Nike EYBL/Boo Williams Recap

29 Apr

The second session of the Nike EYBL, the Boo Williams Invitational in Hampton (VA), was jam-packed with college coaches and elite players, giving Triple Double Prospects a chance to check out Ohio and Kentucky’s top prospects against the best of the best. After two sessions All-Ohio Red and the Kentucky Travelers both sit at 5-4 in the league, narrowly keeping their heads above water in quest for a spot into Nike’s premiere summer event, the EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam in Augusta (GA) in the July evaluation period. At Boo Williams, several of our prospects turned in strong performances to impress college coaches, here’s a look at who starred…..

Zach McCormick

Zach McCormick

  • Zach McCormick – ’14 PG/SG Cincinnati Turpin: McCormick was excellent all weekend long for the KY Travelers, showcasing his top level athleticism, confident swagger and shot making abilities in key wins. The 6’1 combo guard is one of the more prolific scorers in Ohio when he’s playing with aggression, and motivated by a little less than friendly trash talking on Saturday morning, McCormick showed that as he knocked down multiple long three pointers and attacked the rim off of crossovers. Mid-majors are all over McCormick, with offers on the table, but the junior also lists Virginia, Butler, West Virginia, Clemson, Auburn and Marshall as schools interested in him.
  • Jeff Thomas – ’14 SF Norwalk: Thomas wasn’t quite as hot from the field as he was last weekend in Los Angeles, but the Ohio prospect who plays with the KY Travelers was still efficient. A long 6’6 wing who can put the ball on the deck, score from mid-range and is a good athlete who is getting stronger by the day, Thomas showed college coaches some production, but more importantly, great potential. Look from Thomas to be more aggressive as a scorer in later sessions of the EYBL, which could lead to even more high-major interest; as like McCormick, Thomas already lists a multitude of mid-major offers.
  • Justin Johnson – ’14 PF Perry Central: The 6’6 KY Travelers post is an absolute warrior in the paint. When undersized big men compete as hard as Johnson does down low it’s hard not to root for them, and that’s exactly what TDP found ourselves doing as the event went on. For a workhorse type of player, Johnson also has a decent skill set in the paint, and has scoring potential at the college level. Currently he has ten or so Division I offers, with Marshall being the latest to extend one.
  • Jae’sean Tate – ’14 SF Columbus Pickerington Central: Tate continues to be one of the toughest and highest motor players on the EYBL circuit. On Friday night he had a career game of 40 points, 18 rebounds and 8 steals against the Georgia Stars, and helped All-Ohio Red have a big 4-1 weekend to get back to where they need to be. Tate continues to show abilities to score in a variety of ways, meaning that it’s going to be hard for Ohio State head coach Thad Matta to not play the Columbus native when he gets to campus in the fall of 2014.
  • Vince Edwards – ’14 SF/PF Middletown: The 6’7 combo forward found his groove on Sunday, having a huge shooting game as All-Ohio Red knocked off the previously undefeated Texas Titans, earning themselves a critical win to move up in the standings. Edwards has such an impressive skill-set for his size that he can really cause matchup problems on the perimeter or post up smaller defenders. When he’s active on the boards consistently, he’s a special prospect. He’s not officially down to just Michigan and Purdue, but they’re clearly his top two choices heading into the summer.s
  • Javon Bess – ’14 SF Columbus Gahanna Lincoln: The 6’5 versatile wing played all three perimeter positions for All-Ohio Red over the weekend, earning him Monday offers from UNC-Greensboro and Western Kentucky. Bess played more of a distributing role over the weekend, but still showed that he is a long and sleek defender who can move his feet and his a threat to drive and score or pass offensively.
  • Cameron Justice – ’15 SG Knott Central: Justice did what he was supposed to do for the KY Travelers, score the ball. The 6’3 guard is a special scoring talent with unlimited range and picturesque shooting touch. He’s still adding a level of consistency to his game against top competition, but this kid can really play and is only going to get better playing against prospects a year older.
  • Ray Spaulding – ’15 PF Louisville Trinity: The 6’9 skinny sophomore was one of the breakout players over the weekend, as he possesses a rare combination of length, size and floor running ability. While Spaulding will have to get stronger, he showed signs of a willingness to mix it up in the paint on both ends, and it’s hard to knock his overall effort level. He’s not there yet, but keep an eye on this one’s progress.
  • Braxton Beverly – ’16 PG Perry Central: In our first ever viewing of the freshman point guard, we came away surprised and impressed with his understanding of the game. Playing against prospects two years older than he is, Beverly showed poise and a level of competitiveness beyond his years as he made the game easier for his teammates offensively with his handle and passing ability. Definitely one of the premiere guards in the 2016 class in Kentucky, and probably regionally, Beverly will be one to watch in that class for the KY Travelers.

Note: Due to a scheduling conflict we were unable to attend any games for the Kentucky Hoop Dreams 15u team, but ’16 Taylor County combo guard Quentin Goodin continued to earn a reputation for being one of the nation’s top guards in the freshman class, as he apparently drew numerous college coaches to his games and scored at will against the other fifteen year olds. Goodin is already being tracked by Purdue, Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisville, making him a top tier prospect in the Bluegrass State.

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