Went out and covered the first night of the EYBL in Lexington tonight and it was a packed house at the Basketball Academy. Coaches, fans and basketball players from all over the country were packed in that gym with a 300 capacity. They were actually holding patrons at the door and people were waiting for their chance to watch some of the most talented basketball players in the country. It is a great event and night one was an exciting one.
I started off my night at Court #2 to check out my favorite recruit in the class of 2016 Carson Williams of the Travelers. Carson hurt his foot in the first EYBL session and didn’t really get to have much of an impact during the event in Hampton. You could tell that he was hungry to get into the mix tonight. He came up big for his Travelers squad leading them in scoring with 11 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. This is a big summer for this young man and it is his chance to show some of the bigger D1 college programs that he could be a solid player for them. His game reminds me so much of Stephan Van Treese. Carson does all of the dirty work and really does all of his damage around the rim. He loves to mix it up inside and has a knack for the basketball. He is a rebounding machine. He did all those things tonight and was one of the most active guys on the court. He is set to have a big weekend and started it off with a bang. He is a great young man on and off the court.
After watching Carson I headed on over to court #1 for the 8:00pm game that featured one of the top Louisville targets in the class of 2016 Abdul Ado and his Georgia Stars team. He really strikes me as a kid that will be a solid 4 year guy and he is still a very raw basketball player. He has excellent size and a great wing span. This makes him a great defensive guy in the low post, and he showcased that tonight. He does well in transition and had some decent finishes. He is on a team with some very talented big men including 6-11 Udoka Azubuike so he doesn’t have that much pressure to be a major contributor. He did finish the night with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. I like this kid and he has all of the physical attributes to be a dominate player when he works his way to a finished product. This is just the type of kid that coach Pitino loves. I will be surprised if Ado is not wearing Red in college.
After watching Ado I went over to court #5 to check out a couple of other guy’s with potential Louisville interest in 2016 VJ King of Team Takeover and Marques Bolden of Proskills. This was a very good game that went back and forth and these kids were playing some ball. VJ King is a very nice player and was making some very nice plays. He has a great looking jump shot and can handle the ball very well for his size. His skill set makes him very hard to guard. Talk about a stat stuffer… He had 22 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. He is also a very crafty defender. Marques Bolden is another Big Man who when he fills out and hones his skills will be a beast. He is a big body kid that takes up a lot of space in the post where he is very active around the rim both scoring and grabbing offensive rebounds. I really liked his mobility and dexterity inside. He is also a very good defender and had 6 blocked shots in this game. He also had 11 points and 7 rebounds.
I finished off my evening going over to court #3 to watch the end of the E1T1 game that featured a very hot target lately in Maverick Rowan. This kid is everything as advertised and is a beast on the basketball court. He demands the ball and wants it in his hands. His jump shot is so smooth and effortless. He has all of the stuff spotting up for big threes, stopping and popping in transition and coming off the screen to score. There were several big names sitting court-side watching him put on a show scoring 23 points. Since he has been such a hot topic lately and with all the speculation surrounding his re-class decision I decided to try and get some video with him after the game.
Steve Jones of the Courier Journal started off the interview and it was the most uncomfortable 4 minutes that you could imagine. Rowan didn’t seem that excited to be speaking with the media and seemed like he would rather be left alone. In the interview below you will see a kid that seems much undecided and one that will probably stay in school for his senior season. I’m not a recruiting expert and never claimed to be one, but in my opinion Rowan will end up at a school not named Louisville and it won’t be in 2015. In the video you will also here a voice of a coach that refused to let Rowan be asked about Louisville. I have edited the video per EYBL request so as to protect the coach’s identity. You will hear Steve ask about not being able to talk about Louisville. It was a very awkward moment to say the least. I had a great night but have to admit this interview really left a bad taste in my mouth. There were several other guys around including myself waiting to ask Rowan a few questions but after Steve got finished Maverick was rushed away by the coaches.
Looking forward to getting a chance to check out some other potential Louisville guys this weekend and will have my updates every evening. Thanks for reading…