EYBL Lexington: Top Performers

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Nike's third session of EYBL hit the Kentucky Basketball Academy this past weekend. With hundreds of college coaches looking on, players like Marques Bolden, Michael Porter and Malik Monk were among the top performers. Who else stood out?

Class of 2016

Marques Bolden, C, Proskills Elite: On Saturday night, Bolden was northing short of dominant in the post, as he missed just one shot of 12 attempts. Bolden has a terrific set of hands and has the ability to score consistently with both. On Sunday, Bolden flashed left and right hooks and even showed confidence in facing up and shooting jump shots. At 6-foot-11, Bolden has legit size with wide shoulders and lengthy. He’s learning how to use his body and is starting to play more physical. Bolden was a prospect last year. Now he’s a player and one that looks ready to move up from his current No. 14 ranking.

Kostas Antetokounmpo, PF/SF, Playground Elite: The brother of the Greek Freak is far from a finished product and at this stage, he’s still up and down, but it’s easy to see the long term potential. Antetokounmpo is mobile, athletic, active in spurts and knows how to use his length. In one game we took in this weekend, Antetokounmpo managed three three-pointers. He’ll need to get stronger and spruce up his skills, but it’s hard not to bet on the kids upside considering his physical gifts and genetics.

Malik Monk, SG, Arkansas Wings: On Sunday, Monk, a 6-foot-4 electric guard, went for what appeared to be a pretty easy 29 points on 10-for-15 shooting. After a quiet first half, Monk erupted for multiple buckets in transition and a trio of three-pointers that seemed to come in a two-minute span. Monk’s jump shot looked particularly good and you can tell he’s confident in catch and shoot situations and pulling up off the dribble. Monk is an elite guard in 2016 and he proved that on Sunday.

Maverick Rowan, SF, E1T1: Playing for a new team during this evaluation period didn’t phase Rowan, a 6-foot-7 wing out of Florida. Through four games, Rowan shot 26-for-44 from the field, including 6-for-13 from three. He was obviously efficient and he took and made good shots. But Rowan was also particularly aggressive driving the ball and from mid-range. He found ways to get to free throw line and kept defenders off balance with ball fakes. Rowan shot 39 free throws in his four games.

Jayson Tatum, SF, St. Louis Eagles: Tatum had an efficient weekend from a scoring standpoint, as he connected on 29 of his 54 field goal attempts on his way to 79 points through four games. Tatum only shot four threes on the weekend, making two of him. It’s clear he’s more focused on attacking the basket and working his mid-range game. Tatum’s size (6-8), high release and advanced footwork helps him be effective from the mid-range area. He works the short corners well and is even starting to show post moves.

Brandon Robinson, SF, Georgia Stars: Robinson really established himself as one of the nation’s most versatile 2016 prospects this weekend. He’s narrow but long and athletic and plays with a nonstop motor. He can defend multiple positions and also run the one through three on offense. He’s a much better shooter than the typical versatile high school wing and has nice arc on his shot. His upside is very high.

Udoka Azubuike, C, Georgia Stars: Azubuike is an absolute truck inside and an almost impossible matchup at the high school level. It’s not just his pure strength but how willing he is to use it. Any battle between him and the opposition inside is sure to go his way. Azubuike finishes very well, tries to dunk everything, rebounds and blocks shots. He’s not a serious weapon outside of the paint but with his size, he doesn’t need to be.

Class of 2017

Jarred Vanderbilt, PF/SF, Houston Hoops: Not many player played at the level that Vanderbilt did this weekend in Lexington. The now 6-foot-8 combo forward was productive, not only from a scoring standpoint, but also was terror on the glass and showcased his impressive passing. Through four games, Vanderbilt averaged 17.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Vanderbilt was aggressive off the dribble, finished around the basket and played with terrific energy on both ends of the floor.

Trae Young, PG, MOKAN Elite: Coming out of EYBL Hampton, Young, a 6-foot-1 guard, drew rave reviews from onlookers. So he was a must see this weekend and he didn’t disappoint. Young is a crafty guard with good ball skills. He’s quick and does a good job of changing up his speeds. A quality long-range shooter, Young had games of four, five and seven threes. He’s confident shooting off the catch and has a good shot preparation, but he’s also impressive shooting on the move and going off the bounce from mid-range.

R.J. Nembhard, PG, Team Texas Elite: A 6-foot-3 guard, Nembhard has decent length for his size and position. He showed a good feel for the game; taking players off the dribble to the rim and using ball-screens to knock down pull-up jump shots. He also proved to be a good ball-handler and decision maker, breaking presses and creating for others all weekend. Showing greater commitment to defense would take his stock to the next level.

Jaylen Nowell, SG, Seattle Rotary: An athletic shooting guard who can create his own shot, Nowell is a serious threat to score off the dribble. His very quick first step makes staying in front of him difficult, while his pull-up jumper is smooth and something Nowell hits at a very consistent rate. Not just a threat from midrange, Nowell can also get to the basket and on the other end he defends multiple positions. He’s a very good prospect.

Nick Richards, C, Expressions: This is a big kid with good size, length and athleticism and he uses all of them to his advantage in the paint. Richards is a committed shot blocker and does a very good job of protecting the rim and grabbing rebounds on defense. Offensively, if he gets the ball he’s going straight up to the rim and usually finishing with contact. He plays very hard and it makes him a force on both ends.

Oshae Brissett, SF, Las Vegas Prospects: Forget the size and athleticism, which are both very good for the position, it’s Brissett’s ridiculous motor which makes you love him. During any given game, it’s hard to find a player who give as much effort as Brissett does, and that can make him tough to keep off the glass and also someone defenders don’t often show the desire to get in front of when he’s attacking the basket. The development of his jumper will determine his final stock, but he’s a very impressive prospect.

Markus Howard, PG, Las Vegas Prospects: In our first viewing, Howard dominated the game with his jump shot, which is easily his best attribute. Give him an inch anywhere from just behind the three-point line and in, and he’s pulling up and burying a shot. But Howard also can pass and in the second viewing, he did a terrific job of looking for and setting up his teammates.

Nojel Eastern, CG, Meanstreets: Unfortunately a serious ankle injury ended Eastern’s weekend, but before that he showed a versatile and impressive game. Eastern can play both the one and two because of his size at 6-foot-5 and basketball IQ. He makes the right pass every single time and has a very unselfish approach to the game. He’ll need to keep improving as a shooter and handler, but he’s a very talented prospect.

Michael Porter, SF, MoKan Elite: A small forward with good size at 6-foot-8, Porter is a shooter who doesn’t just rely on his jumper to help his team win. He has legit ball skills and get his shot off whenever he wants, but also has a very high basketball IQ and motor. Porter hunts down rebounds outside his area and uses his vision to make teammates better. He’s right there amongst the top few prospects in the class.

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