High School: Montverde Academy (FL)
Rank: 2 (ESPN)
Regular Season Stats: 25.1 PPG, 55.7 FG%, 73.3 FT% (74-101), 37.1 3PT% (13-35), 6.6 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2.9 TOPG, 1.5 BPG, 1.4 SPG
Position: Point Guard
High School: McEachern (GA)
Rank: 19 (ESPN)
Regular Season Stats: 25.5 PPG, 44.3 FG%, 82.5 FT%, 32.4 3PT% (24-74), 8.0 APG, 4.5 RPG, 5.2 TOPG, 1.5 SPG
Sharife Cooper had a fantastic encore EYBL season, improving his averages across the board while helping AOT to their second straight winning season. AOT got off to a somewhat slow start, but Cooper and company found their groove during the second and third sessions, and they should remain viable contender at Peach. Cooper is as dynamic as young point guards come, and he has a 'get-you-a-bucket' playmaking ability that is equally effective through the shot and the pass. On paper, Cooper has one of the best statistical careers in the EYBL's 10-year history. If he can translate his production into a bracket play berth, he'll go down as one of the greats.
Position: Point Forward
High School: Nicolet (WI)
Rank: 4 (ESPN)
Regular Season Statistics: 17.0 PPG, 50.3 FG%, 64.9 FT%, 9.2 RPG (85% DEF), 6.2 APG, 3.7 TOPG 1.6 BPG, 1.3 SPG
Jalen Johnson gave us a taste of his talents during the E16 circuit in 2018, and he lived up to every bit of the hype this spring. The freshly-minted 6-foot-9 Duke commit put up one of the most versatile stat-lines in the EYBL, and it resulted in a terrific regular season for debuting Phenom University. Their head coach, Antonio Curro, spoke at length about the different assets Johnson brings to the table.
"(Jalen) is an exceptionally versatile talent whose best basketball is ahead of him," said Curro. "He has the ability to impact the game on both ends, and offensively his ability to carry the team scoring the ball or with his playmaking is both unique and dominant whenever he takes the court."
Watching Johnson run an offense with a 24-second shot clock is mighty impressive, and with his length and athleticism, Johnson is capable of beating you in a number of different ways.
"He can impact the game by filling the box score as good as anyone in the country," Curro said. "And he does it consistently game in and game out."
Position: Shooting Guard
High School: Oak Hill Academy (VA)
Rank: 20 (ESPN)
Regular Season Stats: 29.5 PPG, 48.3 FG%, 89.2 FT%, (91-102), 38.6 3PT% (32-83), 4.2 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.7 TOPG, .9 SPG
High School: Sunrise Christian (KS)
Rank: 18 (ESPN)
Regular Season Statistics: 14.5 PPG, 76.0 FG%, 60.0 FT% (30-50), 8.9 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 1.5 TOPG, .6 SPG, .6 APG
N'Faly Dante took a gigantic step during his second season in the EYBL, turning in one of the most productive seasons in recent history. Dante averaged 14.5 points on 76 percent shooting, earning the second session's Most Valuable Player award while helping MOKAN to an undefeated 4-0 showing. Dante stars at Sunrise Christian during the high school season and assistant coach Rod Clark has seen his growth first-hand.
"I think a lot of (Dante's) development had to do with his approach to the game," Clark said. "Having the mindset of trying to dominate the opposition can go a long way. He's been trying to develop his left hand with the resources he’s had in front of him for a while."
Dante is playing the best basketball of his life, and Clark noted a chip on his shoulder.
"Off the court, just upping his dosage of court work," Clark said. "(Dante) really took it upon himself to get better at the things he didn’t do well during the season against the (James) Wisemans, (Vernon) Careys and (Isaiah) Stewarts of the world."
High School: Duncanville (TX)
Rank: 33 (ESPN)
Regular Season Statistics: 23.2 PPG, 46.9 FG%, 63-105 FT (60.0%), 2-7 3PT, 10.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.4 TOPG, 1.5 SPG, .5 BPG
Micah Peavy played a single session last year, and it left EYBL fans wanting more. Peavy provided 'more' and then some this spring, putting together some of the sturdiest, most consistent numbers on the circuit. Peavy attacked the basket at will, rebounded at a high rate and rarely turned the ball over in the process. Pro Skills' head coach Jeff Webster anticipated a big campaign from his star junior.
We knew a lot of what we were planning on doing was going to funnel through Micah," Webster said. "He had a big-time ending to his high school season and has kept the momentum through the EYBL."
Webster mentioned Pro Skills' playing style as a reason Peavy has excelled.
"Our team wants to play fast & take advantage of our speed in transition," Webster said. "Micah found out early on that rebounding the ball allowed him to push the fast break, and he’s really bought into being the best rebounder on the EYBL. His effort on the glass has been contagious for our whole team."