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2014 top players: Power forwards and centers

By Jonah Steinmeyer, D1 Circuit, 05/21/13, 5:45PM EDT

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Power Forward

Chris McCullough, Abdul Malik-Abu, Reid Travis, Trey Lyles, Bonzie Colson

In a basketball age where tweeners are all over, this 2014 Elite Youth Basketball class of power forwards is channeling back toward the traditional approach of size and power.

Chris McCullough has helped Team Scan jump off to a great start with his 11.4 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game average. The 6-foot-10 Syracuse commit has helped create the most physically tantalizing frontcourt in the EYBL, along with 2015 center Cheick Diallo.

Abdul Malik-Abu is another long power forward with explosive strength. He’s good for a few highlight dunks in every game, making him one of the more exciting players to watch from Expressions Elite.

Reid Travis, a two-sport star, is doing exactly what he needs to do to make his case for playing Division I basketball instead of football. He’s averaging 17.5 points per game and leads Howard Pulley in rebounding with 8.5 rebounds per game, as he is the only true big-man on their back line.

Trey Lyles is the most intriguing recruit of this class at his position, ranking fourth overall in the 2014 class by both Rivals and ESPN. Although he just started playing for Spiece Indy Heat in Dallas, he lived up to his rating by filling in a big role for them without missing a beat.

The biggest surprise in perhaps the entire EYBL is the big man for BABC, Bonzie Colson. Currently not being recruited by many high-major programs, Colson is turning his own fortunes around by simply working harder than everyone he faces. In the EYBL’s toughest division, Colson is putting up nearly 19 points per game and shooting nearly 60 percent from the field.

Center

Jahlil Okafor, Cliff Alexander, Angel Delgado, Khadeem Lattin, Trayvon Reed

Mac Irvin Fire features one of the fiercest rebounders in the EYBL in Cliff Alexander. He had a stretch of eight games with double-digit rebounds including monster performances of 18 and 19 over the New York Lightning and CP3 All-Stars, respectively.

With consensus 2014 top recruit Jahlil Okafor joining Alexander in the frontcourt, Mac Irvin is looking to rebound back into position for a Nike Peach Jam bid.

Also featured in this class of centers is New York Lightning prospect Angel Delgado. Perhaps a bit undersized, Delgado, who is very skilled at positioning himself for interior rebounds, has actually led the EYBL in rebounding since the first weekend in Los Angeles.

Khadeem Lattin is the man holding down the paint for the No. 2 Houston Hoops, grabbing down 5.7 rebounds per game and leads the team in blocks with 1.6 blocks a game.

A bit of an unknown to the EYBL is E1T1’s new center Trayvon Reed is ready to make a splash in a very big way. Standing 7-foot-1 with an enormous wingspan, Reed possesses great raw potential. He could give this group of centers some stability if he plays well in the next two sessions.

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