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Nike EYBL Recap (Day 1 and first half of day 2)

With the first day and a half of the Nike EYBL completed, lets take a look at how some of the top players have played and what they’ve said to us.

DaJuan Coleman AAU Team: City Rocks; Body: 6’10”, 280; Rank: #3, PF

Coleman struggled in the beginning of the EYBL with many of his shots being blocked and being unable to score for a large portion of his first game. However, he stepped up in his second game by rebounding, blocking shots, and scoring. He used his big body to get position in the paint and used his length to force opponents to adjust their shots around the basket. He also improved heavily on the offensive end due to his soft hands, use of pump fakes, and good touch on his shots around the basket. He displayed the ability to score starting at the top of the key and finishing around the bucket as well. The biggest reason Coleman was effective was his improved conditioning; he ran the floor very well and rebounded well in transition which allowed him to get easy put-backs. A perfect example of this was when he ran back to defense and blocked a shot and then ran the floor again to get a put-back dunk on the offensive end. As Coleman keeps improving his conditioning, he will keep improving his effectiveness.

Coleman on conditioning: “I’ve been running the floor a lot better lately, I have a routine everyday that is helping me get in shape.”

Brandon Ashley AAU Team: Oakland Soldiers; Body: 6’8”, 210; Rank #4, PF

Like Coleman, Ashley started off the tournament rusty due to not playing basketball for a week, however, he quickly adjusted and was able to make a positive impact for his team. He did a great job showing his versatility by helping his team in a variety of ways whether it was blocking shots, initiating the transition offense, knocking down three-pointers, or scoring in the paint. Ashley also displayed a nice mid-range jumper and ran the floor well which enabled him to get some easy points. He showed the ability to bring the ball up the court and use his ball-handling skills to drive past his defender as well which gave him multiple open looks at the basket.

Ashley on the type of player he wants to be in college: “I want to be a versatile player, I don’t want to be a straight big or be stuck out on the wing, I want to be able to go inside and out.”

Rodney Purvis AAU Team: CP3; Body: 6’2”, 185; Rank: #9, SG; College: Louisville

Purvis has been one of the standouts of the event so far by lighting up the scoreboard in his first two games as he’s averaging more than 25 ppg. He is a big-time scorer who can shoot the lights out from behind the arc or take it to the rim where he can finish through contact. He is also a good ball-handler and applies great pressure defense at times which results turnovers for his opponents. Purvis is able to keep his opponents in front of him as well on defense and has good anticipation which results in steals and easy transition dunks on the other end.

Ricardo Ledo AAU Team: City Rocks; Body: 6’3”, 180; Rank: #10, SG

Ledo showed why he is a top-ten prospect in the class of 2012 by being an elite scorer and effective all-around player for his team thus far. He is a good shooter with great range and is very good at creating space so he is able to get his shots off. He is also a great athlete and is very explosive which allows him to get to the basket consistently where he can finish through contact or dump it off to a big-man. Ledo has done a great job knocking down mid-range jumpers at the top of the key and out on the wing as well and has displayed a nice spin move to consistently get by his defender.

Ledo on his recruitment and what schools have been recruiting him the hardest: “Kentucky, UConn, Texas, and Providence have been recruiting me the harder than anyone else.”

Rasheed Sulaimon AAU Team: Houston Hoops; Body: 6’3”, 175, Rank: #14, SG; Duke

Sulaimon has been versatile so far in his first two games by playing good defense, shooting well, rebounding, and making some nice passes. He has displayed his athleticism and big-time scoring ability through crashing the boards, scoring in a variety of ways, and coming up with impressive steals. However, he suffered an ankle injury in the second half of his second game and although he said it was the second time he hurt his ankle he said it wasn’t too bad and he expects to keep playing. As long as he is in the game, expect his team to put up a lot of points on the board and to apply pressure defense in the back court.

Sulaimon on putting together a Fab-five for Duke: “I thought it would be a cool idea and I know Duke is recruiting Shabazz [Muhammad], L.J. [Rose], and Tony [Parker] hard so I thought why not put another one together.”

