Posted On: 05/9/18 8:00 AM
The 2018 Nike EYBL will be making their way back to Atlanta for the 3rd straight year and the 2nd straight year in the Lakepoint Sports Academy. This year’s session will be held once again during Mother’s Day Weekend (May 11th-13th). This will be the third session for the Nike EYBL and with one more session left, there will be a lot of key games down the stretch for most teams to punch their ticket to Peach Jam in North Augusta, SC. This is not a live period, so there will not be coaches walking in and out of the building but there will certainly be a plethora of top nationally known prospects competing on the floor. Here’s just a few key names, teams and matches you should be on the lookout for this weekend.
Note: Photo above by OST247
Team Takeover is literally Taking Over
Team Takeover (DC) out of the DMV area comes into the third EYBL session undefeated sitting at 8-0. Let us not forget this is the same program who made their way all the way to the Peach Jam championship last summer, just coming up short to the eventually named champs the Oakland Soldiers (CA). This summers squad could be one their best all around teams. The 2018 Takeover team features nationally known prospects such as 2019 point guard Anthony Harris, 2020 point guard Jeremey Roach, 2020 center Hunter Dickerson, 2019 guard Justin Moore, and recently added star, 2019 forward Armando Bacot. Their schedule this weekend includes match ups against PSA Cardinals (NY), NY Rens (NY), Team Melo (MD), and Rose City Rebels (OR). Coach Kieth Stevens and his staff look to continue their undefeated streak this weekend in Atlanta and get an automatic bid to Peach Jam in July.
Cole Anthony vs EYBL’s best team
There will be several key games this weekend at Lakepoint, beginning with arguably who scouts and evaluators are calling the #1 player in the class of 2019, point guard Cole Anthony. Anthony is currently the #1 point guard in the class of 2019. Cole and his PSA Cardinals (NY) squad will be beginning their Atlanta session with a matchup against the best team in this year’s EYBL in Team Takeover (DC). PSA (NY) sits at 5-3 and the two squads will meet Friday night at 6:30pm ET. Cole Anthony has been taking the EYBL by storm in his last summer of AAU basketball. The 3 year veteran is averaging 24.0 points per game while averaging 8.1 rebounds per game so far coming into the third session and will be looking give Team Takeover (DC) their first lost in the EYBL.
The Stars and Athletes of Tomorrow
One out of two Georiga based programs that will be looking to improve their record this weekend is Athletes of Tomorrow (GA) out of Powder Springs, GA. This program did not feature a 17U squad last summer, but after advancing all the way to the Nike E16 championship last summer against Team CP3 (NC), Nike had no choice but to let these boys run in the 17U circuit. AOT is another stacked squad that features top nationally known prospects and pure talent down their roster. Top prospects include 2019 forward Isaac Okoro, 2020 wing Brandon Boston, 2019 shooting guard Charles Smith IV (Cal commit), 2020 point guard Sharife Cooper, 2019 wing Christian Brown, 2020 guard Alyn Breed, 2019 forward Jared Jones, and 2019 center Babatunde Akingbola (Auburn commit). The Running Rebels come into this weekend 6-2 with their only losses coming to Team CP3 (NC) and Houston Hoops (TX). One of their leaders and their floor general Sharife Cooper has been having an incredible breakout summer in his 17U debut, averaging 20.9 points per game and 7.0 assist per game. Cooper was not nationally known coming into this summer but if he continues to open eyes, he will be known nationwide and considered one of the top players in his class. AOT will be opening up their Atlanta session with a tough and physical Team Why Not (CA) squad out of California Friday night, who features top-25 prospect in 2019 shooting guard Cassisus Stanley. The Running Rebels will also face Boo Williams (VA), Mac Irvin (IL), and Team United (NC) this weekend.
Scottie Pippen Jr. vs Noah Farrahkhan
Nike Team Florida (FL) and Oakland Soldiers (CA) is another major matchup where we should expect to have a bunch of spectators. The Soldiers, the defending Nike EYBL champions, come into this session 6-2 and after going 4-0 in Indianapolis two weeks ago, the young Soldiers look to have another undefeated weekend. 2019 point guard Scottie Pippen Jr, yes the son of NBA legend Scottie Pippen, has been displaying his skills all over the EYBL. A very poised and smooth point guard, Scottie leads his Oakland Soldiers squad in scoring at 17.8 points per game. Pippen will be up against one of the top nationally known prospects in the class of 2020 in point guard Noah Farrahkhan. The 6’1 IMG Academy (FL) point guard is a quick scoring guard who can also facilitate and create plays for his team. This matchup also features arguably the #1 player in the class of 2019 and the class of 2020 and both are on the Nike Team Florida roster. 2019 forward Vernon Carey Jr currently ranks #2 according to ESPN. Carey is a 6’10 mobile forward with great hands and somewhat great footwork for a kid his size. He has an inside-out scoring game and the Oakland Soldiers will have a problem keeping him out of the paint. 2020 wing Scottie Barnes currently ranks #5 according to ESPN. He’s another pure scorer but has become an underrated passer as well. Scottie is a versatile 6’6 wing who plays with a ton of passion and hustle. He leads his NTF squad in both rebounds (7.9) and assist (4.1). These two squads will end day one of session three as they are set to face off at 9:30pm ET.
The Battle of NY and #1 Point Guard Spot
The battle of New York will take place in Atlanta this weekend with NY Rens and PSA Cardinals going head to head. The Rens come into session three sitting at a 4-4 record and every game from now on will be crucial as they set their eyes on a Peach Jam berth. The Rens feature the #10 overall (#2 point guard) prospect according to ESPN in 2019 Jalen Lecque. Lecque is known for his super athletic skills and crazy dunks. He’s a very explosive guard who can get to the basket and in the paint with ease and has the nickname “Baby Westbrook” for a reason. He will be going up against Cole Anthony in this one Saturday evening in which we should receive a show. I dont think this match will define who is really the #1 point guard, but it would certainly give spectators, scouts, coaches, media, and evaluators something to debate about. Both point guards are explosive, can score, defend, get their teammates involved, and create plays but one has a better attribute than the other. Both squads will face off at 5:00pm ET.
Other top key matchups this weekend below:
Team CP3 (NC) vs GA Stars (GA) – Friday 6:30pm ET
Mokan Elite (KS) vs Brad Beal Elite (MO) – Friday 6:30pm ET
Brad Beal Elite (MO) vs Woodz Elite (AR) – Saturday 9:30am ET
Team Takeover (DC) vs NY Rens (NY) – Saturday 9:30am ET
PSA Cardinals (NY) vs NY Lightning (NY) – Saturday 9:30am ET
Bluff City (TN) vs Mokan Elite (KS) – Saturday 11am ET
Team Why Not (CA) vs Nike Team Florida (FL) – Saturday 12:30pm ET
Bluff City (TN)-Brad Beal Elite (MO) – Saturday 6:30pm ET
Team CP3 (NC) vs Team Why Not (CA) – Sunday 8am ET
AOT (GA) vs Team United (NC) – Sunday 11am ET
Houston Hoops (TX) vs Nike Team Florida (FL) – Sunday 11am ET