HAMPTON, Va. - The intensity picked up at the Boo Williams Sportsplex for Day 2 of Nike's first EYBL session. The teams picked up the intensity and some of the country's highest rated players brought their "A" games. Five-stars Kyle Anderson, Julius Randle, Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel played to their rankings. Meanwhile, 2013's Rondae Jefferson and 2014's Andrew Wiggins demanded respect against older players.
Saturday's top performers
Nerlens Noel, C/PF, BABC- An athletic, confident and smart big man, Noel is looking like a legitimate top five player and may even have an argument for the class of 2013's top spot. He's a terror defensively who runs the floor, stays in attack mode and is looking like he should be a good scorer on the next level.
Rene Castro, PG, BABC- A 6-foot-2 sophomore point guard, Castro is a speedy and physical guard who thrives in transition. BABC is a well oiled machine despite playing several younger guys and looks like a guy that will need to be discussed when the class of 2013 rankings are expanded.
Kyle Anderson, PG, Playaz Basketball Club- Anderson and Julius Randle put on an awesome display of high level play-making during the Playaz 18 point come from behind win. Some complain about Anderson's lack of footspeed, but his skill level, feel for the game and understanding of how to use his body are big time weapons. He loves to back guys down a la Mark Jackson and then spin to make plays.
Julius Randle, PF, Texas Titans- Friday night, Randle looked nothing like himself. Saturday, against the Playaz, he played with the ferocity of a lion just let out of an extended stay in a cage. The 6-foot-9 southpaw played man's game on the glass, used his strength to bully opponents in the lane and scored off of the dribble. His jumper isn't all the way there yet from deep, but there isn't a power forward in the country who can guard him off the dribble. Played like a guy who wants to be ranked #1.
Kenny Kaminski, PF, All-Ohio- Because he's such a good shooter for a big man, some aspects of Kaminski's game get under rated. He's a clever defender who doesn't mind getting physical, he rebounds and he does lots of little things away from the ball. While he's not a leaper, his three-point flame throwing can trump a lot of guys with 40 inch verticles.
Juwan Parker, SG, Athlete's First- A solidly built 6-foot-4 shooting guard from the class of 2013, Parker impressed. Already capable of finishing through contact, he makes excellent use of his hand strength to clear defenders and create space for the ball. A good jump shooter, he's got high major potential.
Troy Williams, SF, Boo Williams- Sticking with the class of 2013, the current four-star might one day be a guy who warrants discussion for five-star status. He's not quite there yet, but the 6-foot-5 wing is a very high level athlete and transition finisher. Williams is a little too amped up at times and just needs to let the game slow down for him a bit. A bright future awaits him.
Steve Taylor, PF/SF, Mac Irvin Fire- For the second day in a row, Taylor was a load on the offensive end. A trigger happy jump shooter, his stroke is pretty pure and his size allows him to shoot over most defenders. Not sure if he has developed the lateral quickness to defend the three, but he can play some there offensively.
Thomas Hamilton, Mac Irvin Fire- A load in the paint who is much less of a load than he used to be. That's a good thing, though. The four-star sophomore has gotten into much better shape than last summer and committed himself to playing tough in the lane. He went toe to toe with class of 2012 strong man Tony Parker and often got the better of him.
Richard Longrus, SF/Pf, Oakland Soldiers- The Soldiers always have some big names on them, but people shouldn't forget Longrus. For the second year in a row the 6-foot-6'ish forward has shown that he's a very valuable piece. A member of the 2012 Rivals150, he defends threes and fours, plays with energy and does a ton of the dirty work.
Anthony Beane, PG, St. Louis Eagles-The son of a college coach and former high major point guard, the 6-foot-1 Beane was a nice find. Strong with the ball, he plays with physicality at the point and is fast off the bounce as anybody we've seen in Hampton.
Rondae Jefferson, SF, Team Final- The brother of Temple wing Rahlir Jefferson, he's a lengthy, wiry strong and athletic 6-foot-6 lefty small forward. A true slasher who attacks the rim and finishes in the lane, Jefferson also has potential as a wing scorer. He rebounds, plays with toughness and is far from a finished product which means he's got plenty of upside. Easily a high major prospect.
