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