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NIKE EYBL Team Preview: St. Louis Eagles (MO)

By D1 Circuit Staff, 04/12/16, 4:45PM CDT

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Team Information:


LOCATIONSt. Louis, MO

HEAD COACH: Tim Holloway

2015 EYBL RECORD: 13-4, Lost Peach Jam Championship to Stars

KEY RETURNEES: Jordan Goodwin, Reggie Crawford, Jeremiah Tilmon

2015 Recap:


The Eagles, although stacked with talent, ended up surprising with their run to the Peach Jam finals before falling to the buzzsaw that was the Georgia Stars. They had a great regular season on the strength of their two best players, Jayson Tatum and Tyler Cook, and guard Jordan Barnes drilled an unbelievable buzzer-beater to upset heavy favorite Team CP3 in the semifinals. Six players from last year’s squad will play Division I ball this winter.

2016 Outlook:


This year will be all about turning over a new leaf for the Eagles, as they will be one of many programs replacing their star player (Tatum). They will have a healthy mix of veterans and underclassmen, and with the Eagles being one of the most established programs in the League, it will be hard to see them missing Peach Jam, even with the huge amount of turnover from last year. With a ton of talent in the backcourt, the Eagles will be somewhat of an unknown without Cook and Tatum.

The Star(s):


Jordan Goodwin and Darius Garland will be one of the most lethal 1-2 punches on the Circuit, and Goodwin is one of the key returnees from last year’s squad. Goodwin’s experience will be looked to help carry them through the early part of the season, but Garland’s ability to distribute the basketball may be the key for getting the offense running smoothly. Check out footage of Goodwin here and Garland here, you will be impressed.

The Sleeper(s):


Tim Finke. The combo guard comes over from the Illinois Irish and will be relied upon to add a scoring punch to an already potent backcourt. Finke is highly regarded nationally and will have every chance to back up his considerable hype. He showed out at last weekend's 'The Warmup', and should figure to see plenty of open looks for the Eagles. Check out Finke on display, courtesy of Courtside Films.

 

The Supporting Cast:


Jeremiah Tilmon is another returnee from last year whose experience will be needed to help the Eagles return to Peach Jam. He will be the most proven post player for the Eagles this season, which is crucial for a team that lacks much frontcourt depth. Finke and guard Jerrico Hellems will provide additional depth in the backcourt, with Finke being asked to play big and guard opposing forwards.

The X-Factor:


Finding scoring to replace what was lost last year will be a challenge, but the biggest factor in determining how far the Eagles fly this year will be finding a leader to replace Tatum, who was a once-in-a-generation player. If the Eagles can establish their go-to player early on, it will go a long way in setting the tone for another run at the Peach Jam championship.

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