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NIKE EYBL Dallas: Top Matchups

By D1 Circuit Staff, 05/23/19, 6:45PM EDT

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Friday May 24

5:00 PM CST

No. 1 Texas Titans (7-1) vs. NY Renaissance (5-3)

The battle between top 5 recruits Jonathan Kuminga (Rens) and Cade Cunningham will kick of EYBL Dallas in style and will be worth the price of admission. The Renaissance has been competitive in every game they play and they have no plans of rolling over against the league's top-ranked team. A win would likely clinch a Peach Jam berth for the Renaissance, and if RJ Davis wins the backcourt battle, we could be looking at an upset in the session opener.

NY Lightning (4-4) vs. No. 8 Expressions Elite (6-2)

The Lightning has one of the most difficult schedules in Dallas, and they'll start off their five-game gauntlet against newly-ranked Expressions Elite. Both teams are guard-oriented, defensive-focused squads that are tough as nails, so this should be a nail-biter.  The interior battle between Lightning junior Cliff Omoruyi (4-star) and Expressions sophomore Moussa Cisse (5-star) will be fun to watch.

6:45 PM CST

Team Takeover (5-3) vs. Team WhyNot (5-3)

Two 5-3 teams will battle it out in Dallas' first game and the winner will enter their final four games with confidence. The backcourt battle between these teams will be fun, but Jalen Green, Nimari Burnett, and the rest of  Team WhyNot will need to find an answer for Takeover's 7-foot-2 big man Hunter Dickinson. A battle of highly-ranked sophomore point guards Trevor Keels (TTO) and Devin Askew (WhyNot) will likely have a major impact on the outcome.

No. 2 Phenom University (7-1) vs. Nightrydas Elite (5-3)

Phenom has been on a roll heading into Dallas, but they'll be tested right off the bat against the Nighrydas. The point-forward battle between Phenom's Jalen Johnson (247 2020 No. 2) and Scottie Barnes (247 2020 No. 4) will be a ton of fun, as will the matchup between Nighrydas junior Isaiah Todd (5-star) and Phenom's Patrick Baldwin (247 2021 No. 1), Jaemyn Brakefield (4-star) and Jamari Sibley (4-star). Expect a high-scoring affair between these two clubs, and the Nightrydas would make a huge 'Peach Jam' statement if they pull the upset.

Team Durant (4-4) vs. Brad Beal Elite (2-6)

Simply put, Brad Beal Elite needs a win. They need at least a 4-1 session to feel good about their Peach Jam chances, and they'll need Caleb Love and Cam'Ron Fletcher to play their best basketball of the season. Team Durant also needs a win badly after putting up a 1-3 record in Indianapolis. and a Peach Jam berth is not a given at this point. The battle between Love and Team Durant's backcourt combination of Earl Timberlake, Darius Maddox, and Ishmael Leggett will be highly-entertaining in a 'must-win' game for both.

8:30 PM CST

No. 5 Mac Irvin Fire (7-1) vs. Houston Hoops (5-3)

Mac Irvin Fire has won seven straight games and they'll have a chance to turn in another signature victory over guard-heavy Houston Hoops. The Fire's Marcus Watson and Adam Miller will go toe-to-toe with the Hoops' backcourt of Tramon Mark (Houston commit) and Langston Love (4-star), as well as underrated guards Braelon Bush and Antwon Norman. The Hoops will need to find an immediate answer for the Fire's frontcourt of Michael Foster (5-star), Ryan Kalkbrenner (EYBL leading shot-blocker), and fast-rising junior Seryee Lewis.

Alabama Fusion (6-2) vs. The Family Detroit (6-2)

Both of these squads went 2-2 in Indianapolis after earning a ranking after session one, and both have a chance to turn the corner as true Peach Jam contenders. The Fusion is one of the best passing teams on the circuit, while The Family's primary core has played together for years. A slew of underrated recruits will be in action in this matchup, and Whoever wins will pick up a major signature win heading into the final four games of the season.

