E1T1 United had another successful overall EYBL campaign in 2018, advancing to their 8th straight Peach Jam behind stars CJ Walker (Oregon) and Tre Mann (Florida). Head coach Steve Reece will turn over a largely-new roster, and with less ‘star’ power than in year’s past, E1T1 will look to continue their Peach Jam streak with a different model. Reece welcomes an all-junior lineup which includes two veterans, and he’ll likely need someone to step up into a larger role if Orlando’s EYBL affiliate wants to keep up with the rest of a loaded Division A.
For the first time in program history, E1T1 will enter the EYBL season without a bonafide top 25 recruit. The most-likely ‘star’ candidates on the roster are Victor Rosa and Marcus Niblack. The 6-foot-6 Rosa (247 No. 106) is the highest-ranked recruit on the roster, and he offers E1T1 a smart, two-way guard with good size. Rosa, who stars for Central Pointe Christian in Kissimmee, Florida, is good off the catch-and-shoot and has the ability to pull up in your face. Rosa averaged 15 points, three rebounds, and three assists in 2018-19, and his size allows him the versatility to defend multiple positions. Niblack is just as likely to step up, especially after how he played during the 2018-19 high school season. A 6-foot-2 junior from Wildwood Catholic (FL), Niblack averaged 24.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.6 steals in 30 games, proving to be an efficient scorer at all three levels. Niblack will have the ball in his hands often, and his aggressive, attacking mentality will help him in the rigors of the EYBL.
E1T1 junior Ziare Wade
Along with Rosa and Niblack, E1T1 will have three other options in the backcourt. Zaire Wade, the son of 16-year NBA veteran Dwyane Wade, returns for his second season on the circuit. Wade averaged 4.5 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in 12 games for E1T1 last season, and the 6-foot-2 guard will look to use that experience to improve his numbers across the board. Wade plays with a confident, attacking mindset, and just like his father, he’s an impressive athlete. Wade will play major minutes for Reece and company, and he’ll have a chance to establish himself on the national level with a strong spring.
6-foot-4 junior guard Knox is the younger brother of E1T1 veteran and New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox, and he’ll look to provide value in a variety of his ways during his minutes. Knox is best when he’s operating in transition and is a more-than-capable shooter from distance. Lastly, 6-foot-3 point guard Luis Rolon will play significant minutes in E1T1’s 10-man rotation. Rolon stars alongside Rosa at Central Pointe Christian and is coming off a season in which he averaged 14 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds per game. Reece spoke very highly of Rolon in the preseason and is expecting a big season from his steady point guard. Rolon should have some solid chemistry built up with Rosa, and both of them play with styles that are easy to mesh with.
The three main pieces of E1T1’s frontcourt will be Jamille Reynolds, Zach Anderson, and Giancarlo Rosado. Reynolds (247 3-star) joins Wade as E1T1’s second returner from 2018. The 6-foot-9 forward put up modest numbers last season, averaging 3.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in a limited role behind Walker. Reynolds turned in a strong 2018-19 high school campaign for Lakewood (FL), averaging 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in 28 games. Reynolds will be a defensive-stopper first and foremost, and if he can provide steady production on the offensive side of things, he will massively improve his stock on the national level. 6-foot-8 forward Giancarlo Rosado is also coming off a strong junior season, and Reece is high on his efficient junior big man. Rosado averaged 19.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in 25 games while shooting a blistering 61% from the floor. Rosado is a major problem in the paint at the high school level, and while that may not immediately translate in EYBL action, his ability to run the floor definitely will. Zach Anderson rounds out the rotation, and the OTown Hoops Player of the Year joins Rosado and Reynolds in the ranks of having a standout junior season. Anderson starred for E1T1’s 16U unit in 2018, and the 6-foot-7 athlete is capable of playing all five positions on the floor. Anderson is adept at attacking the basket and an improving option from the perimeter, and he will need to be productive in a relatively thin frontcourt. Rosa’s size will likely see him spend time at the small forward position, as E1T1 will almost certainly be forced to play small this season.
It would never be a smart play to count out a Reece-led E1T1 squad. They have a group of players eager to prove themselves on the national level, and they will be more than capable of competing against the league’s best. The rotation will need to quickly develop their roles - especially offensively - and they’ll need to play strong defense from the outset. If Reynolds and Wade grow into larger roles and Rosa and/or Niblack catch fire, E1T1 should have plenty of reason to believe that they’ll be in North Augusta in mid-July.