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Posted On: 05/30/18 11:17 AM
A lot of things went on in Hampton, VA last weekend, as it was the final session of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League. With only five spots clinched coming into the weekend, there was a lot at stake and many of the stars came out to shine. There were big time performances from players throughout the weekend, so I will be giving a number of my standouts over the next week. We’re lucky enough to have one of the best tournaments in the country in our backyard, so we feel it necessary to bring you coverage of players from all over the country, not just in VA.
On a more somber note, we’d like to wish our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of James Hampton, a rising senior from Washington, DC who was playing with Team United out of Charlotte. Hampton collapsed during their game Saturday afternoon and passed away at the hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and the Team United family.
Enjoy the write ups!
Seth Lundy | 6’6” WF | Team Final 17U
Lundy is one of the biggest stock risers of the spring in 2019, and he showed glimpses of what college coaches like in their loss to Team Takeover. Lundy is a good shooter from deep, as he knocked down a couple of shots, but more importantly he’s a very smart offensive player. At 6’6”, he makes good decisions and has good vision on the wing, he understands how to get to his spots and he makes the right play on and off the basketball. He finished with 12 points and three assists in their loss.
Mikal Brown-Jones | 6’8” PF | Team Final 17U
A 2020 playing up on the EYBL is always impressive, and the way Brown-Jones competed against one of the top frontcourts in the country in Team Takeover was very impressive. The thin but athletic Brown-Jones competed in the post, ran the floor hard and showed finishing ability around the rim and out to about 15 feet. He still has a lot of maturing to do both physically and on the court, but he’s skilled, long and athletic with some toughness to him. He finished with 13 points, five rebounds and two steals against the best team in the country.
Cam Thomas | 6’4” WG | Boo Williams 17U
It was a tough weekend for the home team in Boo Williams, who went 1-3 and dropped two close games Sunday, leaving them on the outside looking in for Peach Jam. However, Thomas gives them a bright future to build around as the 2020 guard continued to impress with his ability to score the basketball on the biggest stage. In their overtime loss in their final game to Nike Team Florida, Thomas poured in 31 points and also pitched in five assists and two steals. He scored double figures in every game this weekend, and he’s shown improved playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. He’s a natural scorer who will be highly sought after as he continues to improve his all around game.
Mekhi Long | 6’6” WF | Boo Williams 17U
Showing improvement in his shot making ability, Long played really well this weekend doing what he does best and that’s a little bit of everything. He’s a much better athlete than people give him credit for, and he showed that as he played way above the rim throwing down monster dunks all session long. Defensively, he stays so active as he jumps passing lanes, gets deflections, comes help side for blocks and rebounds to start the break. He’s a kid who will find a way to successful whether he gets the ball a lot offensively or not.
Ismael Cruz | 6’3” WG | The Truth 17U
Playing alongside one of the top shooters in the EYBL in Jaden Shackelford, Cruz was the one who looked like he was sharpshooter when I watched The Truth in a tough loss to Boo Williams. The 6’3” guard was firing on all cylinders, going 6-for-14 from the field and 5-for-11 from deep, making many of those shots in the second half as he got hot. Cruz worked on and off the basketball, but was most effective off the ball because he was shooting the lights out. He was also pivotal in their press, playing a key part in their late comeback that fell just short.
Keshad Johnson | 6’6” WF | The Truth 17U
When I asked my friends that were national scouts about Johnson, not many of them had even heard of him. Well, against Boo Williams, the athletic 6’6” wing was one of the best players on the floor. He had some unbelievable finishes above the rim, including one big time poster, and he kept attacking and getting high percentage looks throughout the game. He finished with 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting from the field, about as efficient as you can get. Coaches need to take a serious look, as he has a high ceiling as a defender and guy who can play in transition and above the rim.
Jaden McDaniels | 6’9” WG | Seattle Rotary 17U
McDaniels was extremely impressive when I watched him against Bluff City Legends and the number one ranked prospect in the country James Wiseman. No offense to anyone, but in that game McDaniels looked like the best player on the floor. While the Rotary lost by one, McDaniels finished with a game high 30 points, and did it in every way possible. At 6’9”, I was impressed with how efficient he was from the floor, shooting 10-for-16, and he showed he can knock it down from deep hitting three from beyond the arc. He didn’t settle however, as he showed that he can get in the lane, he’s an athletic finisher with a good handle and he plays much stronger than his wiry frame indicates. He was one of the best long term prospects I saw, and wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up as a lottery pick in the next few years.
Tyrese Maxey | 6’3” PG | Houston Hoops 17U
Maxey didn’t have his best game against Boo Williams when I watched him, but you can see why he is considered one of the best point guards in the country. He’s a crazy athlete with great burst and blow by ability, he can shoot the ball from deep, he has tremendous vision when attacking the cup and his midrange game is as good as I’ve seen all season. He has a mix of explosive athleticism and great feel for the game that makes him so dangerous with the ball in his hands. He finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds and three assists as Houston Hoops climbed back from down 20 in the last eight minutes to beat Boo Williams.