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EYBL Dallas: The Recap

05/13/2014, 4:00pm EDT
By Alec Kinsky, D1 Circuit

Find out who impressed at Session Two

Best Performance:

Ben Simmons | Each 1 Teach 1

Against Athletes First, Simmons showed exactly why he is a top five player in the 2015 class. In 29 minutes, the 6-foot-9 swingman went off to the tune of 35 points on 14-18 shooting from the field and 6-7 from the line. He added 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals in E1T1’s gritty win over first-place Athletes First. Simmons scored in a variety of ways, showing off his offensive arsenal in a 20-point first half. While his performance was on-point, it would have been awesome to see what type of numbers he would have put up if he didn’t sit for five minutes in the first half. Simply put, there isn’t a player in the EYBL who can consistently lock down Simmons, so this may not be the last time he receives this accolade.

Honorable Mention:

Team Final G Levan Alston vs Team Texas Elite: 33 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals, 5 assists

Team Penny F K.J. Lawson vs Playground Elite: 29 points (10-10 FG, 9-10 FT), 10 rebounds, 5 assists

Best Team:

Team Final | Overall: 7-1 | Dallas: 4-0

One of only three teams to go undefeated in Dallas was the high-scoring squad from Philadelphia. The highest-scoring team in the Elite Youth Basketball League was on full display in their four matchups, scoring an average of 75.6 points in their four wins.

Once again, Levan Alston stepped up big time. He contributed a brilliant performance in a big win over Team Texas Elite, recording 33 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals and 5 assists. Malachi Richardson was efficient as always, leading Final in scoring in three of the four games. While they lack a true inside-presence, Team Final makes up for it with elite athleticism and their pace of play. They do a great job of playing at their pace, luring teams into playing a running game. Since they play a style that cannot be easily replicated, Team Final should be a handful for opponents in Hampton and Minneapolis.

Honorable Mention:

Team Penny: Overall: 7-1 | Dallas: 4-0

Lawson Brothers led Team Penny to a 4-0 record in Dallas and the likely top spot in the next D1 Power 10.

Playaz Basketball Club: Overall: 6-2 | Dallas: 4-0

Jimmy Salmon's squad moves to 6-2 behind the MVP performance of star guard Isaiah Briscoe.

Best Guards:

Allonzo Trier | Athletes First

At this point, it would be a surprise if Trier isn’t on this list after each session. The leader of Athletes First in every way followed up his MVP performance in Sacramento with another impressive session. The 6-foot-4 combo guard is now averaging an EYBL-leading 26.6 points per game, and is showing no signs of slowing up. As long as Trier is on the floor, Athletes First is going to be a problem.

Eric Davis | The Family

Davis is one of the most consistent scorers on the circuit. He blends filthy handles with a loaded offensive repertoire, leading a balanced Family squad in scoring at 14.5 points per game. He had a huge performance in a high-scoring affair against Each 1 Teach 1, delivering 34 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Malik Newman  | Jackson Tigers

It was a relief to see Newman back in his Tigers' uniform after a brief stint in the Under Armour Association. The top player in 2015 didn't disappoint in his first four games, averaging 19.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals. Every player has a bit of an adjustment period when entering the EYBL, so we fully expect Newman to be on another level in Hampton.

Amir Coffey | Howard Pulley

Coffey is an extremely intriguing prospect, and he showed why in Dallas. Blessed with terrific size (6-foot-6) and underrated athleticism, Coffey has a chance to affect the game in numerous ways. A light turned on for him against The Family, putting up 21 points on 8-12 shooting, grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out three assists. If Pulley can get consistency out of the underclassmen, they become a much scarier team.

Jalen Coleman | All Ohio Red

Another player who took a weekend to adapt to the rigors of the EYBL was Jalen Coleman. In the second session, the 6-foot-4 Coleman absolutely lit it up on Saturday. He scored 23 points against The City Rocks and followed it up with a 24-point outing against the St. Louis Eagles. His 67% field goal shooting in Dallas should be a good indication of what kind of scorer Coleman is.

Best Big Men:

DJ Hogg | Texas Titans

If there is a better shooting forward in the league, we would like to see him. In four games, the 6-foot-7 sharpshooter averaged 21.5 points, four rebounds, three assists and shot 57% from the field. He was 17 for 32 from behind the arc, good for 53.1% for the session. How about this for productive? Hogg put up those gaudy numbers while sitting an average of 10.5 minutes per game. The Titans have depth, and a whole lot of talent.

K.J. Lawson | Team Penny

We can't say enough good things about the elder Lawson's game. Lawson has a motor for days and combines it with an expanding skillset on the offensive end. The Memphis-commit was clicking on all cylinders in Dallas, averaging 17.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and three assists in four games. He exploded in the last game of the session, going a perfect 10-10 from the field, fending off a tough Playground Elite squad. 

Miles Bridges | The Family

The potential Bridges carries is out of this world. Every time we watch the 2016 forward, we walk away impressed with a different aspect of his game. The 6-foot-6 athlete was huge in The Family's first three games, before struggling against a tough Howard Pulley squad. In four games, Bridges averaged 17.5 points, seven rebounds and three assists. If he remains a consistent contributor, The Family will be competitive with anyone in the league.

