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EYBL Mid-Season Report: Team Portis Wings Elite (AR)

By D1 Circuit Staff, 05/10/16, 2:30PM CDT


Mid-season recap:

The Wings have struggled through the first two sessions, but they have been very competitive despite their unflattering record. While they certainly boast a talented rotation, they haven't been able to develop enough of a scoring punch to complement their always-strong defense. The Wings lost a couple of heartbreakers and played a very tough schedule in Brooklyn and Indianapolis, but expectations for this program are high every year, so they can't be pleased with their output.

The Star(s):

For the first time in three years, the Wings were forced to find their offensive rhythm without bonafide superstar Malik Monk. Hot Springs (Arkansas) product Exavian Christon (9.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG) has impressed offensively in the backcourt, but hasn't been able to string together strong performances. Arkansas commit Daniel Gafford has been solid down low, nearly averaging a double-double at 10.8 PPG and 9.8 RPG. He's the only Arkansas Wing to average in double-figures.

The Supporting Cast:

The Wings' depth is an asset, however they've been unable to collectively string together above average performances. Kris Bankston (6.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG) and Casey Benton (9.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG) have shown flashes of brilliance, and the team chemistry as a whole is ahead-of-the-curve, as this group has grown up playing with one-another. Eight players average between 3.8 and 9.6 points, so it's evident that it takes a complete team effort for the Wings to pick up wins in 2016.

Session 3/4 Outlook:

The Wings will ride the momentum of a brand new team name heading into Hampton, as they recently picked up a sponsorship from current Chicago Bull and program alumni Bobby Portis. Now dubbed as "Team Portis Wings Elite," Arkansas' Elite Youth Basketball Affiliate will have some major work to do in order to qualify for Peach Jam. Hampton marks the arrival of high school teammates Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Florida commit) and Therren Shelton-Szmidt to the Wings' backcourt. They will likely need at least a 3-1 showing in Hampton to put themselves in a spot to clinch a bid in Atlanta. 

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