Tony Parker AAU Team: Georgia Stars; Body: 6’9”, 275; Rank: #14, PF

Parker has been impressive in his first two games at the EYBL since he has lost weight and is running the floor much better while still playing very physical and being a presence in the paint. He did a good job of finishing through contact and establishing position for rebounds. He also played good post-defense by stripping the ball from his opponent before he was able to go up with it and blocked a couple of shots when his opponent did get a shot off. Parker displayed the ability to score in the post using a couple of different moves and even stepped out of the paint to take some jump shots.

Tony Parker on what coaches he’s been talking to and what they are telling him: “I’ve talked to Coach K a couple of times and Thad Matta a lot of times… they are talking to me about keep playing hard and keep playing strong… I have talked to Roy Williams once or twice.”

Archie Goodwin AAU Team: Arkansas Wings; Body: 6’4”, 180; Rank: #18, SG

Goodwin showed great physical abilities in his explosiveness, quickness, and athleticism in his first game and displayed a nice spin move as well. He was fearless around the basket and was a great finisher as he could finish through contact or maneuver around it. Goodwin also hit some outside shots but his strength lied in his ability to consistently get into the lane and to finish well once he got their.

L.J. Rose AAU Team: Houston Hoops; Body: 6’3”, 180; Rank: #19, PG

Rose did a very good job especially in his second game as he displayed a variety of scoring moves whether it was his step-back jumper or spin move to get by his defender in the lane. He also did a good job shooting and slashing into the lane which he did consistently. Although Rose scored a lot, he showed how good of a floor general he is by managing the game well and getting open shots for his teammates. He also was a good decision-maker since he knew when to push the ball up the court in transition and when to slow it down and take some time of the clock.

Rose on Sulaimon’s fab-five idea and other players that have been recruiting him: “Him and Alex Murphy have been recruiting me, Shabazz [Muhammad], and Tony Parker hard. It would be fun, it would be a lot of fun. Mike Gilchrist, Quincy Miller, and Cameron Ridley have also been recruiting me.”

Alex Poythress AAU Team: Georgia Stars; Body: 6’7”, 215; Rank: #30, PF

Due to his play so far in the EYBL, his ranking will likely increase more than anyone elses since he did a variety of things very well such as blocking shots, running the floor, finishing, playing defense, scoring moves, and shooting. He also displayed good ball-handling skills as well as a nice spin move which got him some open looks in the lane where he converted. Poythress has done an excellent job using his length whether it is through changing opponents’ shots, shooting over defenders, or being able to pass in difficult situations to open teammates which gives them open shots. Look for his stock to keep rising as he gets farther into the AAU circuit.

Poythress on how he played in the opening day of the Nike EYBL: “I think I played pretty well… but I think I could have played better… there is always room for improvement.”

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera AAU Team: Spiece; Body: 6’3”, 215; Rank: #32, SG

Smith-Rivera did a good job of anticipating on both ends of the floor whether it was anticipating passes on defense and coming up with steals or anticipating who on his team would be open and making good passes to the open man. He also displayed nice body control in the lane since he was able to manuever around big men. Smith-Rivera played good defense in general too by not only coming up with steals but forcing bad passes and hurrying his opponent on what he was trying to do.

Smith-Rivera on his favorite schools: “Texas, Baylor, UCLA, and Georgetown are my favorites right now.”

J-Mychal Reese AAU Team: Houston Hoops; Body: 6’1”, 170; Rank: #36, PG

Reese displayed very good ball-handling skills in his second game as well as a good jumper to go along with it. He is in general a good shooter with a pure stroke and has the ability to create space for his own shot. He is also quick and likes to push the ball up the floor where he plays well in transition.

*All pictures courtesy of National Recruiting Spotlight’s photographer, Daryl Paunil.

You can also find a compilation of quotes we put together from numerous top-50 prospects, including six top-25 prospects, on the interviews page or by clicking here.

Nike EYBL Recap (Part II)

With the first session of the Nike EYBL finished, lets take a look how the top players performed and which sophomores surprised us.

