remaining controlled. He’s a factor on both ends of the court and even though he wasn’t a “standout”, he did look good.

Stock Boosters

Juwan Parker | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’4 | 180

Parker has a good combination of size and athleticism and although he’s not great at one particular thing, he’s good at a lot of things and impacts the game in a variety of ways. He has a good-looking mid-range jump shot, can stretch the defense and consistently knock down three-pointers with needed time and space and is good at the free throw line. He rebounds on both ends of the court and made some tough jumpers inside of 17 feet. Parker also worked well in the lane, blocked shots and did a good job finishing at the rim. He was also effective on defense and displayed a step-back jumper that consistently worked. In the two games we saw him, he averaged 17 points and seven rebounds. Parker can work on his ball-handling to improve his ability to create separation from his defender.

Dakari Johnson | Class of 2014 | Center | 7’0 | 215

The New York native was impressive as he displayed a terrific combination of skill and innate gifts. He has great size and good timing when blocking shots and finishes through contact well in the lane. He also displayed a 15-foot jumper that will significantly help his offensive game if he can knock it down on a consistent basis. However, one of the most impressive things about his game was good of shape he was in. You’d expect most guys his size to be the last one down the court but Johnson consistently ran the floor with the guards and was rewarded multiple times with an easy dunk at the other end.

Josh Hart | Class of 2013 | Small Forward | 6’5 | 200

The Washington, D.C. native did all the little things right and was hustling for every loose ball. He is a guy with good fundamentals who has a great motor and makes winning plays. He was very versatile on the offensive end between his ability to attack the basket and finish through contact and step out and knock down threes. He also rebounded well and is the type of player all coaches want to coach.

Surprises

Dayshawn Watkins | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’0 | 174

The Arkansas native was one of the surprise players on one of the biggest surprise teams — the floor general’s Arkansas Wings Elite squad is in first place in a division that also includes BABC and Team Final. Watkins is a speedy point guard who consistently gets by his defender and weaves through traffic well. He is a good free throw shooter, is a good passer and is able to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. He was also clutch when he knocked down the game-winning free throws against ICP Elite to give his squad a 62-61 victory. Watkins is a guy who you can always count on to get in the lane and when you have a snipers like class of 2013 shooting guard Darian Harris, on your team, you make the defense pay.

Rene Castro | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’2 | 185

One of the biggest surprises of the event, Castro has developed into a terrific shooter and can play either guard position. He’s very consistent from deep and rebounds really well for a guard on the defensive end. He does a good job of getting into the lane and plays good on-ball defense. He needs to develop his left hand more both when he finishes and dribbles but they aren’t glaring weaknesses.

Jordan Matthews | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’2 | 175

The California two guard was one of the surprises of the weekend as he displayed the ability to score in a plethora of ways on all three levels. He’s a good, consistent shooter from the perimeter who also finishes well through contact around the basket. His mid-range game is also there although he could have done a better job looking up the court in transition as he missed a couple of opportunities where a teammate could have gotten an easy bucket.

Darien Williams | Class of 2013 | Power Forward | 6’7 | 210

Williams was the surprise in the California Supreme-Team Final game that featured the likes of class of 2013 power forward Marcus Lee, class of 2013 point guard Jaren Sina and class of 2013 small forward Rondae Jefferson. He scored in both the high- and low-post off hook shots over both shoulders and jumpers from the top of the key. He showed the ability to finish through contact and rebounded well defensively.

Sterling Brown | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’4 | 180

Brown was a nice surprise for Mac Irvin Fire as class of 2013 small forward Jabari Parker was unable to play since he had to accept an award and his ankle was bothering me. Brown was excellent inside of 15 feet as he did a great job finishing, could use either hand around the rim and hit multiple turnaround mid-range jumpers. He also displayed a nice floater once he got into the lane.

Damian Jones | Class of 2013 | Power Forward | 6’9 | 220

On a team that features class of 2013 standouts shooting guard Matt Jones and power forward Julius Randle, it’s tough to standout about everyone else, but that’s exactly what Jones did as he was a physical presence inside, dominated the boards on both ends of the court and finished above the rim. He also displayed a short jumper around the basket and that provided him with a nice little face-up game. Jones was a superior rebounder to everyone else on the court when I saw him and his effort was magnificent.

Darien Fernandez | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 5’6 | 170

The Massachusetts native is an undersized floor general but he has good quickness and strength. He showed the ability to knock down the perimeter shot, penetrate on a consistent basis and finish with both hands around the basket. He was also crashing the boards but one thing he didn’t do so well was handle the traps the defense would put on him in the half court. Fernandez was definitely one of the biggest surprises this weekend.

Elbert Matthews | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’4 | 180

The Michigan floor general was another surprise over the weekend as he did a terrific job on penetrating and getting into the lane at will. He is an acrobatic finisher around the rim and has the ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates because of the attention he draws once he gets in the paint.

Randal Clarkson | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 5’10 | 175

The Ohio floor general did a good job of consistently penetrating and getting into the lane. He was excellent in drawing contact and getting to the free throw line and knocked them down once he got to the charity line. Clarkson has a smooth stroke from three-point range and has a reliable perimeter shot.

