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Nike EYBL Indianapolis: Top Matchups

By D1 Circuit Staff, 05/09/19, 11:30PM EDT

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Friday May 10

6:15 PM EST

Brad Beal Elite (MO) vs No. 7 Team Takeover (DC)

Indianapolis kicks off with a huge game for St. Louis’ EYBL affiliate. Brad Beal Elite had a rare disappointing session in Atlanta and desperately need a win to add to their 1-3 record. It won’t be easy as they’ll face off against defending champion Team Takeover, a team that has reloaded with nine 4 or 5-star recruits in their rotation. The backcourt matchup between juniors Caleb Love (BBE) and Lynn Greer III (TTO) will be an entertaining affair, and if Love proves to be the best guard on the court, BBE should have a solid change of picking up a season-changing win.

Mac Irvin Fire (IL) vs Team Final (FL)

Mac Irvin and Team Final enter Indianapolis with five straight wins combined, and both will be looking to build on that momentum. The Fire won their final three matchups after a session opening loss to MeanStreets, while Team Final saved their weekend with two major upset wins on Sunday (Vegas Elite and Nightrydas Elite). Injuries caused Team Final’s rotation to be put on life support as the session concluded, and they will need to be fully healthy in order to take down the Fire. Mac Irvin big man Ryan Kalkbrenner earned Defensive Player of the Session in Atlanta, and his rim-protecting prowess could be the difference-maker in a closely-contested tilt.

8:00 PM EST

No. 2 The Family Detroit (MI) vs MOKAN Elite (KS)

The Family Detroit enters Indy with their highest ranking in EYBL history, and their lofty poll-placing will be immediately put to the rest against always-tough MOKAN Elite. Second Team All-Atlanta performer Scooby Johnson leads seven EYBL veterans in a close-knit rotation, and they gain the services of junior Wisconsin commit Lorne Bowman II. MOKAN will not be an easy out, and The Family will need Isaiah Jackson to find answers for N’Faly Dante in a battle of 5-star juniors.

MEBO Team Hood (MS) vs Woodz Elite (AR)

MEBO Elite and Woodz Elite square off on Friday in an intriguing regional matchup. Woodz Elite is coming off an impressive 3-1 opening session, while MEBO also showed well for themselves, riding the play of red-hot sophomore Daeshun Ruffin to a 2-2 record. Ruffin earned Underclassman of the Session in Atlanta, and containing him has proven to be a very difficult task. Woodz Elite will throw a number of talented defenders at MEBO’s star, and they’ll also have to be wary of sharp-shooting junior Keondre Montgomery. The frontcourt duo of Chris Moore and Jaylin Williams makes Woodz the unanimous favorite in this matchup, but MEBO won’t back down easy.

9:45 PM EST

No. 5 Alabama Fusion vs Oakland Soldiers (CA)

The newly-minted 5th-ranked Fusion will be tested out of the gate in Indy, tasked with shutting down the 5-star swingman Ziaire Williams. The Soldiers struggled on the defensive end in Atlanta, and the high-scoring Fusion might be their hardest assignment yet. The Fusion averaged 91 points per game in Atlanta and they are statistically the best passing team on the circuit. Williams will have to be clicking in order for the Soldiers to win, and they’ll need to be locked in defensively for 36 minutes. The Fusion won’t beat you with star power, but their four-game showing in Atlanta proves that a true ‘team' trumps individual talent any day of the week.

No. 9 Team Durant (MD) vs Team WhyNot (CA)

Team Durant debuts in the Power 10 rankings after an upset win over No. 1 Team Takeover, and they’ll immediately be faced with a ‘prove it’ game against Team WhyNot. Both squads went 3-1 during the opening session, and both averaged over 80 points per game in four Atlanta contests. Team Durant’s Earl Timberlake and WhyNot’s Nimari Burnett lead their respective units which combine for a total of 16 ranked recruits. Burnett, a Third Team All-Atlanta performer, was a scoring machine for WhyNot during their first four games, and he’ll now have the backcourt assistance of junior star Jalen Green (247 No. 2). 4-star junior Ace Baldwin is slated to return from injury for Durant, and the VCU-commit will join Timberlake, Ishmael Leggett (ATL All-Breakout), and Darius Maddox (247 4-star). 

Saturday May 11

9:30 AM EST

Pro Skills (TX) vs No. 1 Texas Titans 

The winner of this matchup will have DFW bragging rights, and these teams should be plenty familiar with one another. The two programs were a combined 7-1 in Atlanta, and the head-to-head matchup between the Titans' Cade Cunningham and Skills' Micah Peavy will be worth the price of admission. The Titans are one of the league's most dangerous contenders, and if they can dodge the upset, Greg Brown III will be a big reason why. On paper, Pro Skills doesn't have a direct answer for the 6-foot-9 junior.