DaJuan Coleman

Coleman once again played well by running the court well and using a few different scoring moves in the low block that consistently worked. He did a good job fighting through contact and finished well around the basket whether it was a nice hook shot or dribble-drive starting from the high post. Coleman also moved well without the ball and displayed impressive footwork. He still has work to do on his conditioning since it isn’t where it needs to be yet but he has definitely improved and it shows by his ability to play almost the whole game without getting tired.

Brandon Ashley

Ashley displayed his versatility for the third day in a row at the EYBL by doing a variety of things well whether it was blocking shots, running the floor well, or scoring on the perimeter. He was also aggressive around the basket, finishes with both hands, and was able to consistently box out the 7’5” Sim Bhullar. Ashley displayed a nice spin move as well and showed he could start on the perimeter and slash his way by his defender.

Ricardo Ledo

Like Ashley and Coleman, Ledo was consistent for the third straight day by continuing to score through a variety of moves. He hit the outside shot, mid-range jumper, and slashed into the lane nicely with good body control. He also displayed a nice floater and dribbling skills as he was constantly getting into the lane. Ledo had good range on his perimeter shot too and showed his court vision by making a couple of nice passes as he was driving into the lane.

Kyle Anderson

Anderson was Mr. Versatility as he did everything from dribbling the ball up the court and directing the offense to guarding big men in the low post. He played well on defense since his length was able to get him a couple of steals. Anderson also displayed versatility on offense since he hit three-pointers, slashed into the lane, and hit pull-up jumpers. He can play a number of positions on both offense and defense so it will be interesting to see what position he ends up playing in college.

William Goodwin

Goodwin played well on day two of the EYBL since he proved he could score from both the high and low post. He finished through contact, sealed his defender nicely, and used his court vision to find open teammates when he was double teamed. He used the pump fake well and showed a hook shot that consistently worked. Goodwin was also a good slasher and had the body control and balance to make many of the shots he took in the lane.

Marcus Paige

Paige played very well and made a strong case to be rated as the top point guard in the class of 2012. He had a very nice stroke as he made the majority of his three-pointers and nearly every mid-range jumper he took at the top of the key. However, his passing was even better as he displayed excellent court vision and anticipation as he seemed to know exactly where and when his teammates would be open. He also played smart and used dribble-penetration consistently and effectively. Look for him to be in the top-20 when our class of 2012 rankings are updated soon.

Jarnell Stokes

Stokes played a similar game to his teammate, William Goodwin, since he scored in the post, scored on the perimeter, and ran the floor well. He also showed that he has the ability to finish with either hand and that he can finish through contact. Stokes displayed good hands as well and intelligently used the basket as a shield to create space between him and his opponent. Like many others, he was versatile since he ran the floor well and was an effective shot-blocker.

Savon Goodman

Goodman is an explosive, athletic wing who excels in transition and finishes well around the basket. He can score from the high post and out on the wing where he can dribble by defenders. His biggest area of improvement is his shooting and skinny frame. If he gets stronger, he will be impossible to stop around the basket and will become an even bigger threat in transition.

Braxton Ogbueze

Ogbueze put his all arsenal on display as he displayed good ball-handling skills, shot well, and got to the bucket consistently. He also showed good range and had a nice spin move he used to get into the lane. Ogbueze had a nice floater and mid-range jumper he constantly used after he got by his initial defender. Look for Ogbueze to move up in the rankings when the class of 2012 is updated and for him to make an impact at Florida in a couple of years.

Justin Anderson

Anderson is simply a freak athlete who has the body and athleticism of an elite college player. He is a nightmare in transition and is a spectacular finisher around the basket. Anderson also had good range on his three-point shot although he needs to improve on his consistency from beyond the arc. He is an unbelievable slasher as well and can get into the lane as well. As he keeps improving his basketball skills he will crack the top-50 rankings.

Troy Williams

Williams was the best and most athletic sophomore wing player at the EYBL. He made multiple dunks in the same game that got me out of my seat with a shocked look on my face. Not only does he have great physical attributes, but he has a nice three-point stroke as well as a quality mid-range jumper. He can also finish through contact well and if he gets into the lane he will almost always score. Williams is simply a monster in transition and will make anyone pay who tries to get in between him and the basket.

