E1T1 snuck into Peach Jam on the final game of the season, securing an 8-8 record and an automatic bid from Division D. Head coach Steve Reece has depended on his junior duo of CJ Walker and Tre Mann to lead the way, and they’ve had a number of players who have stepped up at different points of the season. They are 3-5 against Peach Jam competition, with their three wins coming by a combined nine points. They will need to be executing nearly perfectly to advance out of a freakishly-difficult Pool A. Walker and Mann are gamers, and will keep E1T1 competitive throughout.
E1T1 has two stars, Walker and Mann. Walker (247 No. 116) took home Second Team All-EYBL honors, and was the runner-up for defensive player of the year. The 6-foot-8 swingman averaged 15.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 16 games, steadily evolving into a force for Reece and company. Walker averaged 17.3 points and 10.7 rebounds against Peach Jam competition, which is a great omen to his production in next week’s tournament. He produces at a high level on both ends of the floor, and while he’s more of a wing player, he’s adapted perfectly to defending multiple positions. Tre Mann (247 No. 29) is their second star, and he’ll be hit on right below.
Mann is a stud in his own right, and while the playmaking guard has battled a lingering knee injury, he still managed to have a rock-solid 16-game regular season. The Villages Charter (FL) high school product averaged 15.8 points, 4.3 assists and 1.6 steals while hitting 42 three-pointers at a 35% clip in 16 games. Junior guard Marsei Caston had himself a breakout spring for E1T1, averaging 14.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 58% from two-point range. Caston is a plus-finisher at the rim, making 56% of his shots inside five feet while drawing 3.4 fouls per game. He gets to the free throw line consistently, and knocks down 80% of his attempts. Zaire Wade - son of NBA veteran Dwyane Wade, joined the squad halfway through the season, and the sophomore had an instant impact. He led the team with 4.8 assists per contests, and figures to be a terrific table-setter for Mann, Caston and Walker. He makes them more dangerous, and should receive some quality minutes. Lance Erving (7.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.1 APG) rounds out the rotation, and the 6-foot-2 playmaking guard came on strong at the end of the season, earning Breakout Player of the Session honors in Hampton.
Walker won’t leave the floor unless he has to, and his shot blocking ability is among the elite. The problem is, E1T1 doesn’t have much depth to pair with their star forward. Junior big man Rifen Miguel (6.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG) supplies some beef on the interior, but he needs to figure out a way to stay on the floor against some elite big men - E1T1 will face James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Keion Brooks, Hunter Dickinson, KJ Martin and Armando Bacot in Pool Play. Sophomore Jamille Reynolds (3.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG) will play minutes off the bench, and may be relied upon if the starting frontcourt can’t handle the gauntlet that is Pool A.
E1T1 will need a lot of things to go right, but they have more than enough talent to make noise in their pool. Their guards have to make it hard for opposing bigs to stay on the floor and not the other way around. Otherwise, in a traditional half-court game, they’re going to get punished. They didn’t have a very tough strength of schedule, but they’ll be thrown into the fire very quickly in Pool A. E1T1 is a staple at Peach Jam, and they’ve never put up anything less than a competitive product.