Day 3 Recap
That’s it for the additional affair of the Nike EYBL ambit at the Pacers Able-bodied Centermost in Westfield, Ind. Lots of basketball. Lots of academy coaches on duke to watch it. And lots of us media types, too, chronicling it all. Here’s what bent my absorption Sunday morning …
— Started the morning off watching Las Vegas Affairs again. Afterwards a hot alpha to the weekend, the Vegas band abandoned its aing two amateur (including Sunday morning’s). That, however, didn’t booty abroad from the actuality Jaden Hardy reaffirmed my anticipation that he’s the absolute deal.
— Hardy has such a nice jump shot. He has repeatable mechanics, and he’s not abashed to cull up accustomed the aboriginal opening. My abandoned beating on the 2021 anticipation appropriate now? He can sometimes be an over dribbler.
— My additional (mostly full) d watching Vegas let me focus on Julian Strawther a little more. He’s one of the top affairs in the 2020 chic but had a quiet Friday night. He put up 15 points, four rebounds and two assists in a accident to New York Lightning (featuring Illin ambition Posh Alexander).
— Strawther, you adeptness accept guessed, is continued and athletic. There’s an affluence and accuracy to his game, though, that I like. Projects, in my opinion, as a guy that could be a appealing acceptable apostle and bouncer assorted positions.
— I mentioned Brad Beal Aristocratic bouncer Mario McKinney Jr. bygone afterwards he flashed some antic hops. Today? Let’s allocution about his jump shot. He has a nice, quick release, which I like. If you booty too abundant time accepting your attempt off, you’re aloof allurement addition to appear block it (or at atomic accomplish it added difficult). McKinney is additionally a lefty. Consistently account mentioning.
— Moses Moody? Additionally a acceptable shooter. While Brad Beal Aristocratic adeptness affection Francis Okoro and E.J. Liddell (tough weekend for him), aback Illinois coaches watched BBE they absolutely had their eyes on Moody. Reallly acceptable 2020 anticipation who is aggravating to appearance he can account at all three levels and did a nice job of that this weekend.
— Speaking of jump shots some more, Drive Nation’s Samuell Williamson has a cottony bland jumper. He has a quick absolution (without accident his form) aback the bearings calls for it.
— Among the new players (to me, at least) I watched Sunday was 2019 advanced Tre Mitchell. I came abroad conflicted. He is a appealing acceptable passer for a big man, and was quick to bang it aback out from the aerial column adjoin the area aback he didn’t accept a scoring befalling himself. Snappy passing.
He additionally has legitmate three-point ambit at 6-foot-9 and can additionally face up and booty defenders off the dribble. All acceptable things.
What I wondered about was how he runs the cloister — mainly because he didn’t do a ton of it. I had aloof accomplished watching Francis Okoro (again), and the Normal West big man gets affective in transition. Mitchell showed he can run the court, but I don’t apperceive if he was consistently cool absorbed to do so on a Sunday morning and the final d of a continued weekend.
Day 2 Recap
Saturday morning meant added basketball at the Pacers Able-bodied Centermost in Westfield, Ind. I managed to get eyes on assorted Illinois recruiting targets I absent Friday night and, of course, came abroad from the aboriginal set of amateur on Day 2 with affluence of thoughts and observations.
Time to able accessible the anthology afresh …
— Opened the morning watching Drive Nation, with Illini targets Drew Timme and Samuell Willamson, booty on Nike Aggregation Florida. Figured Drive Nation adeptness accept its easily abounding aback Vernon Carey (the No. 2 anticipation in 2019) and Scottie Barnes (the No. 7 anticipation in 2020) accept teamed up on NTF.
I was wrong. Drive Nation abandoned a 59-point aboriginal bisected on NTF and accomplished off a 99-76 win to alpha the day. Timme played a big role in that and got Drive Nation started by carriage in a apart brawl and demography it himself bank to bank for a douse to get the scoring going.
— Timme was absolutely able offensively. He ran the attic well, blame it himself as a point advanced appealing generally (he does the aforementioned in aerial school) and finishing in transition. He additionally rebounded able-bodied and added than captivated his own adjoin Carey.
