Nike EYBL: Saturday Evaluations

The second day of the Nike EYBL had numerous impressive performances from Arizona prospects. Read on for a closer look at how Justise Winslow, Stanley Johnson, Elijah Thomas, and many more performed.

GARDEN GROVE, CALIF. - It was a full day of action at the Nike EYBL and once again there were plenty of Arizona prospects in attendance.


Stanley Johnson: Johnson did absolutely anything and everything he could to help the Soldiers win and he they just could not get it done on Saturday. In the first game, Johnson went for 27 and 13 against a solid Expressions Elite team. Johnson went to the line 13 times, hitting ten attempts and really controlled the game at times. There really was not much he could not do, as he scored off rebounds, mid-range, and hit a three as well. Johnson also defended well, going for four steals in the first game.

In his second contest of the day, Johnson struggled shooting a bit, but was still a major factor. The Soldiers lost by two and blew a ten-point halftime lead. Johnson finished with 18 points and eight rebounds with seven of his points coming from the line. A lot of times, prospects stop improving. However, Johnson seems to keep going in the right direction and with his ability to play two positions, it makes sense why Arizona wants him.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright: We had a feeling that PJC was not healthy and he confirmed it to us at the end of the day. Jackson-Cartwright says he is still at 70 percent and while he showed glimpses, the Arizona commit was not really himself. In the opening game against Meanstreets, PJC actually got into the lane with ease. Unfortunately, he just could not finish and ended 2-11 from the field. He still displayed great vision and an ability to use his teammates off screens, but the shots just were not falling.

Zylan Cheatham: Cheatham is a tough player to evaluate. He did not show a lot of skill, which is not a bad thing because he has not been playing very long at all. What he did show, however, was a lot of potential. First off, there probably are not many better athletes in the class. He gets off the ground quickly, runs the court well, and uses his athleticism on offense and defense.

Cheatham finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds and his biggest struggles come when he settles for a jumper. There is no reason for him to do it because he is quick and athletic enough to get to the basket and make plays. It is all going to come down to coaching and whether or not a staff wants to take him knowing that it will need to work with him. Some staffs will do that and some won't, but the potential is absolutely there.

Paul White: It was much of the same for White, as he had a similar effort to what he did on Friday night. White finished with 10 points, 8 boards, and three blocks while playing well in spurts. The talent is definitely there for White and we can see why there are plenty of high major schools involved with him.

We want to see White put together a complete effort, but he said after the game that he has no problem letting his teammates succeed even if it means he goes quiet for a bit. It is difficult to fault that logic, but White would be a much more dangerous player if he was aggressive throughout and able to find a better balance between the two.

Justise Winslow: Winslow was disappointed with the way he played on Friday and vowed to come back better on Saturday. He did just that, as Winslow was one of the best players we saw all day. In the first game, he finished with 21 points and 7 boards while only missing two shots. Winslow knows exactly what his strengths are and sticks to them. He didn't shoot a three all game because there was no reason to. Instead, he exploited a defense that could not guard him and kept going to the rack.

In the second game, Winslow was just as aggressive and still able to get his teammates involved. In front of coaches such as Sean Miller, Bill Self, Coach K, and others, Winslow scored 15 points and added 7 boards and 7 assists. Pure and simple, Winslow can fill a stat sheet in a hurry.

Cliff Alexander: You only need to see Alexander once to know what he can do and how strong he is in the paint. Mac Irvin does not give him the ball nearly enough on offense, but Alexander still finds a way to contribute with the majority of his points coming as soon as he gets close to the basket. In the first game, Alexander finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks while only missing one shot.

In the second game, Alexander struggled a bit on the glass, but still scored 15 points. He is just a monster inside and will be a major difference maker on the next level because he is going to demand the respect of the opposition once he gets anywhere close to the basket. It's easy to see why there were so many high level coaches watching him.


Ivan Rabb: In the first game of the day, Rabb looked like the best player in the country at times. He completely dominated the first half and was easily the best player on the court at times. It was the first half that got the opposition to wake up and he was surrounded by defenders in the second half, which completely slowed him down. Rabb finished with 14 points and he was able to score with his back to the basket, facing up, and on the offensive glass.

In the second game, Rabb hit the glass harder and finished with 14 rebounds in addition to scoring 10 points. It's scary to think how much Rabb can still improve and get stronger and he seems to recognize that, which makes him even more intriguing as a prospect. Rabb deserves offers from just about everyone and showed why for the majority of his minutes on Saturday.

Charles Matthews: Matthews is playing off the ball because of Tyler Ulis, so it is difficult to gauge where he is as a point guard, although we have heard he is more natural at that position. Still, Matthews shows glimpses of why he is so highly rated and he is a player that is still a bit raw in terms of what he can do.

Even when Matthews struggles a bit offensively, he makes the right decision and it is easy to respect him as a player. He finished with 10 points and 4 rebounds, but we would like to see him with the ball in his hands more.

Elijah Thomas: The 2015 Dallas Prime Prep Academy center went head to head with Cliff Alexander and outplayed him, finishing with 23 points and 7 rebounds. He needs to get in a little better shape, but still runs the court fine. What is impressive about Thomas is that even though he is a legit 240 pounds, he has soft touch around the basket and does extremely well in the paint with a turnaround.

Thomas knows exactly what to do once he gets in the paint and he does not force the issue, as he showed a strong ability to pass out of a double team or a situation that he did not want to be in. Thomas named a ton of schools, including Arizona, and we expect his stock to keep rising.

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