Here's a look at six of the best offensive studs in the 2013 Elite Youth Basketball League and in the running for the D1 Circuit Offensive Player of the Year award. Take some time to marvel at their achievements and then take your pick in the poll to the right to help decide who will be the winner. Voting ends at 4 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday, June 18th.
PG | Tyus Jones (2014) | Howard Pulley Panthers
22.8 PPG, 57.0 FG%, 88.0 FT%, 45.6 3PT%, 6.9 APG, 411 PTS
Tyus Jones, simply put, had a year for the ages. Prior to the EYBL season, Jones led his Apple Valley squad to a Minnesota Class 4A (largest schools) state title and really kept momentum rolling into his season with the Howard Pulley Panthers. Undoubtedly a league’s Most Valuable Player candidate, Jones finds himself in the running for Offensive Player of the Year largely because of his efficiency on the court. His shooting numbers are simply stunning for anyone let alone a point guard who accounts for at least a piece of almost every play run by Howard Pulley. That’s also a big reason why he put up 6.9 assists per game and 411 total points to lead the EYBL in both categories.
SG | Malik Newman (2015) | Jackson Tigers
24.7 PPG, 42 FG%, 82 FT%, 37 3PT%, 3.1 APG, 395 PTS
Malik Newman is not your typical volume shooter. Assuming a bulk of the offensive duties for the Jackson Tigers, Newman picks and chooses his moments to take over. As opposed to chucking up shots from the perimeter, Newman is special in the way he finds room to sneak inside the paint and vie for the higher percentage shot. If the lane isn’t open, he has no issue working his dribble or looking for a step-back jumper. But Newman’s strength is to go inside and draw fouls. Newman shot 82 percent from the free throw line, and his trips there helped him lead the EYBL in points per game at 24.7.
SG | James Blackmon Jr. (2014) | Spiece Indy Heat
19.3 PPG, 54.2 FG%, 85.4 FT%, 47.9 3PT%, 2.4 APG, 347 PTS
Every good team always has a shooting specialist. A surefire option from the perimeter, Spiece Indy Heat have theirs in James Blackmon Jr. This season’s top threat from deep nailed a league-high 56 three-pointers. But Blackmon Jr. isn’t a one-trick pony. Standing 6-foot-2, Blackmon actually has a knack for moving inside the three-point line to hit difficult mid-range jump shots as well as difficult floaters in the lane.
SG | Rashad Vaughn (2014) | Playground Elite
19.4 PPG, 43.2 FG%, 64.9 FT%, 32.7 3PT%, 2.9 APG, 349 PTS
It’s a little amazing to think that this is Rashad Vaughn’s first year playing in the EYBL. Vaughn has a knack to slow down the game and play at a whole different level than everyone else. Vaughn has an arsenal of perimeter moves that helped him score 19.4 points per game this season. He can put it on the deck and drive to the rim or even dish off when needed. When that doesn't work he can rise above nearly any defenders’ fingers with one of the sweetest jumpers you can imagine. In the end, it’s almost always the same result when Vaughn’s running the show on offense.
SF | Justin Jackson (2014) | Houston Hoops
17.3 PPG, 59.9 FG%, 76.3 FT%, 48 3PT%, 2.7 APG, 311 PTS
Justin Jackson is much different than most scorers on the basketball court. He lets his game do most of the talking for him. Because of that, you see Jackson quietly put up impressive numbers like 17.3 points per game on a ridiculous 59.9 percent shooting from the field. The North Carolina commit is not new to the spotlight, though. On last year’s 15-5 Houston Hoops squad, Jackson also led the team in scoring with 11.9 points per game. Jackson knows how to help his team win by being an efficient, low-usage player on the offensive end.
SF | Jae'Sean Tate | All-Ohio Red
18.4 PPG, 51.2 FG%, 69.5 FT%, 33.3 3PT%, 1.6 APG, 258 PTS
Jae’Sean Tate is the epitome of Ohio’s finest. The Pickerington, Ohio, native has already committed to the Ohio State. Tate averaged 18.4 points per game for All-Ohio Red, shooting 51.2 percent from the field. Tate really turned heads when he put up D1 Circuit’s Performance of the Year back on April 26 versus Georgia Stars. In that one, Tate dropped 40 points on 15-26 shooting to go along with 18 rebounds, five assists and eight steals.
Think we missed someone? Let us know in the comments below.
Voting ends at 4 p.m. (EDT) June 18.