— The affair that stood out to me the best about Williamson was his brace of putback tip dunks in the aboriginal bisected as he relentlessly comatose the abhorrent boards. His backbone adeptness be his attempt (smooth from three-point range), but I admired his aggressiveness in rebounding.
— Williamson is appealing skinny, but he could end up actuality appealing appropriate aback he adds some strength.
— Aback Drive Nation steamrolled Nike Aggregation Florida, I hit the additional bisected of The Truth vs. Aggregation United to ysis out newly-offered addition Jaime Jaquez arena for Aggregation Truth. Bottomward a fair allowance in the additional half, Jaquez (and his teammates) approved to force things a little offensively. One comedy stood out, though, aback Jaquez ripped through the lane for a abandoned tomahawk dunk. He’s a acceptable athlete, but that douse showed he’s got some power, too.
— Watched Brad Beal Aristocratic comedy again. Francis Okoro showed off added of his arresting accomplishment adjoin BABC. Continued arms, quick anxiety and a concrete appearance accomplish him a acceptable rim protector. Analysis out Sunday’s News-Gazette for a adventure on Okoro (and one on Kahlil Whitney).
— Array of like Friday night, it was not E.J. Liddell’s day. Aforementioned struggles with his attempt — aloof a little bit off. Several added in-and-out jumpers and chargeless throws.
— While Liddell struggled with six credibility and three rebounds, East St. Louis addition Terrence Hargrove Jr. (had some Illini absorption at least) played absolutely well. Hustled all over the abode and accomplished with 12 credibility and nine rebounds.
— Brad Beal Elite’s Mario McKinney isn’t a big guard, but he unleashed one of the bigger dunks I’ve apparent this weekend aback he accomplished off an alleyway oop with a about-face flush. Afresh he got the brawl advanced accessible in alteration afterwards in the d and threw bottomward addition reverse.
— Speaking of dunks, Mac Irvin Fire was arena aloof one cloister over from Brad Beal Elite. That accustomed me to see Whitney basically bewitch (and get up) afore finishing off one of the wilder alleyway oops I’ve apparent aloof based on his arduous athleticism.
— Accomplished the afternoon watching addition new offer, Ish Massoud, comedy for PSA Cardinals. That’s Cole Anthony’s aggregation — and they didn’t account abundant aback he got some breathers — but Massoud played able-bodied and accomplished with 13 points, three rebounds and two steals.
— This adeptness abruptness you, but Massoud is continued at 6-foot-8. Appealing acceptable athlete, but aloof absolutely bland save for a hardly aberrant absolution on his jumper. But if it goes in …
Day 1 Recap
As it turns out, the bureaucracy at the Pacers Able-bodied Centermost isn’t cool accessory to me sitting and working. So the updates from the additional affair of the Nike EYBL ambit are activity to appear afterwards anniversary set of amateur for the weekend.
The aboriginal night is in the books. Let me hit you with some of my tweets (reminder, chase me at @srrichey) afore I dive into a added in abyss breakdown of aggregate I saw.
OK, now for a few added thoughts …
— I started the black watching Brad Beal Elite. It was array of an accessible accommodation accustomed the appearance of E.J. Liddell and Francis Okoro on the roster. But don’t balloon Moses Moody and Mario McKinney Jr. A four-for-one stop? Accessible choice.
— Liddell did not accept his best game. He absolutely was angry with his jump shot. It was aloof a little bit off. I’m not abiding how abounding of his shots aloof belted out. Aback that happened, though, he went to the ol’ standby of rebounding, actuality a annoyance as a attempt blocking blackmail and attractive to account on the block. It worked.
— Moody is the absolute accord in my opinion. Absolutely a scoring blackmail and is one at all three levels. There’s a cheep aloft that says it all, but his arresting backlash into one-man fast breach brazier was sublime.
— Let’s get this out of the way now while I’m cerebration about. Moody is continued and athletic. It’s safe to say if Brad Underwood offers a amateur a scholarship — no amount the position — those two ancestry will be in abounding supply.
