Peach Jam Stats: 19.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.6 APG
Diallo has been one of the fastest risers in the class of 2017 dating back to last spring, and it was easy for anyone watching in North Augusta to see why. The NY Rens combo guard caught fire shooting the rock early on and he never looked back, as his already lethal driving and finishing ability was complemented by his extended range. Playing on a team stacked with talent, Diallo was clearly their best player all season and they ultimately went on a run to the quarterfinals at Peach Jam on the strength of their top player’s scoring and rebounding. The athleticism and body control this young man makes him a joy to watch.
Peach Jam Stats: 24.8 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.0 SPG
The fact that the Howard Pulley scoring machine is the only player on the first two teams that did not advance out of pool play should speak volumes as to just how dominant Trent, Jr. was in the five games fans were lucky enough to see him play in. The 2015 EYBL scoring champ was arguably the best offensive player in North Augusta throughout pool play, lighting up Team Takeover and MOKAN in particular. More than that, Trent, Jr. was a leader for his team that featured several inexperienced young players, and the special season Pulley enjoyed this year can be largely placed on this young man’s broad shoulders. A truly talented player who knows the game, it will be a shame to see the 3-year vet go.
Peach Jam Stats: 22.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.0 APG
Sporting a unique headband and a swagger to match, Bowen led his underdog MeanStreets team out of pool play and, unfortunately, into the buzzsaw that turned out to be MOKAN. However, Bowen’s all-around brilliance was a huge factor in the Chicago boys’ run, and he was one of the few players in North Augusta where a fan could see him get a board over a big man, drain a contested three, throw a nifty pass for a score, and cross up a guard all in the same game. Any coach at the next level would be lucky to have Bowen’s intensity, and he embodied the blue collar nature of his team. The guard-forward was a welcome addition to the circuit, even if it was for just one year.
Peach Jam Stats: 12.2 PPG, 12.8 RPG, 2.2 BPG
Nearly every team competing in Peach Jam featured a high-level big man, but Richards was one that stood out because of his ability to get a bucket whenever his team needed one. Throughout Expressions’ run to the final eight, Richards was a double-double lock and the offense, which featured Tremont Waters, Kimani Lawrence, and Jermaine Samuels, ran around him and was stifled whenever he was shut down. Richards’ best game may have actually been a loss, in his squad’s final game against the PSA Cardinals. The big man went toe-to-toe with PSA’s Mo Bamba, outplaying him on the offensive end despite Bamba's imposing presence near the rim.
Peach Jam Stats: 13.3 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.4 BPG
Defensive players with the ability to change the course of a game with a few altered shots are coveted at any level of basketball, and Bamba proved why in helping lead his PSA Cardinals team to the brink of a championship. After missing the final two sessions of the regular season, Bamba was back and better than ever, and his presence at both ends of the floor was felt not only by his own team, but the rest of the teams in the tournament. Bamba’s combination of length, athleticism and instincts make him a player with loads of potential, and it will be interesting to see just how good he can become with a polished offensive game.