10:15 PM CST

No. 9 Vegas Elite (5-3) vs. No. 4 PSA Cardinals (7-1) * Matchup of the Day

Arguably the best matchup of the first day, the newly-ranked PSA Cardinals will attempt to slow down the EYBL's highest-scoring team. Head coach Munch Williams will undoubtedly have his team locked in defensively, and his backcourt is as good as anything Vegas Elite has seen this season. The winner of this game will be whoever controls the pace. If Vegas Elite starts the session off like the last two, then they will be in an all-out sprint from bell to bell. 

Saturday May 25

8:00 AM CST

Nightrydas Elite (5-3) vs. MeanStreets (4-4)

MeanStreets enters Saturday morning as a classic bubble team, and they'll be hungry for a win against the Nightrydas. They'll be at a disadvantage in the frontcourt against 5-star junior Scottie Barnes and Isaiah Todd, but the scoring abilities of DJ Steward should keep them competitive. MeanStreets junior Ahron Ulis could be the difference-maker in this matchup. The 'Streets have an advantage in the backcourt, and if Ulis plays well, they usually win.

9:45 AM CST

No. 5 Mac Irvin Fire (7-1) vs. No. 3 Woodz Elite (7-1) *Game of the Session

A battle of top-five foes goes down on Saturday morning, and both squads would love to add a signature win like this to their resume. The interior battle between the Fire's Michael Foster and Ryan Kalkbrenner and Woodz Elite's Jaylin Williams and Chris Moore will be fun to watch unfold, and all four are a huge reason why these two programs have combined to win 13 straight games. This is the game to watch on Saturday, and the winner will be a top-notch Peach Jam contender.

Houston Hoops (5-3) vs. No. 1 Texas Titans (7-1)

A battle between Texas powerhouses gets Saturday off the a quick start and bragging rights will be on the line. Houston Hoops has a chance to pick up a signature win, and if they can find a way to frustrate Cade Cunningham, they’ll have a decent chance. The Titans will have a noticeable advantage on the interior with Greg Brown (5-star), Jakobe Coles (4-star), Richard Amaefule (4-star), and incoming transfer Montreal Pena (6-foot-8). The Hoops backcourt of Langston Love, Tramon Mark, Braelon Bush, and Antwon Norman will need to play well if they want to remain competitive.

Alabama Fusion (6-2) vs. No. 7 MOKAN Elite (6-2)

This is a great litmus test for both programs. MOKAN caught fire in Indianapolis, while the Fusion finished with a 2-2 record after turning in a perfect showing in Atlanta. MOKAN has an interior advantage with Indy MVP N’Faly Dante and 7-foot 4-star junior Davion Bradford. Both of these teams play great ‘team’ basketball and while they both defend at a high level, neither is scared of getting in a firefight. The winner of this matchup will pick up a huge statement win and will clinch their bid to Peach Jam.

11:30 AM CST

No. 6 Boo Williams (6-2) vs. The Family Detroit (6-2)

5-star junior Cam Thomas earned 1st team All-Indianapolis, and he’ll have his hands full with the All-Big Ten backcourt of Jalen Terry (Michigan State) and Lorne Bowman II (Wisconsin). The frontcourt matchup between Boo’s Mark Williams (4-star) and The Family’s Isaiah Jackson (5-star) will be a lot of fun. The 7-foot-1 Williams has turned in back-to-back standout sessions, and his talents will be tested by the highly-ranked and battle-tested Jackson. The x-factor in this one will likely be Boo point guard Zion Harmon. When he produces at a high level, Boo tends to pick up wins.

1:15 PM CST

No. 10 Indy Heat (6-2) vs. Oakland Soldiers (3-5)

The Soldiers will be desperate for a win against the Heat, who hang onto a top ten ranking after defending home court with a 2-2 record. For the Soldiers, the strategy is simple; filter the offense through 5-star junior Ziaire Williams and hope the supporting cast continues to produce at a high level. The Heat will combat the Soldiers with a quartet of super-talented guards that will be a handful for head coach Marshall Collins and company. The Heat would clinch a Peach Jam berth with a win, but the Soldiers need it substantially more.

