Arkansas Elite Youth Basketball League affiliate Woodz Elite went through their first season under a name change from Wings Elite, and while they adopted a new moniker, they brought the same level of competitiveness and toughness en route to a 2018 Peach Jam bid. Woods Elite won the E16 Peach Jam a year ago and they return almost their entire roster while adding a few important pieces to make them even more potent. In 2018, Woodz went 34-5 losing four games by a total of five points. The point is, this team does a lot of winning and there are zero reasons to believe they won't keep it up in 2019.
Woodz has two junior stars, one in the frontcourt and one in the backcourt. Chris Moore returns after briefly starring at the 17U level last year, but he spent the majority of his time helping the E16 team rattle off wins in 90 percent of their games. Moore (247 Composite No. 138) is built like a truck and plays with a relentless motor. Moore loves to get in transition and offensive glass. At 6-foot-7, Moore plays with a lot of bounce around the basket and out-muscles his competition in high school. Memphis head coach and former EYBL Director Penny Hardaway was in to watch him at the end of the season. Moore averaged 13.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists in five 17U games for Woodz Elite, and he figures to be a constant contender for a double-double in 2019. Davonte Davis is the leader of the backcourt and the other probable star for Woodz. The 6-foot-4 combo guard is an on-court leader for Woodz, and the Oklahoma State commit won't have to worry about pressures of an ongoing recruitment. Davis (247 Composite No. 95) is a strong, aggressive guard who will help dictate the offense and defensive pressure for Woodz.
Woodz junior Davonte Davis (247 2020 Composite No. 95)
Junior guards Payton Brown and Caleb London return from last year's squad, and both will see big minutes for Woodz. Brown is a sharpshooting perimeter option should be a major factor offensively if he can consistently find open looks. Brown finished 2018-19 with 1,057 points, averaging 32 points per game for Waldron (AR). Brown scored 50 points in the final game of the season, so it appears he's playing the best basketball of his young career.
London was a big-time playmaker on last year's E16 squad, and the Conway (AR) high school product provides a great two-way player that loves playing defense. He doubles as an athlete on the gridiron, and will undoubtedly bring some of that toughness on the court for Woodz. A quartet of underrated junior guards - Treylon Payne, Charles Daniel, Makyi Boyce, and Rodney Mason III - will all compete for minutes. Payne is a 6-foot-2 scoring guard that can fill it up in bunches. He's scored 1,000 career points for Bryant (AR) as a junior and should provide a nice offensive spark. Daniel is one of the best shooters on the squad and should be a steady option off the bench. Boyce is fresh off a 5A State Championship for Marion (AR), while the 6-foot-5 Mason III, the only out-of-state guard on the roster, provides a sturdy rebounder with a high motor and impressive athleticism.
Moore will is a tremendous option in the frontcourt, and he should pair extremely well alongside Woodz newcomer Jaylin Williams. The 6-foot-10, 220-pound Williams helped guide Fort Smith Northside (AR) to the 6A State Tournament title, a game that saw him put up 20 points and 16 rebounds en route to Most Valuable Player honors. Williams is capable of stepping out the perimeter, and he isn't afraid to battle on the interior. The junior big man will take up a lot of space in the middle, and he should do some major damage on the offensive glass. Simply put, Williams has a ton of potential, so don't be surprised if collects himself an All-EYBL award or two this spring.
6-foot-6 junior Ben Turner is set for a breakout spring and summer after averaged 20.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals, and 1.5 assists for Trumann (AR) during the 2018-19 high school season. Turner is super athletic and should be a threat in transition, and the same can be said for wings J'Quan Ewing (6-foot-8) and Justus Cooper (6-foot-5). Ewing is a long, bouncy athlete that plays above the rim. He should be a nice role player for Woodz, as will Cooper. Fresh off a 1A State Championship win for small school Izard County (AR), Cooper gives Woodz another solid shooter from the perimeter and length on defense. Expect Moore and Williams to find success, and if someone from the supporting casts steps up and provides production, this becomes one of the top frontcourts in the EYBL.
Woods junior Chris Moore (247 2020 Composite No. 138)
Woodz Elite has some fairly lofty expectations heading into the 2019 season, and for good reason. They won 9 out of 10 games a year ago, and when they lost, it was by a narrow margin. Davis and Moore should be a dynamic duo, and you can bet that they'll have their teammates ready to roll. This team plays well together as a unit, and if they continue to operate with an ego, they should be a major contender to defend their Peach Jam crown from a year ago.