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Nike EYBL Session 2 Notes & Observations - Takeover remains undefeated, Maxey shines and more

By Prep Circuit Staff, 05/01/18, 10:15AM EDT


Takeaways from Session 2 of the Nike EYBL

Photo: Nike/Jon Lopez

Team Takeover - Lone undefeated team in the EYBL

D.C. powerhouse Team Takeover left Indiana as the only undefeated team throughout the Nike EYBL. Veteran coach and program director Keith Stevens couple with this amount of talent is hard to stop. Guards Anthony Harris, Justin Moore, Jeremy Roach and Virginia commit Casey Morsell makes the most talented backcourt throughout the league. Prior to session, Takeover added one of the top big men in the nation Armando Bacot to their roster. In Bacot’s first session back with Team Takeover he looked more comfortable than one would expect especially in his 14 point performance where he went 7-8 from the field.

Team Takeover started out the session with a 67-43 win over BABC. Casey Morsell led them with 13 points and DeMatha Catholic teammates Justin Moore and Hunter Dickinson contributed 12 points of their own. In Takeover’s second win of the session over Woodz Elite they showed off their well-balanced attack with multiple players getting involved on the offensive end. Against Brad Beal Elite, Anthony Harris took over with 16 points and shot 7-8 from the field. Justin Moore, Casey Morsell and Hunter Dickinson all scored double digits to help their team a 65-62 win over Bradley Beal Elite. In their final game Takeover took down the NJ Playaz 72-64 to complete their undefeated weekend. They leave as the top team throughout the Nike EYBL, but will have a big target on their back going into the last two sessions.

UPlay Canada shows potential

After going 2-2 in the first session, UPlay Canada were on a mission in session 2. With some big wins they went 3-1 on the session and showed they can compete with the best in the league. They opened up the weekend with a tough loss to the James Wiseman led Bluff City Legends. They head into their matchup against Expressions Elite with a losing record. They played inspired, hardnosed basketball and won 77-69. Tre Edwards led UPlay with 18 points in the win. In their next matchup they had the daunting task of going up against one of the most talented teams throughout the EYBL in the Las Vegas Prospects. UPlay proved how good again as they beat the Prospects 73-61. They had one more game remaining to leave session 2 with a winning record. It was a Canadian battle between them and CIA Bounce. They both went into halftime tied up at 36, but UPlay pulled away in the second half and won 87-75. Tre Edwards had a big game with 20 points and Emmanuel Miller and Tyrese Samuel each had 14 points themselves. UPlay Canada showed this session that they can compete with anyone and are a team to watch in session 3.

Tyrese Maxey drops 39 in Overtime win

Houston Hoops faced off against the A.O.T. Running Rebels in one of the best matchups throughout session 2. A.O.T. led by Isaac Okoro, Sharife Cooper and Brandon Boston are a force to be reckoned with and with the addition of five-star guard Tyrese Maxey, Houston Hoops have one of the best backcourts in the league.

Hoops got off to a slow start and the lead was controlled by A.O.T. for the majority of the game. A.O.T. players Sharife Cooper and Isaac Okoro were hard to stop and they led 31-24 at halftime. Going into the second half Houston Hoops slowly creeped their way back led by electric guard Tyrese Maxey. Maxey’s was unbelievable off the bounce and around the basket. He put his team in a position to win going into the final minutes. His teammate Chris Harris Jr. banked in a three to send it into overtime and they didn’t look back. Maxey continued to score at will and finished with 39 points. If you didn’t know Tyrese Maxey and Houston Hoops were among EYBL’s best, now you know.

Home court advantage for Indy Heat

People had their doubts about Indy Heat after going 2-2 in the first session, but they silenced them by going 4-0 in their home state of Indiana this past weekend. They opened up their game against a tough and gritty squad in the Team Family. With prospects like Rocket Watts they are tough to stop, but the Indy Heat outlasted them and won 70-67. One of the league’s best Keion Brooks Jr. had 25 points and big man Trayce Jackson-Davis hit a three at the buzzer to give them the win. In their second win of the session over Mac Irvin Fire Keion Brooks’ dominance continued with 24 points, but Trayce Jackson-Davis had quite the performance of his own with 26 points. This duo-wreaked havoc all weekend long and led them to important wins over E1T1 United and All Ohio Red. This 4-0 session puts them tied for first place in Division C with Team CP3. Indy Heat definitely looked comfortable playing in their home state and look to use this momentum heading into session 3.

Quick Notes

  • Four teams went 4-0 in Indianapolis; the Oakland Soldiers (CA), Team Takeover (DC), Indy Heat (IN) and the Houston Hoops (TX). 
  • Sharife Cooper continued his stellar play for the AOT Running Rebels, as did Isaac Okoro and Brandon Boston. AOT went 3-1 in Indianapolis, moving to 6-2 on the season. Cooper is averaging 20.9 points and 6.8 rebounds through eight games, standing out as one of the top underclassmen in the country.
  • Seattle Rotary Style and Team United continued their turn-around seasons in Indianapolis. Both squads are 5-3 through eight games, giving them a great chance to lock up a Peach Jam bid - something Rotary has never done. Expect both squads to make a play for a ranking in the updated EYBL power rankings.
  • Cole Anthony stayed hot, and this time it resulted in an uptick of team success. He led PSA to a 3-1 record in Indianapolis, bolstering their record to 5-3 overall. Through eight games, Anthony is averaging 24.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists. If PSA keeps picking up wins, Anthony will remain on the short list for league MVP. 
  • There is a major log-jam in Division A. Brad Beal Elite (MO) leads at 6-2, followed by six teams sitting with a 5-3 record; UPLAY, Woodz Elite, MOKAN Elite, Bluff City Legends, Seattle Rotary Style and the City Rocks. EYBL Atlanta (May 11-13) will be crucial for these seven clubs, as only five teams qualify from each division. There are quite a few divisional matchups next session, which should bring some separation in the divisional standings.
  • Several players left with injuries in Indianapolis. Vernon Carey missed a game for Nike Team Florida with an unspecified injury, while impact players Jaelen House (LV Prospects), Lynn Green II (Team Final) and Jason Jitoboh (Woodz Elite) each left with foot injuries. 

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