All Ohio Red (4-4) vs. NY Lightning (4-4)

The Lightning’s rough Dallas schedule continues against another team that is in desperate need of a win. Both Peach Jam hopefuls are equipped with guard-oriented rotations, but the Lightning should have a size advantage with 6-foot-11 big men Cliff Omoruyi and Max Amadasun. If betting ads were applied in this game, it would be a push. If you want to watch two hungry teams that NEED a win, tune into this one.

3:00 PM CST

Seattle Rotary Style (5-3) vs. No. 8 Expressions Elite (6-2)

Rotary is a few points away from holding a ranking and they’ll battle the newly-ranked Expressions Elite in what should be a really competitive matchup. 5-star sophomores Paolo Banchero (Rotary) and Terrence Clarke (Expressions Elite) will go head-to-head, but their supporting casts will likely decide the outcome in this coastal battle. Expect a nice battle to unfold between sophomore point guards Bensley Joseph (Expressions) and Nolan Hickman (Rotary).

4:45 PM CST

NY Lightning (NY) vs. Team Durant (MD)

Another game, another Peach Jam contender for the Lightning. Earl Timberlake won’t make things easy for the Lightning, and with Team Durant also sitting with a 4-4 record, they need a win just as badly as the Lightning. Posh Alexander, Jaylen Murray, and Max Edwards will battle Timberlake and company in a game that has ‘high-scoring’ written all over it.

6:30 PM CST

No. 10 Indy Heat (6-2) vs. No. 7 MOKAN Elite (6-2)

A midwest battle will close out day two of EYBL Dallas. MOKAN will be slightly favored against the Heat, but each team holds advantages over the other. Both of these teams are gifted offensively, but we have a feeling that defense will take precedent. Reclassifying point guard Dujuan Harris rejoined MOKAN in Indianapolis, and his presence was a game-changer for head coach Rodney Perry and company. If Harris is efficient against the Heat’s loaded backcourt, MOKAN should feel great about their chances of picking up their sixth straight win.

Sunday May 26

8:00 AM CST

No. 1 Texas Titans (7-1) vs. No. 5 Mac Irvin Fire (IL) * Matchup of the Day

On paper, Sunday morning gives EYBL fans one of the best match-ups of the session. The Fire need a signature win on their resume, and you can be assured that head coach Mike Irvin will have his team locked in and playing at a high level. Slowing down Cade Cunningham and Greg Brown III won’t be an easy task, but the first eight games have proven that the Fire is capable of competing with anyone in the league.

No. 3 Woodz Elite (7-1) vs. Team Final (4-4)

No team has been better on Sunday than Team Final. Philadelphia’s EYBL representative took out Vegas Elite and Nightrydas on the final day of EYBL Atlanta, then followed it up with a Sunday win over No. 1 Texas Titans in Indy. They’ll look to continue their upstart play against another one of the league’s best. Woodz has proven to be one of the best two-way teams in America, and Jaylin Williams and Chris Moore have proven to be one of the best frontcourt duos in America. Team Final has a couple questionable losses on their overall resume, but a win over third-ranked Woodz would give them four of the best wins on the circuit.

9:45 AM CST

No. 6 Boo Williams (6-2) vs. AOT Running Rebels (4-4)

This matchup has ‘high scoring’ written all over it. Boo’s Cam Thomas goes head-to-head with AOT’s Sharife Cooper in a battle of the league’s top two leading scorers, and their respective supporting casts have all stood out at points over the first eight games. AOT big man Dylan Cardwell earner All-Breakout honors in Indy after playing great on both ends of the floor, and he will have his hands full against 7-foot-1 Boo junior Mark Williams. The last intriguing matchup is between Boo sophomore Aminu Mohammed and AOT Junior BJ Boston. Both are 5-star recruits, and Mohammed has some of the best defensive skills on the circuit. If he’s able to put the clamps on Boston, Boo has to like their chances.

