Nike EYBL Augusta

19 Jul

JosiahThere is no better opportunity for college coaches (and scouting services) to evaluate travel basketball then the Nike EYBL, specifically the Peach Jam. While the schedule was different this year with a shortened season squeezed in quickly in North Augusta, SC, just a couple days before the year end tournament, scouts and coaches alike tended to call this entire series of EYBL games this year’s Peach Jam. At the EYBL level at 17u the Midwest teams finished with up and down results, but there were plenty of individual bright spots and moments which excited the college coaches in attendance. Here are some of our top individual performers among Ohio and Kentucky based prospects in games we watched live in North Augusta from Friday through Sunday…

Josiah Harris – ’22 PF Richmond Heights: After missing much of the spring it was a welcome sight to see Harris back with the All-Ohio Red team, as the Northeast Ohio forward gave his team a spark which they greatly needed heading into EYBL play. The 6’6 forward, who is an early commit to West Virginia, started the season off with a bang, producing a dominant two-end performance in a win against Bates Fundamental and finishing with a strong showing in a victory we watched over PSA Cardinals. Harris is an athletic forward who has improved his comfort level on the perimeter, as he made several jumpers throughout the event and looked fluid handling the ball in face-up situations on the wing. What excited us most about Harris however was his energy; as he’s become more comfortable playing away from the rim, Harris was both aggressive in attacking offensively and locked in to take on defensive challenges from wings, forwards and bigs on the other end. Energetic forwards with strong frames and athleticism tend to do very well in Coach Huggins’ system at WVU, if Harris can maintain this level of consistency he could fit in nicely down the road for the Mountaineers.

Sean Jones – ’22 PG Gahanna Lincoln: There’s been a roaring debate this summer among travel basketball fans as to who the best point guard is in Ohio’s 2022 class. If we’re going strictly off of EYBL statistics (and we’re not saying that is the end all-be all measuring stick), it’s hard to deny the dominance of Jones. The 5’10 point guard out of the Columbus area put up special numbers in North August for All-Ohio Red, leading the team in scoring at over 15 PPG, as well as leading the entire EYBL in steals at 3.3 per game and finishing top-five in the EYBL in assists per game with 5.5 per outing. Those numbers are special, with a consistent ability to produce assists and steals being critical for the recruitment of a smaller guard like Jones who has always been able to produce big scoring numbers. What coaches really like about Jones is the combination of his quickness and competitiveness, both of which came in handy in the opening win over Bates Fundamental where Jones cleanly picked the pocket of his opponent on the game’s final possession to seal an All-Ohio win. Several high major NCAA D1 schools evaluated Jones in North Augusta such as Marquette, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati; all of whom have already offered Jones a scholarship.

Reed Bailey – ’22 PF/C Brewster Academy/NH: Bailey’s only affiliation with Ohio is that he grew up in the Massillon area (where his brother Evan Bailey was one of Ohio’s top prospects in the 2014 class out of Jackson HS before eventually playing his college ball at Charleston), before moving to New England with his family in junior high. Since he has Ohio roots, and since there are only so many Ohio and Kentucky based prospects in the EYBL, we wanted to give Bailey a quick shootout for his play. Playing for the Boston/New England based team Expressions Elite, Bailey drew the attention from some of the nation’s top college programs with his combination of size at 6’10 along with mobility and skill-set. While we only got to see the fourth quarter and overtime periods of one game, Bailey clearly is a physically talented prospect who will be highly recruited at the next level. Along with playing at one of the nation’s elite prep programs in Brewster Academy (NH), Bailey already holds tons of offers, including Maryland, California, Virginia Tech, Iowa, Seton Hall, Davidson, Xavier and Loyola Chicago.

Dailyn Swain – ’23 SF Columbus Africentric: The top individual performer on an All-Ohio Red 16u team who posted an impressive 5-1 record in pool play through Sunday, Swain has continued to turn the corner from a confidence standpoint. When that confidence is soaring and Swain is aggressive there is an argument to be made that the 6’6 wing might be Ohio’s most talented rising junior prospect, as Swain has a skill-set to match his physical tools, which few can counter. Capable of handling the ball to attack from the wing, making shots from the perimeter or finishing in transition, Swain’s length and size on the wing make him intriguing as a high NCAA D1 prospect due to his leaping ability and fluidity. With so many weapons to choose from on the All-Ohio 16u team, Swain has become the go-to guy when it comes time to get a bucket, with that alpha male attitude being really the biggest step forwards for him in becoming an elite prospect. Heading into the weekend, Swain already held offers from Cincinnati, Ohio State, Marquette, Arizona State, Kansas State and Xavier, but we won’t be surprised if some new schools jump in after his showing in North Augusta.

