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Peach Jam Elite Eight Preview

By D1 Circuit Staff, 07/13/19, 10:45AM EDT

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EYBL regular season MVP Cade Cunningham

12:00 PM: Texas Titans (17-1) vs. Team WhyNot (12-6)

The top-seeded Texas Titans are set to take on the eighth-seeded Team WhyNot today at Noon. The Texas Titans are the lone undefeated team throughout Peach Jam pool play, and they'll look to continue their dominance against WhyNot.

As many already know, Cade Cunningham is the star on this stacked Titans team. Cunningham gets his teammates going in multiple ways and has turned into an elite facilitator. One teammate in particular who was outstanding in pool action is five-star Greg Brown III. Brown is averaging 21.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in his five games at Peach Jam, and his physicality and athleticism have been on full display. The ther consistent Titans contributors have been combo guard Rondel Walker, point guard Mike Miles and do-it-all forward JaKobe Coles.

Team WhyNot qualified for Peach Jam by winning their final game against the Mac Irvin Fire, punching a bid to their second straight bracket play appearance. WhyNot has had a well-balanced attack between Jalen Green, Nimari Burnett, Devin Askew, Addison Patterson and Terren Frank. This is the first full session that Green has played with WhyNot, and the second-ranked recruit in 2020 has made the backcourt a nearly impossible task to defend. WhyNot attacks defenses from all over the court, and their unselfishness and defensive ability have improved with each session. They entered last season as the ultimate dark-horse, and with six top 50 players on their roster, they won't be sneaking up on the Titans any time soon.


AOT guard Sharife Cooper

12:00 PM: AOT Running Rebels (12-6) vs. Boo Williams (11-7)

The AOT Running Rebels take on Boo Williams in what may be the best matchup in the elite eight. Sharife Cooper and B.J. Boston continued their stellar junior campaigns in pool play, helping lift AOT to a 4-0 record before resting in the final game of pool play. The high-scoring Running Rebels will take on Cameron Thomas and Boo Williams in what will be a matchup between the league's two leading scorers statistically (Cooper & Thomas). This game will draw a massive crowd, and it should live up to the hype.

AOT has four players averaging over 16 points per game in Cooper, Boston, Devan Cambridge, and Alyn Breed. Led by their floor general Cooper, AOT is one of the best scoring teams throughout the field with their fast-paced play and variety of options on the offensive end. AOT thrives in this type of setting and should come prepared tomorrow.

Boo Williams comes into this matchup with a lot of momentum. In a do or die game against The Family, Boo Williams came out with a clutch 94-88 victory behind a complete team performance. Boo is one of the best scoring teams remaining and the first name that needs to come to mind when talking about their scoring is the 6-foot-3 Thomas, who is averaging an astounding 28 points per game throughout Peach Jam. 2021 combo guard Aminu Mohammed is putting up 20 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, while Mark Williams is averaging a double-double and Zion Harmon is putting up 12.7 points and 7.2 assists per game. The AOT Running Rebels will have to come prepared to defend a team as complete offensively as Boo Williams.

12:00 PM: MOKAN Elite (14-4) vs. NY Renaissance (12-6)

The New York Renaissance square off against MOKAN Elite in the Elite Eight this afternoon, and both teams are red-hot. On paper, the Renaissance and MOKAN match up very closely, and this has all of the makings of an instant classic.

The Renaissance have opened some eyes at the Peach Jam this year, especially after they started off the weekend with a loss to a 19 point Boo Williams. After Wednesday's dud, they have been excellent. The scoring tandem of Jon Kuminga and R.J. Davis has been on full display. Kuminga and Davis have both proven to be ultra-productive at the Peach Jam, but they will have their hands full with MoKan’s size and length across the floor. The Renaissance will need to get the most out of their guys to get the win, and will definitely need strong performances from their two studs.

MOKAN Elite comes into the elite eight with a 4-1 record. They strung together four impressive victories and took a one-point loss to one of the favorites here at the Peach Jam in the AOT Running Rebels. To no one's surprise, N’Faly Dante has put up big numbers and imposes his will both on the offensive and defensive end. Class of 2021 point guard Kennedy Chandler is quite the playmaker and has given defenses fits all week long, while Luke Kasubke is MOKAN's sharpshooter and is someone they will rely on for scoring especially down the stretch. The Renaissance are definitely a tough opponent, but MOKAN has proven that they are ready for anyone and they may have the best defensive squad remaining.


Indy Heat guard Nijel Pack

12:00 PM: Indy Heat (13-5) vs. Houston Hoops (11-7)

The final matchup of bracket play is the Indy Heat (4-1) against the Houston Hoops (3-2)

The Indy Heat has stolen the show in some ways as they were one of the less talked about teams coming in, but have put everyone on notice with their 4-1 record. They have four players averaging at least 12 points a game in Nigel Pack, D’Andre Davis, Jaden Ivey, and Caleb Furst. Pack, a Kansas State commit, runs the show for the Heat and does a great job distributing, but also can get his as he is averaging 19 points per game on the week. Purdue commit Jaden Ivey and Nebraska pledge De’Andre Davis have been a constant threat on the wing and are some they can turn to for a key basket. Class of 2021 Big Man Caleb Furst is a threat inside and out and has done exactly what the Heat need him to do on this stage. They may have flown under the radar coming into this event, but sure have everyone’s attention now and should give the Hoops fits on both ends of the floor.

With a 3-2 record, the Houston Hoops squeaked in as the seventh seed with a win in their final pool play game. The Hoops backcourt is very dynamic especially with players like Langston Love, Tramon Mark and LJ Cryer, who is just returning from an ankle injury.. Scoring is definitely not lacking between these three as all of them are capable of getting a key bucket and setting up their teammates. They may have two losses, but their three wins come against three high-level teams in the PSA Cardinals, Seattle Rotary and the Alabama Fusion. They don’t make it easy for opponents, as Love is capable of scoring in bunches both around the basket and on the perimeter. The Hoops grind out wins, and even though they are the underdog in this matchup, it would be silly to count out a team coached by Tim Schumacher.

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