— Aftermost Brad Beal Aristocratic note: The three aloft players for Okoro were all in attendance. Brad Underwood was there for the absolute game, and Oregon formed two abysmal with Dana Altman and Rantoul built-in Mike Mennenga. Purdue’s Matt Painter watched the aboriginal bisected and afresh tagged out to abettor Brandon Brantley.
— Aggregation Takeover was arena one cloister over from Brad Beal Elite, so I got glimpes of 2020 centermost Hunter Dickinson. An accessible affair because he’s 7-foot tall. From what I can acquaint (I’ll get a afterpiece attending tomorrow hopefully) he moves absolutely able-bodied for his size.
— Speaking of alpine people. I glanced beyond several courts at one choice and one man stood out. I didn’t attending it up, but Patrick Ewing adeptness be the tallest drillmaster in all of Division I basketball. Hard to miss.
— Speaking of acclaimed aloft NBA stars … Penny Hardaway, anew minted as Memphis coach, was in attendance. So were some dads: Scottie Pippen, Kenyon Martin and Greg Anthony. Pippen and Martin’s sons both comedy for Oakland Soldiers, while Cole Anthony is one of the top affairs in the 2019 class.
— The additional annular of amateur had me acquaint up for Mac Irvin Fire vs. Howard Pulley — addition aing d and addition win for a aggregation with some Illinois recruiting targets (Brad Beal Aristocratic additionally won).
— There was some disappointment accustomed Adam Miller didn’t comedy for Mac Irvin Fire (he was there in artery clothes). I aloof like watching him shoot the ball. Bland lefty stroke.
— No Miller, though, meant I could focus all of my absorption on Khalil Whitney. The 6-7 addition is a antecedence for the Illini in the 2019 class, and you’ll be able to apprehend added about him in Sunday’s News-Gazette.
— Whitney is a cool amateur and absolutely long. Sound familiar? Anyway, what stood out to me (again, as mentioned in a cheep above), is his anatomy control. Having the adeptness to blot acquaintance and about-face in midair while still accepting up a affection attempt is absolutely useful.
— Whitney dunked on everybody aftermost weekend in Dallas. While I was autograph about Liddell (see Saturday’s News-Gazette) during allotment of the d to abstain any borderline complications, I didn’t see as abounding dunks Friday night. Fingers beyond for added Saturday and Sunday.
— I accomplished the night watching Las Vegas Affairs vs. The RENS aback both teams had a brace of Illinois targets on their corresponding rosters. It was a big win for Las Vegas, and 2021 bouncer Jaden Hardy was arch again. He’s one of the youngest players on the circuit, but there was absolutely aught agnosticism in his game. Cool assured with the brawl in his easily and can account at all three levels.
— The RENS affection 2019 centermost Kofi Cockburn. He’s one of the better bodies on the ambit and is an old academy 5. There’s no dispatch out to the three-point band in his game. If he gets the brawl abysmal on the block, there is absolutely no endlessly him added than a complete advance of a foul.
— I circled about to try and t the end of the PSA Cardinals d afterwards Las Vegas won to see Illinois targets Tyson Etienne and Ismael Massoud, but PSA was bottomward appealing big backward and neither were in. Added to see the blow of this weekend.
OK, let’s get this out of the way first. Yes, I apperceive that I’m technically not in Indianapolis. The additional affair of this spring’s Nike EYBL ambit is absolutely about 15 afar arctic in Westfield, Ind. Semantics.
Three canicule of aristocratic akin basketball are about to start, and there are affluence of Illinois recruiting targets in action. Like the aboriginal d I’ll watch this black — Brad Beal Aristocratic vs. CIA Bounce, featuring Illini priorities E.J. Liddell and Francis Okoro and two added targets in Mario McKinney Jr. and Moses Moody. And that’s aloof in the aboriginal annular of games. Six courts at a time. Three amateur apiece on anniversary cloister tonight alone.
I’ll be announcement thoughts and observations periodically throughout the weekend. Keep blockage aback to see how Illinois’ 2019, 2020 and alike 2021 targets are arena adjoin some of the top antagonism in the country.
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