Points: EYBL Hampton 2018

Points: EYBL Hampton 2018
Hannah GustersHannah Gusters


Azzi Fudd was electric for the Fairfax Stars at the 2018 EYBL in Hampton but will she missing from the lineup this July due to USA Basketball? *Photo by Chris Hansen.

HAMPTON, Virginia – With a new format for the 2018 Nike Girls EYBL and an exciting summer of competition looming, her are the key points from the Boo Williams Sportsplex.

 

1.    Attention to Detail 

Overall this weekend was an excellent opportunity to see very good to elite basketball players play in a stressful environment. As someone who evaluates players year-round and from around the world, one of the first and most important factors in any player evaluation is the setting. The Nike EYBL provides a healthy environment for players to be evaluated. From the high-level of coaching to the implementation of collegiate rules such as a shot clock, to the national level of talent, this is as good of a setting as we see on the national circuit. The attention to detail from individual players stood out as much as the lack of attention or inability to adapt to a high level of competition stood out for others. 

 

2.    New Format – Rave Reviews

The prior format for the EYBL was a two-stop regular season, followed by the “national championship” in Chicago. This year’s EYBL will see each stop run as a tournament with an individual winner. A lot of time changes in the summer can have little to no impact on the weight of the circuit, but this year’s EYBL change had a positive effect on the Hampton stop, creating a more competitive environment and giving us a feel for where every team stands to go into July. 

The tournament champion, Fairfax Stars, could lose both Sam Brunelle and Azzi Fudd to USA Basketball this summer. Both Brunelle and Fudd represented Team USA at the U16 level and are back this summer to try out for the U17 team. The 12-member USA Basketball U17 team will be at the team’s training camp July 4-20 before heading overseas and will miss the rest of the Nike EYBL stops. 

With the potential for dramatic roster change this July, the Stars’ win at Boo Williams stands out as an impactful statement in a league that will drastically change in July due to international competition. Last year seven of the 12 players came from Nike-sponsored teams.

 

 

3.    Freshman Steal the Show 

Fudd, a freshman standout, scored 26 points in the championship game against Team Takeover.  Fudd had a tournament-high 35 points against Nike Pro Skills in the semifinals and led all scorers averaging 27 points a game for the tournament. The 5-foot-9 guard was arguably the best player in the gym this weekend and made her impact known from start to finish. While Fudd may have set the standard for a freshman this weekend, she wasn’t the only member of the class of 2021 to leave an impression. Philly Belles forward Amari Deberry has the size and athleticism to be a tough match-up at the prep level. While she has a ton of upside for the future, it was Deberry’s ability to play within herself and be effective and efficient this weekend that allowed her to make an impact with limited opportunities. Carolina Flames wing Saniya Rivers is an explosive athlete who is dynamic off the bounce. She is comfortable scoring at all three levels and has the athleticism to excel playing with and without the ball. 

 

Other Standout Freshman 

-    Aaliyah Moore (Cy-Fair Nike Elite) 

-    Brooke Demetre (Cal Stars) 

-    Dalayah Daniels (Tree of Hope)

-    Jada Walker (Boo Williams) 

-    Ari Wiggins (Indy Gym Rats) 

 

4.    Angel Reese -- Most Improved Player in the Country?

Last summer Reese was an impressive prospect who managed to earn a national profile through her play with Team Takeover on the EYBL U15 circuit as well as a strong showing at USA U16 trials. Fast forward to April and Reese has taken her game to another level. When it comes to putting her game in a box or giving it a position-specific definition, Reese is one of, if not the, most difficult players in the country to define. She has the size, tools, and athleticism of a traditional power forward, but handles the ball on the perimeter like a guard. This weekend she was comfortable running the offense in the role of a traditional point guard but would also recognize mismatches and exploit them in the post or the high-post when opportunities were there. In addition to her offensive versatility, Reese is also one of the elite rebounders in the country. Her ability to contribute as a double-digit rebounder and then initiate the fast break as a quality ball handler and playmaker sets her apart from the pack. 

Angel Reese

Maryland, Class of 2020

POSITION/RANKF  /  2

HEIGHT6' 2"

COMMITTED TO

Maryland

#6

5.    2019 Wings Emerging Late

While there is depth at the top, the national list of wings in the 2019 class lacks ideal depth.  To date five of the top 11 wings and a handful more shooting guards are already committed.  For college programs around the country there is a severe recruiting focus on landing an impact wing. 

