NCB On The Trail: 2013 Peach Jam

Best of the 2013 Nike Peach Jam 

July, 15, 2013
7/15/13
10:56
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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- The Nike Peach Jam, which took place this past Thursday through Sunday, is widely considered the No. 1 high school hoops event of the summer. It pits the best Nike-sponsored travel teams against each other in a winner-take-all tournament format. There are 40 travel teams that compete throughout the spring in the Nike EYBL (Elite Youth Basketball League) and the 24 squads with the best records make the Peach Jam, which serves as the EYBL “playoffs.”

This year’s Peach Jam once again showcased an incredible amount of high-level talent and only fueled the debate over the No. 1 player in the Class of 2014 between AAU teammates Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander. Here’s a look at the best performances, including the top prospects in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes, the guys who played the hardest, the biggest sleepers and more.

Best in 2014


Jahlil Okafor
AP Photo/Damen Jackson via Triple Play New MediaDuke commit Jahlil Okafor is out to show once and for all that he is the nation's top prospect.
Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young)
2014, C, 6-11, 275
Travel Team: Mac Irvin Fire

The reigning No. 1 player in the 2014 class did nothing to take away from that ranking at the Peach Jam. He was dominant at times and averaged almost 17 points and 10 rebounds per game for the tournament. The big fella takes control of the paint offensively and is a future one-and-done player.

Bluiett, Newton score big at Peach Jam 

July, 13, 2013
7/13/13
11:41
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Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he is, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- All of a sudden it was raining buckets in Gym 4 on Friday morning at the Nike Peach Jam. ESPN 100 small forward Trevon Bluiett caught fire and kept pulling. Ja'Quan Newton put his head down and made for the rim. Both guys hung big numbers in wins.

Here are some nuggets from Friday’s early action at the Peach Jam -- including where Butler stands with Bluiett after Brad Stevens’ departure -- before I had to hop a plane to Indianapolis for the adidas Invitational this weekend.

Trevon Bluiett
Dave Telep/ESPNESPN 100 SF Trevon Bluiett put on a show Friday morning at the Peach Jam with a 41-point explosion.
Bluiett pours in 41 points!

A few minutes into Friday morning’s game, Spiece Indy Heat star forward Trey Lyles pulled up injured; he didn’t return. ESPN 100 shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. didn’t even play due to injury.

Regardless, the boys from Indiana were all good. Bluiett put on a show, going for 41 points against Team Penny.

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Trey LylesCourtesy David Dixon/tnl1.comNo. 4 recruit Trey Lyles trimmed his list to Kentucky, Louisville, Florida and Butler this week, but it could come down to a battle between John Calipari and Rick Pitino.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Trey Lyles cut his final college list to four earlier this week down here at the Peach Jam, and the onetime Indiana commit kept the dream alive when both Louisville and Kentucky remained in the hunt.

Lyles is a stud, ranked No. 4 in the ESPN 100. Think a 6-foot-9, 250-pound version of Tim Duncan. Not overly athletic, but super skilled and with an extremely high IQ. The senior power forward out of Arsenal Tech in Indianapolis can score with both hands in the paint, has terrific touch around the basket, can bury shots from midrange, and can even step out beyond the arc and drain shots from deep.

No. 1 point guard Tyus Jones and No. 1 overall Jahlil Okafor have soaked up the majority of the headlines in the 2014 class thanks to their talents and their willingness to play together in college, but Lyles could have as much of a winning impact as anyone in this entire group. He’s a versatile scorer who can rebound, pass and help lead a team. He’s more than capable of being a double-double guy as a freshman in college thanks to his rebounding instincts.

Florida and Butler also made the cut in Lyles’ final four, but this one could very well come down to a Battle of the Bluegrass. In fact, many of those close to this recruitment feel it will ultimately be John Calipari vs. Rick Pitino.

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ESPN 100 prospects star at Peach Jam 

July, 12, 2013
7/12/13
12:02
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Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he's at, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Thirty minutes before the start of the second session at the Nike Peach Jam on Thursday, the rains came. And it rained. And rained harder. And kept raining and then rained some more. A torrential downpour gave the event a new perspective.

Watching assistant coaches sprint to the gym so they wouldn’t be late to a game was kind of fun. Without any scholarships to give out, the best seat in the house for me was in the car until there was a letup in the downpour.

Sandwiched around the rain, however, there was some great action on the court and a who's who of big-time college coaches on hand to watch. Here are some nuggets from the first official day of the Nike EYBL finals at the Peach Jam.

[+] EnlargePaul White
Dave Telep/ESPN ESPN 100 PF Paul White put on a show in front of coaches from Florida, Memphis, Wisconsin, UConn, Michigan State and Illinois.
White turns in one of his best days of the summer

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7-foot gem emerges in South Carolina 

July, 11, 2013
7/11/13
11:10
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Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he's at, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. & AIKEN, S.C. -- As a scout, you kind of live for days like Wednesday. Going into the action with few expectations and coming out of the day with the name of a 7-footer you’ve never seen before? I’ll take that every time.

My day was split between the Peach Jam 16s in North Augusta and a series of showcase games at the Peach State over in Aiken. Rising junior center Doral Moore (Locust Grove, Ga./Luella) was the highlight, but along the way a few cool viewings happened that made for a fun-filled Wednesday.

By the way, it’s now much more difficult to get a seat in the gym. Wednesday was the start of the July evaluation period and the first day college coaches could be out on the road watching prospects.

Here are some nuggets from the first day in South Carolina.

Doral Moore
Dave Telep/ESPNDoral Moore, a 7-foot rising junior center, is likely to see his recruitment pick up in a hurry.
Give me Moore

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