The Atlanta session of the EYBL proved to be a valuable trip for evaluation as I wanted to see where some prospects compete level was at when there were no NCAA coaches watching on. A few guys that always got the switch on are the trio directly below. The alpha males.
The Canadian trio of Rowan Barrett Jr., Ignas Brazdeikis and Simi Shittu are among the top 10 scorers in the EYBL at the 17U level.
RJ Barrett holds the number one spot averaging just over 28 ppg. He’s toying with the competition and getting anywhere he wants on the floor. It is becoming more clear that he will not remain in the 2019 class and likely move to 2018.
Brazdeikis and Shittu as a duo often create match up problems for teams as both can play inside and out and enforce their will.
Brazdeikis has expressed that he is leaning more towards staying in the 2018 class
High Major Watch
RJ Barrett | 2018/2019 | 6’7 | Guard/Forward | 180lbs | Nike UPlay Canada | HM+
The combination of changing direction and speeds and excellent body control on the move, allowed him to get anywhere he wanted on the floor. RJ often split defenders, double teams, and in the case against Team Penny triple teams. He has the most pro moves of the players I’ve seen on the circuit. No glaring weaknesses but his jump shot and free throw shooting are areas he can improve to become more fluid and rhythmic.
Leadership is an area that is improving in the absence of Andrew Nembhard who is set to return in session 4 in California.
Andrew Nembhard | 2018 | 6’4 | PG | 170lbs | Nike UPlay Canada | HM+
Nembhard has been playing it safe after a surgery on his small intestine. He is back to 100% and ready to go full contact at the next session in California.
Tyrese Samuel | 2019 | 6’8 | Wing | 210lbs | Nike UPlay Canada | HM
Body, size, athleticism, skill for position to be a pro 2/3. A very good 3 pt shooter with a pure stroke. Differs at times to Rowan Barrett Jr and at other times he’s full throttle. Upside is through the roof considering his mechanics and movement all flow like a wing. All this considering he hasn’t had much opportunity prior to the AAU season to play his natural position.
AJ Lawson | 2019 | 6’6 | SG | 160lbs | Nike UPlay Canada | HM
1st time at 17U level and fit right in. Pure scorer, bucket getter in every sense. Able to create for himself and very dangerous as a spot up shooter. Didn’t get to show too much of his breakdown game yet has the moves to beat his man and makes reads. On defense, Coach Washington challenged him to take it up a notch and he delivered recording 2 steals in one game and 3 in another.
Emanuel Miller | 2019 | 6’7 | SF | 175lbs | Nike UPlay Canada | HM
1st time at 17U level. Fresh off of an offer from Oklahoma, he was amped to play the next game and came out very aggressive. Fast twitch muscles allow him to block shot/alter and rebound in bunches. Becoming more confident shooting from three pt range. High motor, highly competitive.
Simi Shittu | 2018 | 6’10 | PF/SF | 225lbs | CIA Bounce | HM+
Had some of his best games of the season in ATL, except for the final game against Stampede. Haven’t seen anyone at the high school or AAU level finish as well as Shittu does through contact. A quick second and third jump allows him to rebound his own contested shots and come up with finishes. In some cases Shittu grabs defensive boards and is able to handle and push the ball up the court making good reads for a pass in transition or finishing coast to coast.
Ignas Brazdeikis | 2018/2017 | 6’8 | F | 220lbs | CIA Bounce | HM
Whatever question marks there were around him as a defender can be erased. Ignas has really honed in on this area of his game and taken pride in insuring he contains his man. Averaging 23 ppg and around 8 boards, he is a top producer in the league. Recognized mismatches and scored inside and out. A strong base allows him to back undersized opponents. Used the rim as a protector on the attack and finished efficiently in the paint.
Quincy Guerrier | 2019 | 6’6 | SG | 195lbs | CIA Bounce | HM
Becoming more versatile and providing more to the team by getting after it harder on the glass. Multi-dimensional scorer with trimmed physique has helped in explosiveness off the first step.
Joel Brown | 2019 | 6’3 | PG | CIA Bounce | HM-
Joel is one of the fastest guards in the entire EYBL. Has a very tight handle and excellent passing vision. A few moves ahead of everyone. Quick decision to put teammates in high percentage spots. Only thing lacking for him is an outside jumper. Best suited on teams that play through high speeds.
Adong Makuoi | 2018 | 6’8 | PF/C | 205lbs | CIA Bounce | MM
Pure shot blocker averaging nearly 3 bpg. Timing and accuracy is there. Rarely commits fouls while attempting the block. If he’s not making contact with the ball, he’s creating a difficult shot for the attacker or shooter. Rebounds and protects the ball.
Kaosi Ezeagu | 2018 | 6’9 | C | 240lbs | Nike UPlay Canada | MM+, HM-
Low maintenance big. Doesn’t need a lot of touches to be productive. Cleans up on the glass and plays clean defense. Uses drop step effectively.
Isaiah Bujdoso | 2018 | 6’3 | PG | 185lbs | Nike UPlay Canada | MM
A very safe option with the ball in his hands. Surveys the floor, find gaps and attacks. Needs to be more aggressive and look for himself as a scoring option more. In the first 2 games of this session he set everyone up until Coach Dwayne Washington challenged him to look for himself more and stay a three point threat. Needs to lead vocally more. Very quiet. Just starting to break out of his shell.
Laoui Msambya | 6’0 | PG | 170lbs | CIA Bounce | MM+
Speedy, high IQ PG, with very good spatial awareness and decision making. Can play off ball as well and is effective without the ball in his hands.
Keshaun Saunders | 2018 | 6’5 | 185lbs | CIA Bounce | MM+
Saunders is a fiery competitor. Can make the open shot inside and outside the three, pull up from mid-range and finish tough shots around the cup. Decision making sometimes clouded by intensity and desire to win. Nevertheless, he’s a kid I’d take to war with me.
Lloyd Pandi | 2018 | 6’4 | SG | Nike UPlay Canada | MM-
A good slasher, thrives in transition, pushes tempo. Does alot of things good, no specific big time strengths. Defensively got fired up after he was elbowed pretty hard and locked up for the next 2 games.
Sam Rautins | 2019 | 6’3 | SG | 180lbs | CIA Bounce | MM
Tough to put a projection on him because he is a specialist at this point. Knock down 3 pt shooter. Limited off the dribble but very smart and knows how his abilities can be used against elite athleticism.