The first Nike EYBL stop saw several wings emerge as players who should be joining the national discussion. Cal Sparks wing Andriana Aventshot the three well all weekend long and proved that she could contribute at a consistent level offensively, while Carolina Flames wing Alexandria Scruggsstood out as a lefty who can score at all three levels. Colorado Premier has two elite scorers in their backcourt with Lavender Briggsand Kemery Martinpairing to be one of the dynamic duos in the league. 

 

6.    Texas is Coming…. Again 

The NBA has its Texas trio with San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston and the EYBL has a Texas trio of its own with DFW, Cy-Fair, and Pro Skills. The three programs have managed to put together some of the best teams in the nation as with multiple All Americans on the rosters. This year DFW guard Endyia Rodgers has emerged as a national figure and a player who will make a significant leap from outside of our ELITE 100 to find a spot inside the rankings. While the 2019 combo guard is setting the pace with her lively ball handling and efficient offensive production, the Pro Skills trio of Hannah GustersSarah Andrews, and Deja Kelly propelled their Dallas-based team into the Platinum bracket. All three class of 2020 prospects will likely remain at the top of their class nationally. Any discussion of Texas has to include Cy-Fair, in the last five years the program has had more top 10 players than anyone in the country. While this year’s roster is vibrant with youth, they were still fun to watch and loaded with talent. 2019 point guard Jaden Owens is one of the elite playmakers in the country and 2020 wing Sasha Goforth could be in discussion with the best shooters in her class. In addition, Cy-Fair is paced by a U16 national team member, Jordyn Oliver who managed to score the ball consistently all weekend. 

 

7.    Horston And Jones On Their Ionescu Flow

In the NBA there are players known for their triple doubles.  Women’s basketball gave us the gift of Sabrina Ionescu and a couple of players were channeling the Oregon guard by flirting with triple doubles every game. 

If given a chance to take one prep point guard nationally, All Ohio point guard Jordan Horston is the pick. While Horston’s 5-10 frame and tremendous length give her elite physical tools for the point guard position, it is her feel for the game and understanding of how to incorporate her teammates that make her special. She can score at all three levels, guard multiple positions defensively, and fill up a stat sheet with enough rebounds and assists to constantly be in contention for a triple-double. 

Jordan Horston

Ohio, Class of 2019

POSITION/RANKPG  /  1

HEIGHT6' 1"

COMMITTED TO

Tennessee

#2

While Haley Jones isn’t a point guard, she is a capable playmaker who’s versatility will allow her to dominate games in multiple areas. She is the prototype new generation forward who can handle the ball on the perimeter, pass to create offense for teammates, and score in a number of areas on the floor. Jones plays with high energy and has the potential to be an elite defender at the college level. 

Haley Jones

California, Class of 2019

POSITION/RANKW  /  1

HEIGHT6' 1"

COMMITTED TO

Stanford

#1

 

8.    The Battle For No. 1

The battle at the top of the 2019 class is as murky as we have seen since 2013. There are a number of elite contenders, but as of today, it doesn’t appear that anyone is running away from the pack. At least not in the 50 states that comprise the United States. If we included Canada in our ELITE 100 rankings, Canadian forward Laticia Amihere would be the leader of the pack. She is a five-star prospect who will compete in multiple Olympics for the Canadian national team, but Amihere would have had the potential to compete for an Olympic spot with the US down the line. 

 

With Amihere excluded from our list, the race is on, and there are a number of contestants on the ballot. Our ProspectsNation staff saw current No. 1 Nyah Green earlier this Spring and four of the top 10 prospects in the current ELITE 100 at Boo Williams --  current No. 3 ranked prospect, Horston, No. 4 Brunelle was effective scoring the ball for her Fairfax Stars team,  No. 5 Anaya Peoples attacked the rim downhill and proved to be a handful to cover off the bounce. People’s teammate, Breanna Beal, the No. 10 ranked player in the class coming into the spring, had a strong showing of her own. Beal is a player who can make shots off the catch and the bounce. 

With a busy Spring schedule, USA Basketball on the horizon, and the July calendar giving us opportunities to see these prospects play against some of the nation’s elite talent. Look for the narrative at the top of the 2019 class to play it’s self out in the next few months. 

 

Keil Moore is the Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report and international scouting report. He serves on the Naismith Trophy Board of Selectors and has been a member of the women's basketball community for more than eight years as a trainer and evaluator. He can be reached at keil@prospectsnation.com.

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