No. 7 Team Takeover (DC) vs No. 8 Boo Williams (VA)

This is a great regional rivalry, and the winner will add a signature win to their resume. Takeover (3-1) and Boo (3-1) feature a combined 16 ranked recruits and are two of the most successful programs in grassroots basketball history. Their rosters are as good as ever this spring, and it will be fun to watch Boo's Mark Williams (7-foot-1) battle Takeover's Hunter Dickinson (7-foot-2). Expect an entertaining affair, and don't be surprised if Boo's Cam Thomas leads the game in scoring.

11:15 AM EST

No. 10 NY Renaissance vs No. 4 Vegas Elite (NV)

Vegas Elite (3-1) is the league's highest-scoring team (97.5 PPG), and their late-morning foe is one of the few teams in the league that can keep up with them offensively. The Renaissance feature a number of veterans and plenty of star power in sophomore Jonathan Kuminga (Atlanta All-Underclassmen) and junior RJ Davis (1st Team All-Atlanta). Fellow Atlanta First-Teamer Josh Christopher will lead Vegas Elite's star-studded lineup. Julian Strawther and Jaden Hardy complete a scary three-headed monster, and they'll be welcoming top-50 junior big man Mady Sissoko to the lineup. There is a ton of talent in this matchup and fireworks are expected.

1:00 PM EST

Team WhyNot (CA) vs Oakland Soldiers (GA)

Future Prolific Prep teammates Nimari Burnett (WhyNot) and Jalen Green (Soldiers) will team up as Green battles the Soldiers after playing with them during session one. This matchup has terrific odds to be the highest-scoring game of the session, and you can expect these two teams to play at a frenetic pace. WhyNot will counter the Soldiers' 5-star swingman Ziaire Williams with a combination of 4-star juniors Addison Patterson (6-foot-6) and Terren Frank (6-foot-8). This game is going to be a lot of fun to watch, and the winner will be feeling good as they move into Saturday night.

AOT Running Rebels (GA) vs No. 9 Team Durant (MD)

AOT star Sharife Cooper was the Offensive Player of the Session in Atlanta, and the 5-star junior will be up against Durant's deep and talented backcourt. 4-star VCU commit Ace Baldwin returns for Durant, joining a group of guards that already featured 4-star Darius Maddox, 6-foot-6 combo 4-star guard Earl Timberlake, and Atlanta All-Breakout performer Ishmael Leggett. It's likely that Timberlake will face off against AOT's 5-star junior BJ Boston, which is undoubtedly one of the best individual matchups of the session.

6:00 PM EST

Playaz Club (NJ) vs. Pro Skills (TX)

The Playaz will look to score a major upset over Pro Skills, and in order to do so, Jabri Abdur-Rahim will need to replicate last session's performance. The Playaz 6-foot-7 junior swingman earned Atlanta's Best Performance after putting up back-to-back 40-point games, and he'll have his work cut out for him against the Pro Skills' duo of Micah Peavy and KK Robinson. Peavy earned First-Team All-Atlanta honors while Robinson was honored as the Top Breakout Performer of the session. The Playaz will undoubtedly be challenged against a tough Pro Skills' defense, and they'll likely need a big game out of 6-foot-10 junior forward Elijah Hutchins-Everett (247 4-star) if they want to pick up a win.

7:45 PM EST

No. 8 Boo Williams (VA) vs No. 9 Team Durant (MD)

There aren't many notable matchups in the 6:00 PM slot, which means the 7:45 crop of games is loaded. Not only is this a matchup of ranked programs, but it's also a budding rivalry simply due to proximity. Boo retains a top 10 ranking after a 3-1 showing in Atlanta, and if Cam Thomas keeps scoring 27 points a game, the only roster with four 5-star prospects will be competitive in every game they play. Team Durant is a tough matchup for anyone, and they'll only be getting better as 4-star point guard Ace Baldwin returns.

No. 4 Vegas Elite (NV)  vs Woodz Elite (AR)

This is going to be a fun battle of styles between 3-1 teams. Vegas Elite (97.5) is the league's highest-scoring team and loves to get up and down, while Woodz (75.2 PPG) prefers to play a more of a grind-it-out style. Woodz will throw a lot of bodies at a relatively thin Vegas Elite squad, and they should have an advantage on the interior with Chris Moore and Jaylin Williams. Vegas Elite adds top 50 junior big man Mady Sissoko, shoring up the only notable hole in their 10-man rotation. Both styles can't work at once, so expect one of these teams to break in the second half.

No. 7 Team Takeover (DC) vs MOKAN Elite (KS)

MOKAN Elite will be looking for a winning session after a rare 2-2 showing in Atlanta, and the schedule is not easy. Head coach Chris Neff will have to worry about Takeover's nine ranked recruits, and MOKAN will need junior N'Faly Dante (7-foot) to outplay Takeover's Hunter Dickinson (7-foot-2) in a battle of 5-star big men. Both of these teams typically play terrific defense, so it's likely that a defensive struggle ensues on Saturday evening.

