BABC Rolls Through the Field
There was no doubt coming into the event that BABC was one of the premier teams at the Peach Jam. They were impressive during the three regular season EYBL events, and they have solid coaching and a complete x-factor in shot blocker Nerlens Noel. However what wasn't known was how dominant they were going to be.
In their three tournament wins over Team Takeover, Oakland Soldiers, and Memphis YOMCA, BABC won by an average of 18 points. Those teams they beat were three of the most dominant squads in the EYBL all summer long, and none were ever really in the game.
The big reason for BABC's domination was Noel. Noel completely takes the basket away on the defensive end, and had opponents scared to even shoot the ball for fear of blocked shots. With that, solid coaching, and a commitment to a system of how to play, BABC was simply the best team by a wide margin.
While Noel will get most of the love for BABC do not discount what guys like Georges Niang, Jake Layman, and Rene Castro bring to the table as well. All of them were very solid in helping BABC roll to the title.
City of Memphis is here to stay
The Peach Jam showed that Memphis is one of the best basketball cities in the country. Memphis YOMCA advanced to the finals of the 16-and under division as well as the 17-and under division. While there were a few kids on the rosters not from the city, most of the talent did come from Memphis.
In a buzzer beating thriller the younger YOMCA team won the 16-and under tournament, and the biggest reason was a pair of potentials stars in Nick King and Jonathan Williams. King is a combo forward with big time athleticism, a high motor, and some developing skills.
Williams is one of the premier talents in all the nation. He has too many offers to even list, and at 6-foot-8 with an impressive inside-out game, Williams will not be in danger of schools deciding to move on to other targets, he is good enough that they will wait on him.
Also look for the Y to be very good next year in the EYBL, because not only will they have King and Williams, but also power forward Austin Nichols who gives size, skill, and more length to what will be a very impressive high-major frontcourt.
Nike's plan works
It is now year two of the EYBL format for Nike which has featured three regular season events during the spring, and then using the Peach Jam as its playoffs. Some questioned the plan and how it would work when Nike decided to go to this format, but now it is clear it works very well.
The intensity at the Peach Jam was at the highest level from players and coaches. The old saying of familiarity breeds contempt is probably true. While there were no fights or hostility, it was just that these players have been playing against each other or with each other so many times, that they want to prove they are the best.
By only crowning one champion of the EYBL, Nike has put a premium on this one tournament, and because of that the intensity of the teams and the level of play is at an extremely high level.