Nerlens Noel

Noel is one of the elite big men in the class of 2013 and runs the floor better than some guards. He is a good shot-blocker, can score with either hand and has a nice hook shot over his left shoulder that consistently goes in. His quick release also makes it difficult for other big men to block his shots but his length and athleticism makes it hard for opponents to guard him in the first place. Look for his name to keep popping up as one of the top sophomores in rankings, games or tournaments because he is a great prospect with a high ceiling who consistently produces.

Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon was a flat-out stud in the EYBL as he outplayed teammate and #4 overall class of 2012 prospect Brandon Ashley in a couple of games. He is a similar player to Ashley in that he runs the floor well and is an athletic combo forward who can score from the high post or low post. He can also handle the ball and lead the break in transition while being a good passer as well. On the defensive end, he rebounds well and is a solid shot-blocker and has the potential to evolve into a lockdown defender due to his physical abilities and potential. He has a nice spin move he uses in the lane too that allows him to get up a high-percentage shot.

What They Were Saying

Brandon Ashley (#4) on his recruitment: “I’m still wide open right now, I don’t have a list yet. Towards the end of the summer I’m going to make my decision.”

Duke-commit Rasheed Sulaimon (#14) on putting together a fab-five for Duke: “I thought it would be a cool idea and I know Duke is recruiting [#5] Shabazz [Muhammad], [#19] L.J. [Rose] and [#15] Tony [Parker] hard so I thought why not put another one together.”

LJ Rose on Sulaimon’s fab-five idea and other players that have been recruiting him: “Him and Alex Murphy have been recruiting me, Shabazz [Muhammad] and Tony Parker hard. It would be fun, it would be a lot of fun. Mike Gilchrist, Quincy Miller, and Cameron Ridley have also been recruiting me.”

Tony Parker on Sulaimon’s fab-five idea and which coaches he has talked to: “It would be fun… I’ve talked to Coach K a couple of times and Thad Matta a lot of times… I have talked to Roy Williams once or twice.”

DaJuan Coleman (#3) on college: “I don’t have a list yet, I’m just taking my time with it.”

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (#32) on his favorite schools: “Texas, Baylor, UCLA and Georgetown are my favorites right now.”

William Goodwin (#23) on who he’s talked to and what he’s looking for: “I’m looking to play right away, I’ve talked to head coaches from UCLA, Georgia, Miami, I still like Miami even though the coach isn’t there anymore, and Braxton is trying to get me to go to Florida, and some UGA players are trying to me to go there.” He also told us he plans on taking a visit to UCLA in June and he will make a decision by the end of the summer.

Jarnell Stokes (#26) on who he’s been talking to: “I was real high on Tennessee but their coach got fired. I’m out there now, I’m open. Duke, North Carolina, Memphis, and Arkansas have contacted me recently.”

Ricardo Gathers (#31) on who he’s talked to and what he’s looking for: “I’ve talked to St. John’s, West Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, Baylor, UConn, Florida, Texas.  The atmosphere and academics are really big for me.”

Nerlens Noel on who he’s talking to: “I’m going to evaluate my recruitment this summer, and will wait to visit schools until they contact me and talk to me personally so I know they really want me. Kentucky was at my school the other day, I recently talked to Georgetown. I’ve talked to my boy Ricky Ledo about schools he’s visited.”

Aaron Gordon on who he’s been talking to and his favorite schools: “Washington, Arizona, Stanford, Kansas,and New Mexico have been talking to me the most. Washington is my favorite so far… I like the way they run the program, [head coach Lorenzo] Romar is a good dude. I also like New Mexico.”

Ricardo Ledo on his recruitment and what schools have been recruiting him the hardest: “Kentucky, UConn, Texas and Providence have been recruiting me harder than anyone else.”

Justin Anderson on committing to Maryland: “Maryland is a great place, it fits me best. I established a great relationship with the coaching staff early and I think I can make a great impact my freshman year.”

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