Isaiah Briscoe leads off our class of top 2015 point guards. The New Jersey Playaz’ starting guard has been very consistent, staying in the top 10 in overall scoring since Los Angeles. Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 205 pounds, Briscoe has a body that is designed for contact in the lane. Not many players in the Elite Youth Basketball League rival his aggressiveness and tenacity when attacking the basket.
A quick look at the roster will make it evident that Mac Irvin is stacked at the guard position for the near future.
The big names in the frontcourt are top-ranked recruits Cliff Alexander and Jahlil Okafor, but their solid backcourt play certainly deserves praise. Starting at point guard is Jalen Brunson, whose electric scoring led Stevenson, Ill., to the Illinois High School Association Championship game against Jabari Parker-led Simeon. Brunson currently leads the team in assists and he's developed into their on-court leader.
Joining Brunson in the backcourt is Marcus LoVett Jr., who hails from Burbank, California. An instant spark off the bench, LoVett has nailed more than 50 percent of his attempts from three-point land. His player national rankings (No. 18 by ESPN and No. 23 by Rivals) are definitely warranted.
The class of 2015 features three players, in particular, who can score at will.
Malik Newman of the Jackson Tigers has led the EYBL in scoring (23.7 PPG) since the Hampton Session. Despite increased defensive pressure in Dallas, Newman continued his offensive onslaught with relative ease. He may be the most gifted scorer in the EYBL, and has certainly cemented himself as the premier offensive guard in the 2015 class.
Charles Matthews, a rising talent for Meanstreets, makes the list for his athleticism and defensive prowess. He’s taller and longer than most shooting guards in the EYBL, creating nightmare offensive and defensive matchups for any opponent. He had a very strong sophomore season at St. Rita, where he played with his brother Dominique as well as current Meanstreets teammate Vic Law. His national rank (No. 11 by ESPN and No. 9 by Rivals) is based on his tremendous potential, which may be tapped further by the end of the Peach Jam.
Last but certainly not least is Allonzo Trier who better enjoy his time under the radar, because it won’t last long. The Athletes First guard is a bona fide scoring weapon, leading his team in scoring (20.5 PPG), three-pointers made (20) and free throws made (83). Much like Newman, Trier receives a tremendous amount of defensive pressure throughout the game and finds a way to flourish. He is one of the rare breed of player that has what it takes to play three years in the EYBL.
The 2015 class of small forwards features a mix of athletic bouncers and high-octane scorers.
CIA Bounce must be grateful that Montaque Gill-Caesar has joined them. In his debut in Dallas, Gill-Caesar showed why he’s a high-end recruit, averaging just less than nine points per game in just 15 minutes of work per tilt.
Next up is California Supreme standout Bennie Boatwright, a player who has established himself in the EYBL but is still a relative unknown on the national landscape. The 6-foot-6 small forward has yet to sail upward on the recruiting boards but his ability to score in bunches is bound to buck that trend. Boatwright is a threat from deep and also one of the more efficient free throw shooters on California Supreme
Lastly, you have Keelon Lawson and his abundance of athleticism. He’s a popular name down south and within Southeastern Conference recruiting circles. He leads a very deep Team Penny squad in scoring by utilizing his strong body to gain position inside. A little more work on his perimeter game and Lawson turns into one of the EYBL’s best.
Similar to 2014, this power forwards class possess big bodies that don't shy away from contact.
It begins with Elijah Thomas from Team Texas Elite. Behind Thomas, Team Texas Elite is positioned to make a run at this year’s Nike Peach Jam but also become one of next year’s favorites. Thomas is a bruising forward at 6-foot-9 and knows his strength is around the rim, but he's not affraid to bust out moves to beat even the quickest forwards off the dribble.
Skal Labissiere is one of the better defenders in the EYBL today. The Haitian sensation leads Team Penny in blocks (2.1 BPG) as well as rebounding (8.2 RPG). He is quickly rising in the recruiting ranks and will look to continue his ridiculous block-rate in the Minneapolis session. He has one of the highest ceilings in the entire class.
It’s difficult to live in the shadow of Andrew Wiggins, but CIA Bounce's Chris Egi has definitely stood up to the challenge on the defensive end of the floor. Long and athletic, Egi has been one of the EYBL’s top 10 leaders in blocks since Los Angeles, currently averaging 2.6 blocks per game.
We’ve seen a change in what a traditional center in basketball looks like. An emphasis on length and defensive prowess means everything to a team.
Led by Ivan Rabb, this class of centers shows how many are starting to melt into that mold. Rabb’s middle name might as well be “length.” The No. 1 overall recruit of the 2015 class holds down the paint for Oakland Soldiers and does his due diligence by leading the EYBL in blocks with 3.2 swats per game.
Not falling far from that athletic and lengthy breed of centers is Cheick Diallo. The frontcourt mate of Chris McCullough on Team Scan actually leads them in points (13 PPG). He also lays claim on the team’s highest individual game point total, scoring 24 over Rabb and his Oakland Soldiers. The 6-foot-9 Diallo has built off a very impressive Jordan Classic International game.
Rounding out this group is Jessie Govan. At 6-foot-9, 255 pounds, the New York Lightning's Govan seems more Shaq-esque, but it certainly works for the big man. Playing alongside the EYBL’s top rebounder, Angel Delgado, the paint really opens up for Govan to do his damage, helping him shoot 54 percent from the field.