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.