9:30 PM EST

Team WhyNot (CA) vs No. 6 Indy Heat (IN)

The Indy Heat (4-0) will defend home turf in a Saturday night marquee matchup against Team WhyNot (3-1). The Heat featured an eight-man rotation in Atlanta, and they'll stretch it to nine after adding 6-foot-8 big man John Hugley IV from All Ohio Red. Team WhyNot's Nimari Burnett should be used to the bright lights after helping guide WhyNot to the Peach Jam Championship game last year, and he'll need to have a big game against the Heat's 4-man backcourt. Burnett will be joined by Jalen Green, the second-ranked junior in the country who makes his way to WhyNot after running with the Soldiers last weekend. 

No. 2 The Family Detroit (MI) vs Seattle Rotary Style (WA)

The Family Detroit (4-0) plays tough, hard-nosed basketball, and the same can be said of Seattle Rotary Style (3-1). Rotary is led by sophomore Paolo Banchero, and the 6-foot-9 swingman is coming off averages of 19 points and 11 rebounds per game in Atlanta. The Third-Team All-Atlanta performer got help from Atlanta Breakout Performer Nolan Hickman, and the 6-foot-2 sophomore will need to be productive against The Family's All-Big Ten backcourt of Jalen Terry (Michigan State) and Lorne Bowman II (Wisconsin). Scooby Johnson and Maliq Carr are matchup nightmares for The Family, and 5-star junior Isaiah Jackson is a force in the paint. The Family will be favored to beat the upstart 'Style', and it will be fun to watch them substantiate their lofty ranking.

Expressions Elite (MA) vs BABC (MA)

The Battle for Boston closes out day two in Indianapolis, and Expressions (2-2) will be looking to make it three straight over their in-city rival. BABC (0-4) struggled in Atlanta, but junior forward Matt Cross was a major bright spot. He will need to score and rebound at a high rate in order to counter Expressions' potent lineup led by 2021 No. 2 Terrence Clarke Jr. If you want a 'sure thing' on Saturday night, this game is always highly entertaining. The bragging rights mean a lot to both programs and it usually results in a super-competitive, back-and-forth barnburner.

Sunday May 12

8:00 AM EST

No. 8 Boo Williams (VA) vs Oakland Soldiers (CA)

If you like elite talent, look no further than Boo Williams (3-1) vs.  Soldiers (2-2). The two powerhouse programs feature six 5-star recruits combined and a total of 13 recruits holding a 'star' ranking.  Boo's JT Thor vs. First-Team All-Atlanta performer Ziaire Williams will be a treat. Thor is a 6-foot-9 athlete with elite defensive chops, and he'll have his work cut out for him against the versatile Williams. The Soldiers will be moving without two key rotational players in Jalen Green and Dior Johnson, and their success will ultimately depend on Williams' overall productivity.

Mac Irvin Fire (IL) vs No. 10 NY Renaissance (NY)

Sunday morning kicks off with a battle of 5-star sophomores as Michael Foster and the Fire square off against Jonathan Kuminga and the Renaissance. Both teams had a number of players step up in Atlanta evidenced by their presence in the All-Atlanta awards. 7-foot big man won Defensive Player of the Session for Mac Irvin, while the Renaissance's RJ Davis exploded for First Team honors. Foster and Kuminga were both on the All-Underclassmen team in Atlanta, while Fire point guard Marcus Watson was named Breakout Performer of the Session after leading the league in assists per game (9.2). 

9:45 AM EST

Team Final (PA) vs No. 1 Texas Titans

Team Final will be looking to make it back-to-back weeks with Sunday upsets, but beating the Titans will not be easy. Team Final's Niels Lane broke out in a big way in Atlanta, and without him, they could have been looking at an 0-4 record. Containing Cade Cunningham and Greg Brown III will be imperative for Team Final, and they'll be smart to slow the game down against the league's top-ranked team. Team Final proved their worth with their upset wins over Vegas Elite and the Nightrydas, and a win over the Titans would give them one of the best overall set of wins in the league.

Houston Hoops (TX) vs Woodz Elite (AR)

Houston Hoops features a trio of guards that will be problematic for Woodz Elite. Langston Love (All-Underclassmen) and Braelon Bush (All-Breakout) were pivotal to the Hoops' 2-2 finish in Atlanta, and when you factor in junior Houston commit Tramon Mark, Houston has one of the most underrated backcourts in the league. Love is the catalyst offensively, and he'll be navigating against one of the league's best defenses. Woodz Elite doesn't have any noticeable holes in their lineup, and unlike the Hoops, they are deep. Houston will be the underdog here, but Love, Bush, and Mark should give Davonte Davis and company all they can handle. If they want a win, the Hoops need to hold down Woodz' frontcourt duo Chris Moore and Jaylin Williams?

11:30 AM EST

No. 6 Indy Heat (IN) vs AOT Running Rebels (GA)

The hometown Heat will be looking to continue their hot start against AOT's star duo of Sharife Cooper and BJ Boston. The Heat will have the advantage in overall talent across the board, but Cooper has the uncanny ability to put up huge numbers while keeping AOT competitive in every game they play. Boston averaged 22.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in Atlanta, and he'll need to produce at a similar rate if AOT wants to score the upset over the Heat. Head coach Jason Delaney was confident in his 8-man rotation in Atlanta, and they should only get better as they add 4-star big man John Hugley from All Ohio Red.