Kendall Pollard | Class of 2013 | Small Forward | 6’5 | 200

The Illinois native displayed his versatility, especially on defense where he was blocking shots, rebounding and able to guard the perimeter. On offense, he could step outside and consistently knock down threes. His activity level on defense was spectacular as he made a significant impact more often than not.

Shane Rector | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’2 | 170

The Bronx native could be in the wrong category here since we expected him to play well, but since he’s not ranked high this could be an appropriate place for him. Rector was both a good passer and shooter over the weekend and finishes well in the lane. He’s not afraid of contact and adjusts to it well around the basket.

Reggie Dillard | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’2 | 200

The North Carolina native is a smart player who shows great effort and hustle. He has a good 18-foot jumper at the top of the key and is able to finish with either hand around the basket when he penetrates. He was rewarded for saving two loose balls that were going out of bounds when his team converted on both second-chance opportunities.

The Rest

Allerik Freeman | Class of 2013 | Shooting Guard | 6’4 | 205

The Virginia native was unimpressive Saturday night as he had poor shot selection and dribbled the air out of the ball. Although he showed the ability to make perimeter shots, Freeman would simply take bad shots early in the shot clock and would shoot before making a pass. When you have play-makers like class of 2013 standouts small forward Troy Williams and point guard Anthony Barber,  you don’t have to take so many shots. However, he did do a good job getting into the lane and has good range on his shot. Freeman also looked like a different player Sunday as he made much better decisions and created some scoring opportunities for his teammates. He made good passes and has an improved shot selection.

Marcus Lee | Class of 2013 | Power Forward | 6’9 | 200 

The California big man was solid in every aspect but needs to get much stronger so he can’t get pushed around inside. He has a good combination of length and athleticism and displayed a good spin move in the paint. He attacks the offensive glass on a consistent basis which nets him easy tip-ins and second-chance points for his teammates. He did a good job of adjusting to contact around the basket and was able to finish through contact on a consistent basis.

Isaiah Lewis | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’3 | 170

The New York native worked well in mid-range game and did a good job of creating his own shot but he took too many low-percentage shots. The oxymoron with Lewis is that even though you don’t like him taking these low-percentage shots, he’s very capable of making them and it’s often times one of the best options for his team. He also moved well without the ball and has a good initial burst when driving.

BeeJay Anya | Class of 2013 | Center | 6’8 | 265

The Maryland big man is a guy with incredible length and good size. He needed to use his body better in the paint to have more of a presence but he did do a good job of displaying hook shots over both shoulders. He wasn’t that impressive in the two outings that I saw him in but I’ve seen him more than enough times in the past few months to know that he’s a guy who can dominate a game. Part of the problem for Anya (if you really want to look at it that way) is all the talent on his team so there’s many other options besides him.

Derrick Griffin | Class of 2013 | Small Forward | 6’6 | 217 | Texas A&M

The Texas native is a good athlete who displayed useful versatility. He was able to defend post-players and be a shot-blocker on one end work on the perimeter on offense. He played above the rim and did a good job finishing around the bucket.

LaDerrick Scott | Class of 2013 | Power Forward | 6’8 | 235

The Mississippi big man was excellent around the basket as he did a great job finishing through contact. He was very strong with the ball and looked to create opportunities for his teammates. He dove on the ground for loose balls and displayed great effort every minute he was on the court.

Quick Hits

  • Class of 2013 power forward Andrew Chrabascz is the type of kid every coach wants on their team. He does all the little things right and rebounds, passes well, gets tip-ins, dives for loose balls and simply makes winning plays.
  • Class of 2013 small forward Semi Ojeleye did a great job creating his own shot and was good on defense. He was physical and played above the rim but needs to improve his perimeter shot.
  • Class of 2014 point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright displayed a smooth shooting stroke and was quick with the ball.
  • Class of 2013 power forward Austin Colbert impressed with how well he boxed out but he needs to hold on to the ball better.
  • Class of 2013 shooting guard Davon Reed has very good size for his position and is a good shooter with impressive range although he took too many bad shots when I saw him.
  • Class of 2013 power forward Bobby Portis (Arkansas) displayed his ability to block shots and score some points in the mid-range game.
  • Class of 2014 power forward Jahlil Okafor wasn’t impressive when I saw him (although I heard he looked very impressive in other outings I missed) but did show that he’s a volume rebounder. He also broke the rim in one game.
  • Class of 2013 point guard Billy Garrett, Jr. (DePaul) was powerful for his size, did a nice job getting into the lane and had a good-looking jumper.
  • Class of 2013 shooting guard Darian Harris was lights out from behind the arc and displayed good range.
  • Class of 2013 shooting guard Matt Jones (Duke) has a beautiful stroke from deep and is without question one of the best, if not the best, shooters in the country. He made tough, contested shots look easy and more often than not, his shots found nothing but the bottom of the net.
  • Class of 2014 point guard Joel Berry was an intelligent player who made good passes and displayed good anticipation on defense.
  • Class of 2013 center Goodluck Okonoboh is an athletic center who rebounded and blocked shots.
  • Class of 2013 point guard Dayshon Smith impressed with his aggressiveness on defense and ability to make it very difficult for his man to drive by him.
  • Class of 2013 shooting guard Jonathan Severe was quick to the basket and did a good job of finishing, especially through contact.
  • Class of 2013 power forward Lavonte Davis was good on the glass on both ends of the floor.
  • Class of 2013 point guard Jairus Lyles displayed a good mid-range game with a consistent 15-foot jumper.
  • Class of 2013 point guard Daquein McNeil showed excellent hustle and the ability to knock down the perimeter shot.
  • Class of 2014 small forward Justin Jackson is about as automatic of a three-point shooter that we saw all weekend. He had great range and terrific consistency.
  • Class of 2013 shooting guard Tyrell Robinson displayed a smooth stroke from deep.
  • Class of 2014 shooting guard Shaqquan Aaron rebounded well and showed his range from three-point land.
  • Class of 2014 point guard Tyler Ulis is a good ball-handler who constantly gets into the lane and makes acrobatic finishes around the rim.
  • Class of 2013 shooting guard Joel Hernandez is a good shooter with impressive range and can fill it up really quickly.
  • Class of 2013 small forward Reggie Cameron has a good stroke from deep with good range.
  • Class of 2013 point guard Diante Baldwin was quick with the ball and displayed good three-point range as well as a useful floater in the lane.

