Monday, April 13, 2015

EYBL Hampton: Winston Among Stars


HAMPTON, Va. -- Play suffered on the final day of Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League as a full weekend of action began to wear down the players. used Sunday to bounce around the gym and get final weekend looks at top players such as point guard Cassius Winston of The Family.
Cassius Winston showed a complete game against the St. Louis Eagles.
Notes from Sunday at the Hampton EYBL When the rankings for the class of 2016 were updated last week, point guard Cassius Winston moved up to No. 24 nationally. Based on his play in Hampton with Detroit-based The Family, the move looks to have been a smart one. Sunday morning against the St. Louis Eagles, Winston did a little bit of everything in a 30-point, five-assist outing. He drilled threes, he got into the lane for scores and created for his teammates. Winston didn't have quite enough in the tank to take out a very good Eagles team, but he had one of the best performances of the entire weekend. Both Michigan and Michigan State are working overtime to keep him in state for college. One of the more anticipated matchups of the weekend was between 2016's No. 7 player Malik Monk's Arkansas Wings and the No. 2 player in 2017 Michael Porter's MoKan Elite squad. Because Monk is a shooting guard and Porter is a small forward there weren't many times that they were matched up. Monk hit some early three-point shots and the game was tied at halftime. But, during the second half MoKan neutralized Monk and ran away to a comfortable win. An elite wing talent, Porter was solid while scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. For the Wings, three-star combo forward Eric Curry had some good moments. He's strong in the open floor, can help out on the glass and has some offensive touch. Another player who made a big jump in the recent rankings update for the class of 2016 was 6-foot-9 power forward Mamadi Diakite, who moved from the 70s up to No. 38. The thin and athletic big from the Blue Ridge School is still adjusting to playing with Team Takeover and hasn't had much of a chance to practice with them, but he showed signs of how good he can be over the course of the weekend. He has exceptional quickness laterally and off the floor, and even though he is slim and needs weight, he will fight for position. Diakite's hands are good, he can play above the rim on both ends and he has touch to the free-throw line. What he doesn't have yet is consistency but thinking long term, Diakite looks like he's going to back up that big jump.
Indiana and Villanova are among top programs chasing Lamar Stevens.
It's hard not to appreciate the way four-star forward Lamar Stevens of Philadelphia-based Team Final goes about his business. Against Boo Williams on Sunday, Stevens was relentless in his attacks on the rim. He finished tough hoops at the rim and got to the free-throw line in a 23-point, 10-rebound outing. Villanova, Indiana, Temple and Xavier are among those that have offered. The No. 53 player in the class of 2017, Stevens Team Final teammate Lonnie Walker is a good-looking wing prospect. Walker is an explosive athlete who is wired to score and just needs polish. He didn't play his best on Sunday, but four-star point guard Tony Carr remains a very interesting prospect. He is tough with the dribble and can play on or off the ball. A recent growth spurt has the No. 77 player in 2015 pushing 6-foot-5. Frankly, 6-foot-10 big man Dajour Dickens of Boo Williams doesn't look quite ready for the 17U level of the EYBL. He lacks strength and it looks like he's a bit unsure of himself. However, that doesn't change the fact that he is a good prospect. Dickens is too tall, too fluid athletically and too young to not think he has a bright future ahead of him. If we were betting, we'd wager that he'll be an effective post player and high-major target this time next year. A high school teammate of the previously mentioned Diakite at Blue Ridge, 6-foot-5 wing Scott Spencer had a very nice weekend for himself. He is an opportunistic scorer who makes just enough jumpers to keep defenders honest but will also work the glass, find open runs to the rim in transition and score here and there off the drive. He finished with 21 points and seven rebounds in a win over team final. One of the very best 2018 prospects over the weekend is Cameron Reddish of Team Final's 16U team. A wing with impressive physical tools, Redish is pushing 6-foot-6 with long arms and plenty of athleticism. He looks to be a capable shooter, driver, passer and defender, and is a prospect with plenty of publicity ahead. Finally, three players on Team Takeover's well balanced and talented 16U squad caught's attention on Sunday. Freshman point guard Rasir Bolton, looked a little bit allergic to defense early on but he is quite skilled offensively. He shoots well from deep and was very alert and accurate when it came to finding his open shooters on drives into the lane. Four-star small forward Myles Douglas already ranks No. 56 in the class of 2017 and he played the part. Douglas is strong, 6-foot-5 and is one of those glue wings that does a little bit of everything while not showing any glaring deficiencies in his game. Also, 6-foot-8 power forward Stefon Fisher has a strong build and some game. He can drive against bigs, has good hands and he looks comfortable facing from the free-throw line or posting on either

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