As far as pumping out pros is concerned, the Howard Pulley Panthers run Minnesota. The Nike EYBL team out of the Twin Cities boasts alumni that includes Harrison Barnes, Tyus Jones, Troy Bell, Khalid El-Amin, and Royce White all came out of Rene Pulley’s program. We got a chance to look at the potential next wave at the 16th annual Howard Pulley Invitational.
Held at Maple Grove Middle School, the gym looked more like a basketball complex than a place where 10-year olds go to school. The decked out structure had five full courts with over 30 different side basketball hoops. Howard Pulley took the crown at both the 17U and 15U divisions, while a visiting team brought home the 16U ‘chip. KC Run GMC’s 15’s decided to play up an age bracket and not only did they hold their own, but they left Minnesota with the title.
Needless to say, there was a ton of big time talent, so here are a few of the guys who caught our eye:
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, 6-8, PF, KC Run GMC 16U, 2019
It’s crazy to think that the most dominant player in the event was a freshman, but this was certainly the case at the Howard Pulley Invitational. Bol Bol’s running mate at the high school level controlled the paint defensively, showing why he has to be considered the top rebounder in the class of 2019. On the offfensive end, Robinson-Earl crushed a number of powerful dunks, showed off great agility with drives to the rim, and converted with either hand in the proper situation. Already with an offer from Kansas in hand, you can rest assured that you’ll see Jeremiah in the debut 2019 national rankings.
Tre Jones, 6-1, PG, Howard Pulley 17U, 2018
With five star two-guard Gary Trent Jr. absent for the weekend, Tre was able to do that he wasn’t just the pass first guard that everyone thinks he is. Tyus’ little bro was forced to take on more of a scoring role and showed a different side than we often see in the EYBL. He made sick plays coming off of ball screens,shot the ball well well from deep, and showed off more bounce than his big bro ever has. Already owning an offer from Duke, Tre hasn’t said whether or not he will follow Tyus’ footsteps in college, but certainly will as the top lead guard in the state of Minnesota.
Zach Harvey, 6-4, SG, KC Run GMC 16U, 2019
After killing the 15U division of the Under Armour Association, Harvey put on a show with Run GMC in Minny. The young shooting guard with a Kansas offer showed off a super smooth J from beyond the arc, dropped some nice dimes in transition, and utilized his size to finish at the rack. Making serious strides athletically over the last year, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Zach develop into a nasty combo guard by the time it’s all said and done.
Theo John, 6-8, PF/C, Howard Pulley 17U, 2017
A guy who has constantly gotten better throughout his high school career, Theo John took his game to new heights at the Pulley Invitational. The physical specimen changed the game with his shot-blocking, dominated the glass, and had no problem finishing at the rim through contact. Theo used his chiseled 235 pound frame and KG-esque blocks after the whistle to pose as an intimidator in the paint, which he also has the potential to do at the high major level in college.
Trae Berhow, 6-5, SG, Minnesota Powerhouse, 2017
One of the better scorers in the state, Trae Berhow showed why he is approaching 20 D-1 offers with his 35 point outing against Run GMC on Saturday. The athletic wing drilled a number of deep J’s, was automatic with his pull-up, and had no problem making straight line drives to the rack. Owning an abundance of mid-major offers, Berhow is showing why he is fighting for that first offer from a BCS program.
Sy Chatman, 6-5, SF, Howard Pulley 16’s, 2018
Even though he didn’t start for Howard Pulley, it was immediately evident that Sy Chatman had just as much as anyone on the 16’s. A super long swingman, Chatman changed the game with his length and showed flashes of some serious athleticism. Constantly getting bigger, Chatman made the move to Cretin-Derhim Hall and should flourish.
Elijah Childs, 6-7, PF, KC Run GMC 17’s, 2017
Playing on a talented squad that starts five guys who will all play college ball at least the mid-major level, no one is really putting up huge numbers. However, it’s the way that Elijah Childs got his numbers that make him such an intriguing prospect. The lanky forward showed off some legit scoring moves on the block, used his motor to rebound the ball well out of his area, and utilized his length as a shot-blocking presence. With just one offer from St. Louis, it is only a matter of time before more programs jump in the picture.
Goodnews Kpegoel, 6-3, SG/PG, Howard Pulley 16’s, 2018
Owning the dopest name of anyone at the tourney, Goodnews showed that he was not just another dude with a cool name. Doubling as the best on-ball defender in the event, he used his crazy length and solid athleticism to create chaos atop of Pulley’s zone defense. On the offensive side, he was great finishing in transition and had the vision to find the open man when need be. This sleeper combo guard still doesn’t have a D-1 offer, but if colleges know better, that will change very soon.
Big thanks to Tony Anderson of Northern Exposure Preps for the photos