HAMPTON, Va. – A full day of action was on tap on Saturday in the first session of the Nike EYBL, before Sunday closed it out with a brief slate. Whereas in past years, Sunday saw each team play two EYBL games, there was only one this time around to complete a four-game weekend.
There were some good matchups along the way, some close games along with blowouts, and a chance to see some younger talent as well. The younger divisions reached the quarterfinals of their playoff rounds before Saturday night was out, culminating early Sunday.
We take a look at some who stood out on the two days, starting first with the rising seniors and then looking at the underclassmen, some of whom played up for an EYBL team.
Class of 2016
Kristian Dolittle (6’7″ PF, Edmond (OK) Memorial HS) The Oklahoma commit is a well-built inside presence and had a nice game with 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to help his team cruise. He ran the floor and dunked on the fast break while fouled, and also overpowered a man who grabbed him for a layup.
Carsen Edwards (6’1″ PG-SG, Humble (TX) Atascocita HS) Though he came off the bench for his team, he led them with 18 points and hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer with his only three-pointer of the game. In all, he doesn’t leap out at you, but he found a way to be effective as he was 8-13 from the field and added four rebounds, which tied for team-high honors. He hit a variety of mid-range shots off the bounce and shots closer to the hoop, including on the break.
Alterique Gilbert (6’1″ PG, Atlanta (GA) Miller Grove HS) He led his team to a blowout win with 23 points on 9-13 shooting and six assists. He knifed through the defense to get layups and showed a touch shooting the ball from all over, and also got a five-second call on the ball, showing he can be a good defender.
Jonathan Isaac (6’9″ SF, Bronx (NY) IMG Academy) Very long and a baby physically, he’s athletic but not the most fluid with the ball, so he clearly has room to improve despite the potential he clearly has. He can also handle and pass some, and he led his team with 20 points to go with four boards, four assists and four steals.
Charlie Moore (5’11” PG, Chicago (IL) Morgan Park HS) Though he went 3-6 from long range in a win for his team, he did more than just shoot. His body’s not there yet, but he drove and got fouled and also went coast to coast another time.
Nolan Taylor (6’7″ PF, Keller (TX) High) A post player with a big body, not all of his weight is good weight but he moves well with it and was constantly a factor for his team. He scored 13 points on 6-9 shooting and had eight rebounds, showing he can do the latter very well in addition to things like finish with the left (off) hand while fouled and get a stickback.
Cassius Winston (6’0″ PG, Detroit (MI) University of Detroit Jesuit) He kept his team in a game they lost on Sunday morning, going 6-9 on three-pointers in a 30-point effort. He has a good body and also hit a nice floater to go with five assists, so he’s not a one-trick pony offensively.
Kalif Young (6’9″ PF, Vaughn (Ont.) Orangeville Prep) A big post presence, the lefty plays like an enforcer inside and did just that, along with more in a close win. He can overpower a defender to score, but he did his best work on the glass in this one.
Classes of 2017, 2018
Lavar Batts (6’2″ So. PG, Concord (NC) Jay M. Robinson HS) In closing Saturday night out with a 21-point outing to help lead his team to a win, he hit four three-pointers. Athletic and with a body that has some to go, he also drove and dished, and shows good potential as his body matures.
Keshawn Bruner (6’3″ SG, Henderson (NV) Luther Burbank HS) This long left-handed guard went to the basket all game long despite struggling to finish, including when he got offensive boards and when there wasn’t something there. He swallowed up one shot by an opponent and got to the foul line eventually.
Darius Garland (5’11” Fr. PG, Nashville (TN) Brentwood Academy) His body has a lot of development to come, but he showed promise with plays like hitting a deep three-pointer and a drive and tough layup to help seal a win in pool play.
Remy Martin (6’0″ So. PG-SG, Burbank (CA) Sierra Canyon HS) He did all he could to get his team a win late in the day, though it wasn’t quite enough. The athletic guard drove often and aggressively, getting chances in close and one time finishing with a dunk, and he kept the defense honest with a couple of three-pointers.
Anthony McNish (6’5″ So. SG-SF, Brampton (Ont.) Lee Academy) He led his team to an afternoon win with 18 points, including a stickback while fouled and leading the break. That might have stood out, but he also showed he can handle a little.
Collin Sexton (6’1″ So. SG, Marietta (GA) Hill Grove HS) Closing Saturday out with a fine 24-point effort in a tough loss, this athletic scorer sandwiched a number of closer shots in between a couple of three-pointers. He used a hesitation move, finished with contact, finished the break, and should get even better as his body matures more.
Alonzo Verge (6’3″ So. PG-SG, Villa Park (IL) Willowbrook Park HS) In a win for his team on Sunday morning, he got in the lane often to make things happen, doing more than his relatively pedestrian box score numbers tell you. His body has some to go, but he handles well, drove and dished often and should get better with added strength.
Kaleb Wesson (6’9″ So. PF-C, Westerville (OH) South HS) Burly post player showed some promise amidst room to improve, as his game is rough around the edges. The lefty stuck back a free throw miss and hit a long two-pointer, while also getting to the foul line a few times as he’ll take contact, and he also got a couple of blocked shots. On the down side, he picked up a quick offensive foul with an elbow and also got a technical for hanging on the rim trying to dunk home a miss.
Trae Young (6’1″ So. PG-SG, Norman (OK) North HS) In a tough loss for his team, he went 4-7 from long range for all 12 of his points, and he added four rebounds and four assists. He started quickly with an alley-oop pass, but was also long on another as one of his turnovers, and his shots from behind the arc included one from well behind the line.