*Note: All pictures taken by Daryl Paunil, National Recruiting Spotlight’s photographer.

Recruiting News

Marcus Lee | Class of 2013 | Power Forward | 6’9 | 200 

  • Indiana, Duke and Kansas have been in contact with him recently.
  • He has no timetable to make a decision.
  • On what he’s looking for in a school: “Probably just a big family. I’m looking for a team where I can feel warm in like my [California Supreme] team. The style doesn’t really matter, I can adapt to any playing style.”
  • Holds offers from “everybody except North Carolina,” including Duke and Kentucky.

Julius Randle | Class of 2013 | Power Forward | 6’9 | 225

  • Has no visits planned and doesn’t know who we wants to visit.
  • On what he’s looking for in a school: “Academics, a coach who I can trust and who I know is going to push me and just a system that will fit me.
  • On friend and teammate Matt Jones recruiting him to Duke: “He doesn’t put too much pressure on me. He wants me there but he doesn’t put too much pressure on me.”
  • On whether Kentucky compares him to Terrence Jones at all: “No, they show me how I fit into their system. They have never compared me to him.
Jarquez Smith | Class of 2013 | Power Forward | 6’9 | 210
  • On who has been contacting him: “So far, it’s been Georgia State, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and lately I’ve gotten calls from North Carolina State, North Carolina and Missouri.”
  • On who has offered him: “Florida State, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn and some others.”
  • Plans on visiting Auburn and Tennessee this summer and has already visited Georgia and Florida State.
  • Florida State and Georgia are recruiting him the hardest.
  • On what he’s looking for in a school: “Graduation rate and playing time. I want to major in accounting.”
Jaylen Brantley | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 5’10 | 160
  • Lists offers from “Syracuse, Georgetown, Cincinnati, Virginia, Missouri, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Rutgers, Iowa State, Rice, Massachusetts and some others.”
  • Likes the Cincinnati and Virginia coaching staffs the most.
  • Has already visited Georgetown.
  • On what he’s looking for in a school: “Great coach, great atmosphere, great academics, stuff like that.”
Anthony Barber | Class of 2013 | Point Guard | 6’2 | 165
  • Says Duke, Kansas, Florida State, Virginia, Kentucky and Connecticut have contacted him recently.
  • Lists offers from: “Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Florida State, Kansas and Connecticut.”
  • Has already visited Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Kansas.
  • On what he’s looking for in a school: “Just my relationship with the coach.”

*Note: All of this information was collected Sunday so these guys may have new offers, interest, etc. since then.


8 comments on “Nike EYBL evaluations; recruiting news, notes

  1. I watched the kid sina and totally agree with your evaluation. There were some games where he looked uncomfortable in the game but I think it was due to the fact that he was still making adjustments to a new team. The kid had an incredible feel for the game and really looks like a good college prospect.

  2. [...] much more. Be sure to join over 4,000 other people and follow him on Twitter. As we noted in our Nike EYBL recap earlier this week, Jones has a beautiful stroke and is the best shooters in the [...]

  3. [...] ****Bonus Coverage- Here’s an excerpt of our evaluation of Matthews from the EYBL this past weekend taken from our detailed recap: [...]

  4. [...] ****Bonus Coverage- Here’s an excerpt of our evaluation of Matthews from the EYBL this past weekend taken from our detailed recap: [...]

  5. [...] in scoring with over 20 points per contest, first in assists per game with close to seven and was one of the best players we saw during the Hampton session. Be sure to join over 5,000 other people and follow Jones on [...]

  6. [...] Be sure to join over 4,000 other people and follow him on Twitter. As we noted in our Nike EYBL recap earlier this week, Jones has a beautiful stroke and is the best shooters in the [...]

  7. [...] We got to take a look at Johnson during the Nike EYBL so here’s our [...]

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