Wrapping up the regular season, Nike brought its abundance of talent in the EYBL to Minneapolis for Memorial Day weekend. The top teams rocking the swoosh looked to solidify their place in the prestigious Peach Jam in July, so there was something at stake each time the AAU squads touched the hardwood. Games were hype, competition was fierce, and talent was abundant throughout the three-day weekend that sent a number of teams fishin’ for the summer.
Here is a look at a few of the top rising seniors who stood out at the Minneapolis leg of the 2014 Nike EYBL:
Jalen Coleman, 6-3, SG, All Ohio Red
There were a lot of guys with bigger names than Coleman, but none more clutch. He made crucial bucket after crucial bucket for All Ohio, including the game-winning three-pointer against Team Takeover. The ‘Nap Town product showed that he can create off of the bounce, pull up at the drop of a dime from mid-range, and shoot it from deep with the best of the class of 2015. Holding offers from the entire Big Ten, expect the La Lumiere product to continue to be a hot commodity as the summer goes on.
Malachi Richardson, 6-5, SG, Team Final
The best player for the EYBL’s best team was Malachi Richardson. The Syracuse recruit paced his team to a 14-2 record while showing some major improvement in his game. He was more explosive off of the bounce, defended multiple positions, and drilled three-pointers at ease. Ranked in the 20s by most scouting services, expect Malachi to shoot up the rankings if he continues killing at the rate that he was in Minneapolis.
Kipper Nichols, 6-6, SF, King James Shooting Stars
While King James didn’t qualify for the Peach Jam, it most definitely wasn’t due to the play of Nichols. An inside/out forward who will exploit mismatches like no other, he beat slower forwards off of the bounce and took smaller ones down to the block. Kipper also showed his toughness by holding it down on the boards, making it no coincidence why Ohio State, Xavier, Cincinnati and Clemson are fighting for his services.
Donta’ Hall, 6-9, PF/C, Alabama Challenge
Hall made his EYBL debut this season with a bang. The athletic big man shut down the paint for the Alabama Challenge, averaging 9 points, 11 rebounds, and 6.5 blocks per game. An early commit to Alabama, Hall went under the radar and is unranked by virtually every major scouting service, but expect that to change once more get a glimpse of this high upside big man.
Chimezie Metu, 6-10, PF/C, Oakland Soldiers
Playing behind Ivan Rabb and Stephen Zimmerman in the Soldiers’ frontline, there weren’t a ton of minutes to come by for Metu. However, when he saw the floor, he made an impact. Metu used his athleticism to change the game on D, was great running the floor, and threw down a number of explosive dunks on O. New USC coach Andy Enfield got himself a good one by locking Metu up early.