11:30 AM CST

Alabama Fusion (6-2) vs. No. 10 Indy Heat (6-2)

The Fusion and Heat were both in contention for the 10th-ranked spot heading into Dallas, and the Heat got the edge due to having bigger wins on their resume. The Fusion will have a terrific chance of disruption the high-scoring Heat, and with Colby Jones and Mark Sears playing at such a high level, this team is capable of beating any team at any time. This matchup features guards galore, and will likely be a nail-biter from buzzer to buzzer.

1:15 PM CST

NY Renaissance (5-3) vs. No. 3 Woodz Elite (7-1)

Sophomore Jonathan Kuminga will need to be at his best for the Renaissance as they square off with Jaylin Williams, Chris Moore, and third-ranked Woodz Elite. The individual matchup between juniors RJ Davis (Rens) and Davonte Davis (Woodz) will be worth watching. Whichever lead guard plays more efficiently will likely lead his team to victory. 

3:00 PM CST

No. 6 Boo Williams (6-2) vs. Alabama Fusion (6-2)

The Fusion have a chance to pick up a major signature win, and if they plan to pull off the slight upset, they need Colby Jones and their backcourt to lock down Cameron Thomas. The Fusion were red-hot in session one, and because their team chemistry is so good, there is no reason to think they can't replicate that success. Containing Thomas is the key to victory when playing Boo, but if his supporting cast is clicking, they become very hard to beat. 7-foot-1 junior Mark Williams will have a massive size advantage inside, and Boo would be smart to filter their offense through their 4-star big man.

4:45 PM CST

No. 4 PSA Cardinals (7-1) vs. Nightrydas Elite (5-3)

17 ranked recruits will be suiting up in this matchup, and while PSA will be favored, they will undoubtedly have their hands full with the Nightrydas' 5-star duo of Scottie Barnes and Isaiah Todd. Head coach Munch Williams and PSA will likely be without the services of AJ Griffin Jr due to USA basketball, but they still have plenty of firepower in 4-star juniors AJ Hoggard, Hassan Diarra, and Jamal Mashburn Jr. PSA rosters more than enough defensive talent to effectively slow down head coach Boobie Francis and the Nightrydas, but stopping eight ranked recruits is never an easy task.

No. 10 Indy Heat (6-2) vs. The Family Detroit (6-2)

This is always a fun regional rivalry, and both teams should be in position for an automatic bid by the time this matchup rolls around on Sunday. The Family point guard Jalen Terry will attempt to counter the Heat's Jaden Ivey, Nijel Pack and Justin Powell, and he'll need a lift from his supporting cast. Carlos Johnson and Maliq Carr each  regressed statistically in session two, and if they return to form in Dallas, they have a great chance of finishing in the top quarter of the league standings.

6:30 PM CST

No. 2 Phenom University (7-1) vs. No. 9 Vegas Elite (5-3)

This matchup is all sorts of outstanding as Phenom and Vegas Elite have a combined 16 ranked recruits within their rotations. Both teams love to get up and down the floor, and both do it with superb efficiency. The primary concern in this matchup is fatigue. Vegas Elite faded on Sunday in each of the first two sessions, and this will be their fifth game in three days. Both teams rarely play more than nine players in their rotation, so if a track meet should ensue, the first to get tired will likely be the one to falter.

No. 6 MOKAN Elite (6-2) vs. AOT Running Rebels (4-4)

MOKAN Elite caught fire in Dallas, and they could be looking at another perfect record heading into their final contest with AOT. MOKAN will attempt to put the brakes on 5-star juniors Sharife Cooper and BJ Boston, but that is much easier said than done. MOKAN prides themselves on their defense-first and team-first mentality, so you can bet that they'll be well-prepared as a team to slow down AOT's two stars. Regardless, they will have to put points on the board, because it's rare that a Cooper-lead AOT squad scores less than 80.

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