HOUSTON -- EYBL's third stop landed in Houston at the MI3 Center and Friday nights actions provided highlights. Gary Trent Jr., pumped in 43 points, while the California Supreme team put together a heck of a performance. Who else performed well on the first day of the third EYBL session?
The top performer of Friday evening wasn’t a difficult choice, as Gary Trent
Jr., the son of the former NBA player of the same name, went for an effortless 43 points in a win over the Kentucky Travelers.
Trent, a 6-foot-4 guard, hit seven three-pointers in the first 11 minutes and finished 8-for-12 from behind the three-point stripe for the game.
“I just got going and teammates kept finding me,” Trent Jr. told Scout following the game. “From there the rest is history.”
Trent has good shot preparation, footwork and is able to get his shot off quickly. His size is good for the position, he’s a quality athlete and he’s also a well rounded scorer, not just a long-range threat.
At half time against the Travelers, Trent had recorded 27 points. In the second half with the opposition taking away the three ball, Trent used ball fakes and an effective dribble to get by defenders, make plays at the rim and even knock down mid-range jump shots.
This performance from Trent, a 2017 recruit out of Apple Valley (Minn.) Senior, was one of the best I’ve seen over the past year. He got into a rhythm and a zone and the Travelers never got him out of it.
Trent has good genes, as his father spent nearly 10 years in the NBA and scored 4,366 points in his career. He played at Ohio and was the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year for three years. While Ohio can try and recruit Trent Jr., he already has high major schools offering him.
According to Trent Jr., Michigan State and Ohio State are the most recent schools to offer. Minnesota, Providence, Texas Tech and Alabama are also involved.
Impressive night for Cal Supreme prospects
It was a statement victory for Cal Supreme on Friday night, taking home an 87-62 win over the Las Vegas Prospects. In the process, several players on Supreme had very good showings.
Starting with Jonah Mathews, the 2016 Santa Monica (Calif.) shooting guard has always been one of the best pull-up jumpers on the West Coast but on Friday the four-star prospect had it rolling off the catch from three. Jonah is bound to follow his brother, Cal sophomore Jordan Mathews, and surpass most expectations at the next level.
Helping their stock the most was shooting guard De’Anthony Melton. A 2016 prospect from Encino (Calif.) Crespi, Melton has always been intriguing due to his size, length and basketball IQ, but on Friday Melton established himself as one of the top defensive wings on the west. He deflected and stole one errant pass after the next, while also making some terrific passes to teammates.
It was a really impressive night for point guard Devearl Ramsey. The Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon four-star prospect got after it defensively and drove to the lane at will. He showed his range from the outside also, but most importantly he found ways to create for teammates in both the half court and transition settings, while limiting mistakes.
Brandon McCoy, the San Diego Morse 2017 center, was especially impressive on defense. He had a lot of success as a rim protector, changing and redirecting several of the Prospects’ shots in the lane. He fought for rebounds, played a physical, energetic brand of basketball and showed a continued confidence inside on offense.
Carsen Edwards, PG, Houston Hoops: In a class that lacks point guard, college coaches and recruitniks have been waiting for a few new names to emerge at the position. It started for Edwards in Hampton and his strong play has carried over to Lexington and Friday night in Houston. Edwards is a tough, competitive lead guard that plays with a chip on his shoulder. With the Hoops he shares time on the ball with De’Aaron Fox, but in this setting was quite effective off of it scoring 23 points and hitting six of his eight three-point attempts. Edwards, who stands just under 6-foot, was effective off the dribble and plays at a good pace. He has good vision and is a talented passer as well.
De’Aaron Fox, PG, Houston Hoops: Fox’s performance against Nike South Beach on Friday night was one of the best outings I’ve seen from him. Fox was aggressive when he had the ball in his hands and he looked to attack the opposition off the bounce. He favors a quick and smooth left to right cross over and he used it to free himself of a defender or create space for a jump shot multiple times. He’s quick and was able to slice his way to the rim for adjusting finishes a handful of times. Fox hit three of his four three-point attempts on his way to an 8-for-11 night from the field. He finished with 19 points.
Victor Uyaelunmo, C, Nike South Beach: Although South Beach never fully got things going against the Hoops, Uyaelunmo, a 7-foot center, impressed in a major way. The rising junior ran the floor well, used his size and length to impact things in the paint and finished off plays around the basket. Uyaelunmo was active on the glass and played with energy on both ends of the floor.
Eddie Ekiyor, C, CIA Bounce: In the past CIA Bounce has pumped out some impressive high major prospects and Ekiyor, a 6-foot-9 post player, is certainly projected to play at that level. In an evening contest against the City Rocks, Ekiyor played tough and physical in the paint. He has a solid base and a wide frame that helps him carve out space and get good position. He finished well with his right hand at the rim and was actively pursuing put back opportunities.
Marques Bolden, C, Pro Skills: Bolden has certainly improved his stock this spring and his play on Friday definitely only was another step in the right direction. He wins on size, length and mobility already, but his continuously developing skill level to go with his approach to the game helps too. He’s got back to the basket moves, but if Bolden doesn’t like his options, he sees the court very well and will kick out to the open man. He’s going in a very good direction as a prospect.
Shamorie Ponds, PG, NY Lightening: Ponds brings a lot to the table at the point guard position and had a lot of impressive moments on Friday. He’s terrific in transition due to his ball skills, feel and craftiness. In the half court, he used his vision to create for others. What Ponds may have done best was defend on and off the ball. He stayed in front of whoever he was guarding, but in help defense, if anyone threw a bad pass in his area, Ponds would snatch it and take it the other direction for two points.
Trae Young, PG, MoKan Elite: With Michael Porter out injured, Young picked up the slack for his squad. What he does best is shoot the ball off the pull and Young isn’t afraid to take that shot at any time in any situation. His ball skills help him clear space, but Young will pull-up in a heartbeat from three or midrange and drain jumpers. While Young is a capable passer, it’s his pull-up jumper that he hangs his hat on.