Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nike EYBL from Lexington: Harvey finishes strong

THE RIVALS150: 2015 | 2016
Less than 90 minutes down Interstate 64 from Louisville, Ky., and the Under Armour Association event, Nike was holding Session II of the EYBL regular season in Lexington. Rivals.com was on hand to take in as much of the action as we could, here's what we saw.


Harvey got off to a slow start Saturday but finished strong.
Dimencio Vaughn was a warrior for the NY Lightning. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder battled for nine rebounds to go along with his 29 points, five steals and two assists. There was no quit in his game or slowdown in his motor, Vaughn played all 32 minutes as if there was a battery in his back providing energy. Vaughn can score at the basket and knock down shots with either hand. As a result, he is quite difficult to defend.

Sophomore small forward Jordan Tucker struggled with foul trouble in the morning session but, when he was on the floor, the No. 26 ranked prospect in the 2017 class showed off his skill set. Tucker has good size, can shoot it with range and put it on the deck to create his own shot which has a quick release and good extension. As Tucker improves his ability to get to the rim to score and improves his defense, he could see himself achieve five-star status.

D.J. Harvey, started slowly but really stepped up on the defensive end battling for rebounds, blocking shots and getting steals while teammate V.J. King was getting buckets. Harvey's defense initiated his offense against Team Texas and the five-star sophomore finished with 13 points for the game. Kansas, Connecticut, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Arizona, Duke, Kentucky were some of the schools Harvey said have been in touch with his coaches.

Jarred Vanderbilt started off slowly missing some easy baskets around the rim in his first game of the day but the No. 4 ranked player in the 2017 class absolutely did work on the glass. An explosive jumper, Vanderbilt grabs some rebounds by simply jumping higher than opponents, but he also showed his boxing out skills and has a go-get-it mentality when shots go up. For the day, the 6-foot-8, 195-pound prospect had 31 points and 28 boards.

In the days before EYBL teams arrived in Lexington, there was a report that Each One Teach One (E1T1) point guard Lamonte Turner may reclassify from the 2016 class to his original 2015 class. He told us that he's been considering because he'll have all of his school work done this year but he has not reached a decision yet. The Alabama native received a school visit last week from Crimson Tide assistant coach Antoine Pettway and has been educating himself about new Alabama head coach Avery Johnson who was courtside to see Turner on Saturday. Turner finished with a double-double of 11 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and three steals.

E1T1 teammate Jonathan Isaac continues to impress. The four-star prospect has been playing through the pain of a strained Achilles tendon. Showing his mental toughness, as well as elite shooting ability, Isaac connected on half of his shots (including 4-of-9 beyond the arc) against The Family. The No. 45 ranked player in the 2016 class added three rebounds, two assists and two steals in the game.


Isaac continues to impress despite battling an Achilles injury.
Two weekends ago City Rocks shooting guard Kevin Huerter had his coming out party at Boo Williams and on this day the 6-foot-5 junior continued to play at a high level. Huerter is a deadly marksman off the catch but he is not just a shooter that runs off screens to get open. He can score off the bounce, is a good decision maker and made plays for teammates. Huerter is also active defensively and will get into you. Maryland and Marquette made home visits recently while Creighton, Michigan, Davidson and Villanova stopped by his high school to meet with him.

Anchored by Udoka Azubuike, arguably the most powerful big man in the 2016 class, the Georgia Stars has one of the biggest front lines in the EYBL. But in a match up against the King James Shooting Stars sophomore center Wendell Carter stood out, both for what he did and what he didn't do during his playing time. The 6-foot-10, 250 pound Carter runs and catches very well. He showed an advanced skill set, including creating his own jump shot off the bounce. On occasion he doesn't do a great job of sealing off his man in the low post but, generally speaking, he does present a good target for entry passes. In a game that was quite physical and chippy, Carter didn't allow that to get him out of his game -- including one instance where he was hit in the face -- he just went about his business while getting 21 points, seven rebounds, blocking two shots and getting two steals. Carter listed offers from Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and Florida State plus interest from Duke.

For his part, Azubuike had a pedestrian game but showed his power on one dunk when the basket support started to collapse. The five-star center told us that he has been working out with former Clemson standout Grayson Marshall to help improve his skill work and free throw shooting.

Asante Gist is a leader on both sides of the court and demonstrated an ability to keep his teammates happy by setting them up for easy scores. Gist has a quick first step, which allows him to get into the paint anytime. His shot wasn't falling against Las Vegas Prospects but he scored at the rim, dished six assists and had just one turnover in 30 minutes. He told us that USF, Rhode Island, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Maryland and Creighton are the programs he hears from the most.

Nike South Beach point guard Dylan Frye is elevating is stock in his first year in the EYBL. Listed at 6-foot-1, 165 pounds, Frye shows more toughness than some players 20 pounds bigger. He is a reliable jump shooter, good ball handler and passer and showed good anticipation and quickness on the defensive end. Frye told us he has offers from High Point and is receiving interest from Pennsylvania.

In a game that probably should have been scheduled for the main court to accommodate more spectators, Malik Monk and Jayson Tatum met up in a game that attracted quite a few local fans of the Big Blue Nation. Neither had very efficient games, scoring most of their points at the free throw line, but they each impacted the game without scoring as you would expect from elite talent.

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