Jessie Govan | NY Lightning

Georgetown fans have to be smiling, especially after seeing what Govan did in Dallas. The recent Hoyas-commit put up impressive numbers in three Lightning wins, averaging 18 points and seven rebounds. He is one of the true low-post big men in the EYBL, and he has proven to be a load to defend. He battled impressively against elite big man Cheick Diallo, recording 19 points and five rebounds in the big overtime win.

Luke Maye | Team United

WIthout the production of Maye, Team United would be in a world of trouble. The rising big man had an extremely efficient session in Dallas, averaging 17.5 points, 9.3 rebounds & 1.3 blocks. Simply put, he dominated The Family inside to a tune of 25 points and 16 rebounds. His performance kept United in the game, and Maye's production should be enough to keep them competitive.

On the Rise:

Temple Gibbs | G | Playaz Basketball Club

A big reason why the Playaz went undefeated in Dallas was due to the contribution of Temple Gibbs. The brother of Seton Hall guard Sterling Gibbs and former Pitt star Ashton Gibbs, Temple looked much more comfortable in Dallas than he did in Sacramento, averaging 16 points and three assists.  He gives the Playaz another strong backcourt option, proven by his games against Meanstreets and the Jackson Tigers.

Sterling Taplin | G | The City Rocks

A three-year EYBL veteran, Taplin has never looked better. He is the straw that stirs the City Rock’s drink, while also expanding his scoring output in Dallas. In four games, he averaged 15 points, 4.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds.  In a backcourt that features one underclassmen (Nick Brooks) and a first-session newcomer (Maverick Rowan), City Rocks Head Coach Hamlet Tibbs depends on his experienced point guard to control the pace. He has several weapons to work with in the frontcourt, so his production should only improve with each session.

AJ Harris | G | King James Shooting Stars

The King James Shooting Stars point guard took his game to another level this weekend. Without their main scoring option Luke Kennard, Harris was pressed to take on the scoring burden for King James. The Ohio State-commit didn’t disappoint, putting up an impressive three-game stretch to wrap up the Dallas session with a 2-2 record:

vs. Team Texas: 18 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds
vs. MeanStreets: 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
vs. NW XPress: 26 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals

Bruce Brown | G/F | Boston Amateur Basketball Club

Brown is one of our favorite prospects in the 2016 class. The 6-foot-5 swingman led BABC in scoring in all four games, averaging 18.3 points and carrying the Boston squad through a few energy-less games. He is a physically-imposing combo guard and can get into the lane at will. To top it off, he is a menace on the defensive end. While still a sophomore, he is budding into a potential program-changing player.

Ty Hudson | G | Southern Stampede

If there is a stronger point guard in the EYBL, we’d like so see him. He teams with Prince Ali and Jared Harper in the backcourt, providing a nice blend of productivity. He employs a motor that every coach strives to get out of  a player, but he does it while maintaining pace and control of the game. He has shown a knack of finishing with contact, something that is a necessity in the physical-rigors of the EYBL. Expect Hudson to pick up some major offers in the near future. 

Breakout Performers:

Henry Ellenson | F | Playground Elite

This award is usually difficult to decide, but Henry Ellenson made it easy on us this week. The 6-foot-10 big man from Playground Elite found his rhythm, averaging 18.8 points and 8.5 rebounds after a shaky opening session. For most players, there is an adjustment period coming from high school to the EYBL, and Ellenson suffered through those jitters in Sacramento. Ellenson is one of the most offensively-skilled big men on the circuit, and he should only get more comfortable with each session. We feel confident in saying there aren’t too many big men on the circuit who can replicate Ellenson’s skillset.

Nico Clareth | G | Baltimore Elite

The lone bright spot of Baltimore Elite's winless session was the addition of combo guard Nico Clareth. In his first four EYBL game, Clareth averaged 20.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists & 2.0 steals. Shooting 57% in any tournament is impressive, let alone your first EYBL session. Clareth gives Baltimore Elite a go-to offense on offense, something they will desperately need going forward if they are going to be competitive.

Best Game:

Wings Elite vs. Oakland Soldiers

Wings Elite and the Oakland Soldiers went to two overtimes in what was an intense back-and-forth affair. Both teams caused matchup problems for the other; Oakland has tremendous size while the Wings are more perimeter-oriented. With Wings Elite leading the game throughout, Oakland made a late push due to Ivan Rabb’s perfect 11-11 from the field. The teams went back and fourth in the first overtime, each scoring 10 points in the extra session. In the second overtime, both teams went cold. The Soldiers were held scoreless in the second overtime, and took home a big win behind Malik Monk’s 29 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. 

Honorable Mention:

New York Lightning vs. Team SCAN:

Battle of New York City went to the Lightning, who took home a gritty overtime win over the defensive-minded SCAN squad.

Athletes First vs. E1T1:

In a back-and-forth high-scoring affair, E1T1 was able to gain late separation from Allonzo Trier and Athletes First. Ben Simmons was unreal. 

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