Powell earns XU offer
After wrapping up the second of three live evaluation periods during July, the Xavier coaching staff issued a new offer in the 2016 class on Sunday night.
Myles Powell is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound guard from Trenton Catholic High School in New Jersey. The coaching staff has spent all spring and summer watching him, as he plays on the New Jersey Playaz AAU team that also includes Xavier targets Taurean Thompson and Jagan Mosely.
The latest viewing of Powell came this past weekend at the Nike Global Challenge where he was named to the USA All-Tournament Team after leading the entire event by averaging 22.2 points per game to go with 3.0 rebounds 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting 51.6 percent (33-64) from the field and 46.7 percent (14-30) from 3-point range over four games for the USA East squad. Powell posted 30 points twice during the event - once again Pan Africa and once against USA Midwest featuring XU target Xavier Simpson - and hit six threes in each of those efforts.
It's hard not to immediately think of current Xavier player Myles Davis when evaluating Powell. In addition to having the same first name and playing for the same AAU program, Powell is a lights out shooter with ridiculous range and an innate feel for the game on offense. Also, like Davis, he has a stocky build for a guard, relying on his skill and intelligence over his athletic attributes.
Xavier has been keeping Powell warm for a while, and after his performance against top level competition at the Nike Global Challenge the Musketeers decided to jump in the mix with schools such as Marquette, Kansas State, Cincinnati, VCU, Seton Hall, Temple, Rutgers, DePaul, Georgia Tech and Rhode island by offering him a scholarship. With Powell's stock rising steadily since the spring, it will be interesting to see how this final strong push in July impacts the next few months of his recruitment.
Staff still pursuing PG targets
All three were solid this past week during the live evaluation period with Xavier's coaches in attendance, but none of them really stood out when compared to what they've already done this summer.
Simmons put up 13.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists over four games at the Adidas All-American Camp in New York. He shot 38.3 percent (21-55) from the field and 28.3 percent (5-16) from beyond the arc. His best game was the last game of the event as he scored 17 points (6-14 FG, 1-5 3PT, 4-4 FT) and dished out seven assists. He shot 40.2 percent (26-67) from the field and 26.7 percent from distance (5-17) for the event.
Goodin was also at the Adidas All-American Camp and averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists over five games. His best performance came in the second game on Thursday when he had 15 points (6-12 FG, 0-2 3PT, 3-5 FT), five rebounds, two assists and one turnover.
Simpson is banged up and didn't participate in the third place game on Saturday morning. He also scored just one point (0-1 FG) and had four turnovers in 13 minutes of action Friday evening against USA West. However, he scored 12 points in an efficient effort early on Thursday and came back with a 19-point outburst Thursday night in a win over the Dominican Republic team before he was ailing.
All eyes on Ekiyor
Eddie Ekiyor, a 6-9 power forward from Ottawa, is one Xavier recruit that has recently pushed his way into the mix as a more serious target in the 2016 class for the Musketeers.
Over the weekend at the Nike Global Challenge, Ekiyor continued to play well in front of Xavier's coaches. He averaged 12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 block over three games at the event. His best game was a 17-point effort (6-11 FG, 5-6 FT) in a loss against USA Midwest Thursday evening, despite having his elbow stitched up earlier in the day at a Chicago hospital.
Ekiyor is another target that would fit what Xavier wants to do defensively in terms of hedging ball screens. He's mobile and athletic with good instincts. On the offensive end, he finished well around the basket and played above the rim. His energy and effort were big boosts for his team as well.
Xavier wasn't the only school impressed with Ekiyor's play, though. Florida, Tennessee and St. Bonaventure all extended scholarship offers this weekend. Prior to that, Ekiyor already held offers from Xavier, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Providence, Virginia Tech, Miami, Kansas State and others.
Competition continues to rise for Fultz
Markelle Fultz's recruitment has quickly become one of the most hotly contested in the country. With schools like North Carolina and Kentucky recently offering, all of the big names were in Atlanta to watch Fultz play at the Under Armour Association Finals.
Despite his team falling in the first round of bracket play at the event, Fultz was still able to show off his ridiculously high skill-level as he posted averages of 22.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks over three games. His best performance was a 29-point (12-21 FG, 4-10 3PT, 1-3 FT), eight-rebound and eight-assist effort against Sports U on Friday.
Head coaches from nearly every top college basketball program were in Atlanta at some point during the weekend, and most of them stopped by to watch Fultz play. Chris Mack and Fultz's lead recruiter Mike Pegues both represented Xavier at the event.