Kaleb Glenn – ’23 PF Louisville Male/KY: One of the headliners in a Kentucky class of 2023 which is as deeply talented as any Kentucky class we’ve ever seen, Glenn is one of the featured prospects on Brad Beal Elite 16u team out of the Saint Louis area. While basketball is how he plans to spend his future, Glenn has the look of an NFL prospect, as the 6’6 forward is already physically mature enough to hop into a collegiate practice. Fortunately, Glenn knows how to use that body to his advantage, as he’s a physical competitor who uses his strength, as well as top-flight athleticism, to play a bull in a china shop role from the power forward spot for BBE. His outside shooting is still a work in progress but Glenn did show some ability to handle and attack in the high post or from the wing; however, it’s going to be the combination of his elite physical tools, college ready body and tremendous motor which will continue to make him not only a player ranked among ESPN’s top-100 prospects in the 2023 class but also a highly recruited prospect. Heading into the Peach Jam, Glenn holds offers from Indiana, South Carolina, Louisville, Arizona State, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Wake Forest and more.

Marlon Barnes – ’23 SG/SF YPSI Prep/MI: One of the top shooters in Ohio’s class of 2023, Barnes has great size and a frame that makes him look the part of a future big time college player. Barnes was very productive in a game we watched Friday evening against Team United, as he was aggressive in finding his spots to score and made open shots as well. At 6’5 Barnes can score over defenders on the wing with his high arcing jumper, but the continued emphasis on developing his off the dribble game will only bolster his future recruitment. We like that Barnes played under control in both games we watched in North Augusta, and despite leaving the state for a prep opportunity in Michigan, the former Cleveland Brush wing is near the top of our list of top Ohio based 2023 prospects.

Donovan Hunter – ’23 SF/PF Westerville Central: Just like two other Ohio 2023’s in this article, one of the big reasons for Hunter’s success of late has been added confidence. The 6’7 forward, playing with Indy Heat 16u, was a scoring threat off the bench in Friday’s matchup with Howard Pulley out of Minnesota, as Hunter tallied 8 points on 3/5 shooting. With his size, mobility and skill-set Hunter is able to play around the basket or on the wing as a skilled forward, and his shooting stroke from behind the three-point line is something that will also keep the defenses honest. Since his play at the OHSBCA showcase back in June, Hunter’s name has been mentioned by a lot of college coaches as a sleeper or late bloomer in Ohio’s 2023 class, especially given his physical talent as his 6’7 frame develops. Playing for a team which made the Ohio final four last season, Hunter will get plenty more exposure opportunities this winter to add to his current offer list of Kent State, Ohio and George Washington.

Cyr Malonga – ’23 C Louisville Evangel Christian/KY: A native of the Congo with great upside, Malonga has made a name for himself in Louisville area basketball circles and now is expanding that name nationally playing with the 16u squad for Memphis based Team Thad. A high-level rim protector at 6’10 with a ridiculous basketball frame and fluid athleticism, Malonga is a force on the defensive end as a rim protector; where he consistently blocked shots in games we watched against JL3 and Bounce Elite. Offensively he appears raw at first glance, but Malonga used his exceptional length and athleticism to finish a two-hand tip dunk way above the rim and even showed some flair with a fancy behind-the-back pass assist in traffic as well. His best basketball is still yet to be played, making Malonga one of the best young big men prospects in this part of the country.

Honorable Mention: Tom House (’22 Centerville), Amani Lyles (’22 Columbus Beechcroft), Kebba Njie (’22 La Lumiere/IN), Shawn Phillips (’22), Paul McMillan IV (’22 Hillcrest Prep/AZ), Devin Royal (’23 Pickerington Central), Lawrent Rice (’23 Huber Heights Wayne), Rayvon Griffith (’23 Cincinnati Taft), Tyler Williams (’23 Cleveland Brush), Chase Walker (’23 Columbus St. Charles)

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