by Randy Miller / R_Miller12
Last Friday night, the highly-anticipated 8EYE Classic was held on the hallowed grounds of Ben Franklin High School in the City of Brotherly Love. An elite showcase game for high school boys on the East Coast, the event bucked the normal format of creating teams based on grade, focusing on match-ups instead. The event was hosted by, Jamie Boyer, CEO of 8EYE Media.
The rainy weather could not keep the crowd at home for the inaugural event, where both games being jam-packed from tip-off. The atmosphere was electric, with the crowd ranging from the average fan to local college basketball stars, all trying to find the place to take in the action. Highlights were plentiful during the contests, and unlike most all-star games, both games were very competitive, with both coming down to the final minute in order to be decided. Hats off to Jaime Boyer for a putting together a quality event.
Below are some of the players who stood out.
8 Eye Classic Evaluations
Nazeer Bostic, 6-5, SG, Math, Civics & Sciences (PA), 2016: Nazeer Bostic’s hard work and patience is beginning to pay dividends. After spending last season primarily in a reserve role, the sophomore guard exploded onto the hoops scene during AAU summer ball while playing with Philly Triple Threat. On Friday night, he displayed the ability to get to the basket, being adept at drawing foul. He also finished with either hand through contact and exhibited decent athleticism. Moving forward, he must develop a consistent jump shot. Bostic has been receiving offers from James Madison, Robert Morris, Penn State, LIU-Brooklyn, and Drexel.
Anthony Carr, 6-1, PG, Roman Catholic (PA), 2016: There’s only one way to sum up Tony Carr’s game: Smooth. The sophomore guard has a feel for the game that simply can’t be taught. A great floor leader with a high basketball I.Q., Carr consistently finished in traffic or shot the long ball, totaling 16 points. He finished as the Game 1 MVP for the White team, after demonstrating excellent court vision and being very court savvy. He will need to develop a consistent mid-range jumper and needs to get stronger. Nonetheless, he could develop into a big-time prospect. He’ currently receiving early interest from American Athletic and Big Ten conference schools.
Eric Ayala, 6-2, PG, Sanford (DE), 2017: One of the few freshman invited to play, Ayala did not disappoint. He scored mostly by attacking the basket. When that wasn’t an option, Ayala pulled up for the mid-range shot or found the open man. Penn State and Detroit are showing early interest.
Trevon Duval, 6-2, PG, St. Benedict’s (NJ), 2017: Although he didn’t score a lot of points, the left-handed baseline dunk in traffic provided a glimpse of what we could expect from this talented freshman. This is a player definitely worth keeping an eye on in the next few year. Per CoBL, already has an offer from Seton Hall.
Quade Green, 6-0-, PG, Neumann-Goretti (PA), 2017: A classic Philly point guard, he’s a consummate floor general that pushed the tempo, and demonstrated good handle and the ability to operate in pick and roll situations. He got to the basket at will and was very good at finishing in traffic. green is able to make players around him better and possesses a good basketball I.Q.
Levan Alston, Jr., 6-3, PG-SG, Haverford School (PA), 2015: Held his own while on the same stage with some of the nation’s elite. A solid combo guard, Alston can score in a variety of ways and usually lets the game come to him. He showed the ability to consistently knock down open J’s, and also converted on put-backs against taller defenders. Aside from being able to score in the lane against taller, more athletic defenders, he’s known as a high character kid. Currently, he’s received offers from Temple, LaSalle, UPenn, Rhode Island and Penn State.
Wade Baldwin, 6-2, PG, St. Joseph’s (NJ), 2014: The Vanderbilt commit stole the show, exploding for 18 first-half points. He’s a strong combo guard with decent athleticism that can get to the rack and finish in traffic. Baldwin showed range on his jump-shot and also exhibited good handle and court vision. His long arms enable him to be a disruptive defender. Additionally, he demonstrated great lateral movement. He received offers from Minnesota, Rutgers, Pitt, and Virginia Tech.
Isaiah Briscoe 6-3, G, Roselle Catholic (NJ), 2015: Powerful combo guard that’s extremely shifty and crafty. He’s great at using his body to shield the ball from defender. Briscoe finishes through contact and is very good at drawing fouls. He has the ball on a string and is great at separating from defender. The highly-touted junior finished with 24 points. He holds numerous offers, including Miami, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and Villanova, to name a few.
Donte Divincenzo, 6-4, SG, Salesianum School (DE), 2015: A combo guard who still managed to be very involved in the game despite limited looks, exhibiting great court vision and an automatic jumper. He showcased very good elevation when shooting, as well as good handle. His elite athleticism was on full display, having been on the receiving end of a few alley-oops. Divincenzo ultimately finished the game with 11 points. He’s received offers from Villanova, Notre Dame, St. Joseph’s, Penn State, and LaSalle, among others.
Ja’Quan Newton, 6-2, PG, Neumann-Goretti (PA), 2014: Newton is very explosive from the one-spot and scores in bunches. He finishes strong in traffic and through contact despite his slender build. He excels in pick and roll situations and gets to the basket at will. The miami commit is able to make players around him better. Additionally, he’s already developed a decent floater and is known to be a consistent shooter, while having decent handle and good court vision. Newton showed that can excel at the next level and finished with a game-high of 34 points.
Isaiah Whitehead, 6-4, PG, Lincoln (NY), 2014: A natural scorer that excels in transition and also showed to be a good distributor. His decent frame allows him to draw fouls and finish. The Seton Hall commit showed superb command of the ball, which allowed him to create off the dribble. Whitehead exhibited good separation moves and can shoot the lights out, hitting two NBA-range three-pointers from the right wing as he went head-to-head with Isaiah Briscoe. He hit a third three-pointer as he was being fouled from the same distance, which brought the crowd to its feet.Whitehead’s 26 points garnered him the MVP trophy for the Black Team and ultimately led them to the victory.