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Posted On: 07/17/18 8:00 AM
North Augusta, SC – The 2018 Nike Peach Jam has finally come to an end and where Team Takeover (DC) finished on what could be one of the best seasons by a team in EYBL history after finishing an overall 23-1 and winning the Nike Peach Jam championship. The first July live period was also during this past week and where a plethora of college coaches were attendance in North Augusta. The Nike Peach Jam is certainly one of the greatest basketball environments you can witness either as a spectator, media outlet, scout, or college coach. This past week featured some of the top prospects in the country and below you can find who stood out more than others in this summers event.
2019 point guard Cole Anthony – PSA Cardinals (NY)
Cole Anthony has had one of the best summers in the 2019 class and who currently bumped his ranking up to the third best prospect in the nation according to ESPN. Anthony was playing in his 3rd straight Nike Peach Jam event and after winning the 2018 Nike EYBL MVP, he was looking to end his Nike EYBL career with a Peach Jam title. Unfortunately that was not the case for the PSA Cardinals (NY) as they went 2-3 in their pool and was not able to advanced. Even though PSA did not advance, Cole was still able to show out and bring a flee of college coaches to his games in North Augusta, SC. He finished his Peach Jam run averaging 26.2 points per game while shooting 42% from the field. One word I would put to describe Mr. Anthony? Unguardable. I have witness all type of defenses played against Cole this summer and he has scored 20 or more points in every contest. He is a competitor and will always give his all.
2020 point guard Sharife Cooper – Athletes of Tomorrow (GA)
The EYBL’s Offensive Player of the Year , Sharife Cooper, held up his name this past week in North Augusta, SC. The rising junior averaged 28.2 points per game while averaging 8.6 assists per game and which made him the first player ever in EYBL history to lead those categories in Peach Jam history. After leading his AOT squad to the Nike E16 title game just one summer ago, Cooper and the crew were looking forward to making their way back to the title game , but two key loses to Team Why Not (CA) and NY Lightning, held them back from completing that mission. Sharife still displayed his skills and his offensive game by having four 30+ point games and four 8+ assist games. The 6’1 floor general just continues to get better as a natural point guard and scoring option. His effortless style of play bought crowds and college coaches to all of his games and that should continue for rest of the month of July and maybe in the future.
2019 center James Wiseman – Bluff City Legends (TN)
Currently the #1 player in the class of 2019, according to ESPN, James Wiseman to me had a very decent week in last weeks Nike Peach Jam tourney. Even though only averaging 16 points per game while snagging 5.8 rebounds per game, Wiseman’s game looked better than what the stat sheet said. His best performance last week came against the current #2 player in the nation, according to ESPN, forward Vernon Carey Jr. where he posted 23 points and 10 rebounds. What stood out to me about Wiseman was his extremely long arms that helped him on both offense and defense. He was able to block and contest shots and displayed his jumper just a little bit in front of college coaches when on offense. Seems to me that Wiseman could be down to two schools, Kentucky or Memphis, to play his college ball. HC John Calipari of Kentucky and HC Penny Hardaway of Memphis were front and center during all of Wiseman’s games this week. It will be very interesting to find out where he will play his collegiate ball.
2019 forward Vernon Carey Jr. – Nike Team Florida (FL)
Vernon Carey was certainly one of the main players college coaches were in attendance for at the Nike Peach Jam last week. According to ESPN, Vernon ranks just behind Wiseman at the #2 spot. In most people’s opinions, Carey should be #1 in the class of 2019 just on how well he can score the ball at his size. His Nike Team Florida squad did not do as well as he thought they would after only going 2-3 in their pool. They did indeed defeat the now EYBL champs and arguably the best team in the nation this summer in Takeover (DC) and where Vernon posted 25 points and 6 rebounds. The 6’10 forward averaged an outstanding 23 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game. His amazing skill set around the basket does not go unrecognized. Vernon has big hands, which helps him secure rebounds and catch passes from his guards with ease. He has a soft touch when he’s around the rim and he is powerful as well , so he will not hesitate to thrown down a dunk whether his defender is under him or not.
2019 guard Boogie Ellis – Oakland Soldiers (CA)
What an amazing week for rising senior guard Rejean Ellis aka Boogie Ellis. Coming into the Nike Peach Jam tourney, Boogie only averaged 14.6 points per game during the regular season, but once he stepped foot inside the Riverview Center, something clicked in the 6’2 guard where he found himself becoming the leading scorer and scoring option for his Oakland Soldiers squad. Ellis averaged 22.6 points per game while shooting 58% from the beyond the arc and an overall 51% from the field. I personally have been a fan of Boogie since the beginning of the Nike EYBL season. His ability to make jumpers are incredible and this past week in Augusta, he certainly showed he is capable of way more than just being a perimeter shooter. Rejean gave us a look at his overall guard skills, he is able to create his own shot off the dribble and when his defender closed on him, he was also able to attack and draw fouls at the rim. He has unique handles and can be somewhat crafty, especially in the open floor. Boogie has become a confident scorer and in the right time as he showed out in front of the college coaches who came to witness.
2019 point guard Tre Mann – Each One Teach One (FL)
Besides his E1T1 squad going win less last week in Augusta, The 6’1 point guard Tre Mann had a real stellar outing in his five games at Peach Jam. Tre recently cut his list of schools to only three and which included: Florida, Kansas, and Tennessee. But after a great first week during the July live period, he decided to recently officially re-open his recrutment. He was fantastic in all of his game during Peach Jam and where he faced some of the EYBL’s best programs. Tre averaged a solid 21.8 points per game while shooting 56% from the field. It was really no surprise he will re-open his recruitment after showing out like that on the toughest AAU circuit in the world. Mann is one of the toughest guards you will witness regardless of class. He is a crafty point guard that can go get you a bucket whether in the halfcourt or in the open floor in transition. He has an elite pull up jumper and can characterized as an elite shooter as well. His game has improved over the last year and is only looking to get better.
2019 wing CJ Walker – Each One Teach One (FL)
CJ Walker displayed multiple different skills during his time in North Augusta and at which earned him a few offers during the week. CJ could now be characterized as a solid wing instead of just a forward. He was able to display his silky smooth jumper and showed college coaches he has a consitent mid range jump shot. Walker averaged 18 points per game during his time at the Nike Peach Jam. Besides his new shooting touch, Walker has always been super athletic with a very long wing span. He showed his shot blocking abilities on the defensive end and during his plays on offense he was able to show he can slash through the defense and move without the ball incredibly well. CJ earned a bunch of new offers last week which included schools like NC State, Louisville, Ole Miss, Missouri, Arkansas, and Memphis just to name a few.
2020 wing Brandon Boston – Athletes of Tomorrow (GA)
When it comes to 2020 wing Brandon Boston, it seems at times I can sound like a broken record and just continue to repeat the same thing but the kid is so special in many ways. Brandon did not start out his Peach Jam week as well as he wanted too. After only having 14 points in his first game against the Team Why Not (CA), he averaged 23.4 points per game during the rest of his time at the Nike Peach Jam. Boston played his usually game by knocking down jumpers and scoring without the ball. What really impressed me the most was his on ball defense and his floor awareness on the defensive side of the ball. He has not really been known for his defense but he sure did bring it out this past week. Brandon could and may already be a solid defender. With his long arms he was able to effect the passing lanes and get his hands on the ball a few times. Boston’s overall best performance last week without question was his 31 point outing against Brad Beal Elite (MO) and where he scored 17 points in the first half.