Monday, May 13, 2013
Zip trip through the Dallas EYBL
By Dave Telep
DALLAS -- The third installment of the Nike EYBL is in the books. After spending two days at an incredibly over-the-top facility (please build one in Raleigh), it’s time to sift through the notes and analyze what we saw. We’ll follow-up with more coverage of the loaded event later, but he’s a quick rundown of the highlights.
• Top-ranked junior Jahlil Okafor played extended minutes for Mac Irvin Fire this weekend for the first time since suffering an spring injury. At times, Okafor was dominant and he won the head-to-head bout with his pal Tyus Jones.
UNC-bound Joel Berry got the best of his matchup with top-ranked PG Tyus Jones in Dallas.
• Speaking of Jones, his club lost to E1T1 and No. 2 point guard Joel Berry. Jones, arguably the best player in the event, got picked twice in the game. “He knew my move,” Jones said of the North Carolina-bound Berry. “He sat on my crossover.”
• The weekend began with a surprise commitment from Daniel Hamilton. It was nearly midnight when his game ended and he dropped the, “I’m going to Connecticut” nugget without prior notice. “I didn’t even know he was going to do it,” his brother and Denver Nugget Jordan Hamilton said afterward.
• Another weekend, another legit rebounding effort from up-and-comer Angel Delgado of the NY Lightning. Somehow, he’s managed to get double-digits rebounds in almost every EYBL game played thus far.
• Isaiah Whitehead of the new Jersey Playaz shot the ball exceptionally well in Dallas.
• Team Texas Elite is very young but has a pair of intriguing talents. Elijah Thomas, a center, continued his ascent but it was the emergence of 2015 wing Matt McQuaid that generated some extra buzz in the building.
• Small-town boy from Kentucky handles Windy City man-to-man pressure was the weekend’s headline for freshman Braxton Beverly. The 2016 point guard passed every ballhandling test tossed his way against the stifling Mac Irvin Fire defense.
• Everybody wants to talk sleepers in the spring, so here’s one: power forward Michael Gilmore. The Floridian is a 6-foot-9 post and has all the markers to meet high-major qualification by summer’s end, if not sooner.
• You always want to check up on the big dogs at these events and a quick cruise with Ivan Rabb revealed much of what we’ve come to expect out of the No. 1 sophomore. He’s a terrific rebounder and developing a personality on the court.
• I’ll leave you with this. The Houston Hoops are loaded with 2014 junior perimeter players. Every weekend it’s a different kid that steps up. Having seen them at different venues, Justin Jackson looks to be the best long-term prospect of the entire bunch. Now, write this name down: DeAaron Fox. He’s a 6-3 freshman shooting guard that the team introduced last weekend. Won’t be the last time you hear of him.