Minneapolis Events: Day One

Minneapolis - The April Evaluation period started with a bang Friday night as the opening session of the EYBL and the NY2LAsports.com Spring Extravaganza tipped off in the Greater Minneapolis area. Aaron Gordon turned it up in a close second-half win for the Oakland Soldiers while Conner Frankamp shot the ball at a high level.

Aaron Gordon, PF, Oakland Soldiers - Gordon's athleticism, and tenacity on the glass have never been questioned, but if he makes plays with the ball like he did on Friday night, defenders will be in a world of trouble. After a slow first half, Gordon got comfortable shooting in the second half, to the tune of three, 3-pointers, and also showed an improved handle in traffic and solid vision. While the added outside dimension was nice, Gordon still used his superior strength and athleticism to finish or draw contact near the hoop, including his trademark reverse dunk.

Jabari Bird, SF, Oakland Soldiers - Like his teammate Gordon, Bird started a bit slowly, but quickly became a problem from the mid-range in the second half. Bird showed a diverse display of jumpers and runners, while also attacking the rim with ferocity in transition in helping the Soldiers to a one-point win.

Jabari Parker, SF, Mac Irvin Fire - The No. 1 player in the country struggled shooting the ball in the first half, but turned it up in helping the Fire escape with a win over Team Penny. Parker is such a cerebral player that when his shot isn't falling he produces in other ways as a passer, and also as an emerging weak-side shot blocker. When his shot did start falling in the second, Jabari got in a bit of a groove and scored the ball at all three levels using advanced dribble combos to create space.

Billy Garrett, PG, Mac Irvin Fire - Garrett's high basketball IQ was on display as he helped the Fire in a number of ways. Garrett was steady with the ball, utilized solid passing angles, and showed an ability to pass one-handed off-the-dribble with either hand. When the ball was in a teammate's hands, the DePaul commit found open space on the perimeter and made himself available for passes and catch-and-shoot 3s.

Nick King, SG, Bluff City/Team Penny - Playing against the imposing front line of the Mac Irvin Fire, King did a nice job using his mid-range game to do damage. A five-star prospect, King did a nice job moving without the ball and also found space in the 2-3 zone to make his smooth lefty jumper. King also did his best to help out on Jabari Parker as a help defender and did an admirable job, along with his teammates, making things difficult.

JaJuan Johnson, SF, Bluff City/Team Penny - Johnson opened plenty of eyes with a solid first half that included a couple of three-pointers and an ability to get to the rim and make plays. Rather than continue to shoot from the arc after making a few, Johnson intelligently put the ball on the deck and got past defenders that came out to crowd the line. Defensively, Johnson made Jabari Parker work for his points when matched up on him and didn't appear fazed at all facing strong competition.

Conner Frankamp, G, KC Run GMC - Although his team dropped a close one to Terry Porter Elite, the Kansas commit shot the ball at a high level, to the tune of 21 points. Frankamp used screens well and did a nice job playing off of his other guards, either spacing himself to receive passes for shots, or setting up teammates.

Stanley Johnson had a good outing for the Soldiers. The 2014 wing utilizes the baseline well with or without the ball and isn't afraid of contact.

Gavin Schilling took some time to adjust to the speed and athleticism of the EYBL, but showed flashes of potential on both ends once he got comfortable.

Schilling's Mac Irvin Fire teammate Kyle Davis was an absolute terror in the open floor. Coming off the bench, Davis provided instant energy and points by helping create turnovers for easy buckets. Marquette commit Deonte Burton has done a nice job shaping up his body and getting into better shape. Burton had a habit of taking off plays in the past, but he played hard throughout in a close win.

BABC might have lost Nerlens Noel, but their steady and experienced backcourt duo of Jaylen Brantley and Rene Castro will still win them plenty of games. Both 2013 guards had good overall games in a close loss to the Soldiers.

Wayne Selden didn't have his best outing for BABC, but his jumper has definitely improved. His big problem was relying too heavily on his jumper, and shooting contested shots.

Aaron Gordon gave a top four of Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, and Kentucky. Gordon claims offers from all four.

Nick King listed a top five of Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, and Georgetown. He claims all have offered.

Jajuan Johnson mentioned Memphis, Georgetown, Cincinnati, Texas, Auburn, and Ole Miss.

Stanley Johnson is in the early stages of the recruiting process but mentioned the entire Pac-12, Kentucky, Texas, Syracuse, and North Carolina as schools that have displayed interest.

Jabari Bird listed a top five of Colorado, Oregon, California, Washington, and Arizona. Bird indicated that Cal and Washington hold a lead of the others.

Head Coaches from Wisconsin, Iowa, Syracuse, Arizona State, Arizona, Washington, Kansas State, California, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Florida State were among the coaches present throughout Minneapolis.

Scout Hoops Top Stories