HAMPTON, Va. – Friday night was the time for younger players to take center stage, as EYBL action begins on Saturday morning. The tournament for the sophomores and freshmen isn’t officially part of EYBL but is run alongside it. As such, Friday night was an opportunity to view games in the next oldest age group, as the sophomores and freshmen took to the courts for early pool play games in a tournament being run with many teams from the same programs with EYBL teams.
Here is a look at some players who stood out in our viewing on Friday night.
Abdul Hakim Ado (6’10” So. C, Hamilton Heights (GA) Christian Academy) Perhaps the best big man viewed on the evening, he’s long, has a good frame and isn’t a baby physically but his body does have a little ways to go. He seemed to be in constant motion, and at times can go a little too fast with his moves and travel, but he used his length well to be a factor on the glass, including for stickbacks. Of note is that he never dunked in a game despite having a number of chances to do it.
A.J. Caldwell (6’4″ So. SG, Sarasota (FL) Riverview HS) In the first game of the evening, he put on a nice shooting display that included a couple of three-pointers while getting fouled. He has a good body and was hot from three-point range to help his team build a nice lead, and he can seem like a bit of a gunner. That wasn’t all he did, however, as he was able to sneak in for rebounds a couple of times and later made a nice hesitation move that gave him a clear path to the basket.
Wendell Carter (6’10” Fr. PF-C, Atlanta (GA) Fulton Leadership Academy) A post player with a good body, he largely worked inside to get his chances and scores, while he’s also a plus athlete.
Quintez Cephus (6’0″ So. SG, Macon (GA) Stratford Academy) A couple of his plays stood out on the evening, as he scored while being fouled more than once, including on a three-pointer one time. Possessing a good frame, he isn’t afraid to go to his left or finish with his left (off) hand, although he didn’t always succeed with it.
Khadim Gueye (7’0″ So. C, Bradenton (FL) Victory Rock Prep) Right away we had a look at this big man with lots of potential. His body has a ways to go, but he’s long, sets screens and late in the game had a nice stickback while getting fouled. He’s raw offensively, but showed that he has something to build on, and his lack of strength right now is apparent.
Josh Hill (6’5″ So. PF, Mobile (AL) Faith Academy) An undersized post player, he has a big body and can be a load inside, especially since he has a good motor. While not the most mobile or athletic, he was around the ball often, especially on the glass, and he can pass the ball some. He seemed to lose the ball a little too easily, and fouled out on a questionable call.
Sebastian Much (6’7″ Fr. PF, Ladera Ranch (CA) St. Margaret’s HS) A promising forward with a good frame, his body will mature more and he showed a nice touch shooting the ball with a short jumper and hitting later from long range.
John Pettway (6’1″ So. PG-SG, Saffold (AL) Keith HS) Arguably the best guard we viewed on the evening, he got to the basket pretty much whenever he wanted to as he’s quick and athletic, and he can get up to finish. His body has a ways to go and he drove often, passing in traffic and showing he has the rise to dunk the ball. He did hit from long range once, so his jumper appears to be more of an unknown than a weakness as he didn’t shoot it often.
John Petty (6’5″ Fr. SF, Huntsville (AL) J.O. Johnson HS) While he didn’t stand out as much as his frontcourt teammates in Friday night’s win for his team, he did show that he’s athletic and has a good frame. He made a good runner one time and later had a steal and quick layup from it.
Brandon Robinson (6’4″ So. SG, Douglasville (GA) Douglas County HS) An athletic guard, he’s a baby physically with a good frame. His ball skills look good, but his decisions seemed to leave something to be desired. With his body, though, he has “potential” written all over him.
Jordan Schakel (6’6″ Fr. SF, Rancho Palos Verdes (CA) Bishop Montgomery HS) A promising wing with a good frame, his body isn’t there yet, so it will get better, and he showed a little touch shooting the ball with a short pull-up jumper.
Austin Wiley (6’8″ Fr. PF, Birmingham (AL) Spain Park HS) A post player with a good frame, he scored largely in close, finishing while fouled and making a nice move for another basket. He also got up and down the floor pretty well, but on the down side, he seems to be carrying a little bit of bad weight and he lost the ball a few times.