It is crunch time in the Nike EYBL. The pioneer of the AAU game’s current circuit format, the EYBL has established itself as the grassroots industry’s poster child as far as events are concerned. Nike athletes are postered on banners atop each court, rivalries are formed from year to year with programs, and the games actually count for something. EYBL Session 4 brought us to LA, where teams were gunnin’ for a spot in July’s elusive Peach Jam.
The comp was fierce throughout the weekend with coaches constantly glued to their phones and to the standings to see how their respective programs were shaping up. The playoff race led to spirited play and an unbelievable atmosphere. As opposed to normal AAU ball where guys were going for personal recognition, this stop on the EYBL circuit was about collecting W’s. As one can imagine, there was no shortage of elite talent that we”ll be watching in the league in two years ripping the rims off in SoCal.
We broke down the top underclassmen performers yesterday.
Here are a few of the top rising seniors who caught our eye:
Tre Jones, 6-2, PG, Howard Pulley (MN)
While Tyus Jones was busy stealing away minutes from Kris Dunn this year for the T’Wolves, his little brother Tre has quietly been making his case for the best lead guard in 2018. Having always played alongside Duke-bound scoring machine Gary Trent Jr., Tre tended to take the backseat and serve as more of a distributor. Not anymore. In his first few games of EYBL (he went down with an ankle injury), he showed off an impressive burst, great change of pace, and a simply automatic pull-up. While he doesn’t quite have the IQ of his big bro quite yet, he is already bigger and more athletic, leading us to believe he could easily be the second league bound member of the fam.
Marvin Bagley III, 6-11, PF, Phoenix Phamily (AZ)
Marvin Bagley III may have missed his entire sophomore season of high school hoops, but that didn’t effect his game at all. In fact, he came back even better. The uber talented power forward showed off a much improved back to the basket game, video game-esque athleticism, and the fluidity of a guard. Dropping 36 points in an upset W over Howard Pulley, the Phoenix native showed why he’s the front runner for top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Darius Bazley, 6-9, PF, MeanStreets (IL)
One of the more unique players of session 4, Darius Bazley showcased a vast array of skills that have made him one of the most sought after forwards in the nation. At every bit of 6-foot-9, the lanky rising senior handled the rock in the open court, made pinpoint passes in transition, and had no problem knocking down J’s out to the three point line. On D, he made his impact felt in the paint, using his crazy wingspan as an intimidator. Having watched the former Ohio State commit since he was running with OBC on the adidas circuit, the improvement and seemingly endless potential that has developed over the past few years make it scary to think how good Darius could become
Taeshon Cherry, 6-8, SF/PF, Oakland Soldiers (CA)
One of the more versatile forwards in the class, Taeshon Cherry has just continually gotten better since the first time that we saw him two years ago. The hybrid can shoot it out to the three, take big men off of the bounce, and has the versatility to lock down a ton of spots. That being said, it should come as no surprise that virtually every school in the PAC-12 has made Cherry a serious priority.
Coby White, 6-4, PG, CP3 All-Stars (NC)
North Carolina’s best player in the 2018 class proved that he can show out against people from outside of the Tar Heel state. The big lead guard made a number of aggressive takes to the rack, had some unbelievably creative finishes at the rim, and was simply a blur with his end to end speed. Already locked up to UNC, Coby definitely has the talent to be that next big time PG for Roy Williams.
Mitchell Serille, 6-7, PF, Houston Hoops (TX)
Though he didn’t put up monster numbers, Mitchell Seraille definitely brought that ‘it factor’ that every coach loves. He was a maniac on the glass, used his long arms to block a ton of shots, and straight punished the rim any time that he got the opportunity. The Yates forward still needs to improve on his skill level, but his crazy energy will not only make him a coach’s dream, but will land him at a legit college program.