Justin Anderson, SF, Boo Williams- The powerful lefty wing was pretty dang good on Saturday. Sure he's a little left hand dominant and might be a little too demonstrative with his emotions at times, but there's no question about whether or not he's going to give big effort. The Maryland commitment looked good draining long threes, attacking the rim and using his energy to impact the game on both ends of the floor.
Andrew Wiggins, SF, CIA Bounce- It's hard to believe that the wiry, near 6-foot-7 wing is only a member of the class of 2014. He's a rim seeking missile who navigates traffic with the speed of a whippet. Quick off the floor and blessed with great instincts, the Canadian is obviously an elite level prospect.
Alex Poythress, PF/SF, Georgia Stars- It's been a fine weekend for the 6-foot-8 combo forward from Tennessee. More confident, a little more coordinated and definitely more explosive, he's made lots of plays attacking the rim. There have been a few jumpers mixed in as well and he looks to be fulfilling his promise. Has a long list that includes Vanderbilt, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Memphis, Stanford, Alabama, Texas, Marquette and others.
Kenny Gaines, SG, Georgia Stars- The Stars are dripping with high major prospects and the 6-foot-4 Gaines is a strong candidate to make his way into the 2012 rankings. He shoots with deep range, has a body built for contact and plays with aggressiveness on the offensive end. However, he's also under control and a pretty good playmaker off of the dribble.
Archie Goodwin, SG, Arkansas Wings- It would be tough to believe that anybody in the class of 2012 has a better first step. Maybe somebody could match it, but that first step is NBA level. Already a five-star, he's gotten stronger, has better mechanics on his shot and is looking to be more assertive off of the dribble. Mentioned Arkansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Kansas and several others.
Mike Young, PF, Playaz 16's- The class of 2013 was really good to Rivals.com on Saturday. Playing on the 16's, Young looked like a big man who does a good job of helping on both ends. He doesn't roam the perimeter, has pretty good hands, rebounds and blocks shots. Young claims offers from Georgia Tech, Pitt, Rutgers, Seton Hall and interest from Kansas, Villanova and Wake Forest.
More Saturday notes and notables
Athlete's First has a nice brother combo in 2013 point guard Jordan Woodard and 2012 shooting guard James Woodard. At six-foot tall and strong, Jordan is a guy who gets into the lane and the southpaw can score as well. James has a little more bounce and better size at around 6-foot-3 Also playing well for Athlete's First was 6-foot-8 junior power forward Matt Christiansen. A kid who understands what his team needs from him, Christiansen battled on the glass and scored when given opportunities. His approach and willingness to do dirty work will be appreciated by college coaches this summer. There's reservations about mentioning an 8th grader and creating unfair expectations, but point guard Alonzo Trier has really held his own on the 17 and under level for Athlete's First. He's a very good shooter, and didn't look at all out of place. Another 2013 guy for BABC to monitor is Jake Layman. He's a skilled wing with terrific 6-foot-7 size. Freshman Joel Berry of Each One Teach One is an impressive looking young prospect. He's a natural scorer who has a good looking jumper and is very strong off of the dribble.
Boo Williams point guard Teddy Okereafor provided some very stable minutes. He takes care of the ball and has good size. Steady hands and solid decision making are excellent traits for a point guard. Speaking of point guards, 2014's Kevin Zabo is definitely one to keep an eye on. The 6-foot-1 Canadian is strong, has speed and already plays with confidence against older players. Another Georgia Star who is tracking as a high major is wingMarcus Hunt. A strong kid who can knock down a jumper or finish in transition, he's an active player on the offensive end. Mac Irvin wing Aaric Armstead has been quietly effective. At 6-foot-5, he does the things you would like out of a wing in transition and is a very capable spot up jump shooter. Arkansas Wings junior wing Stetson Billings has had a nice weekend. He's hit mid-range jumpers, been active at the rim and looks to be a player on the rise. Finishing with another Arkansas wing, 2013 big man Moses Kingsley looks to have plenty of potential. The 6-foot-8 insider runs the floor, tries to reject everything and is looking to ram home dunks any time he gets within proximity of the rim.
Reggie Cameron of the Playaz 16's listed offers from Rutgers, Cincinnati, Seton Hall and DePaul along with interest from Xavier, Villanova and Oregon State. Junior guard Anthony Barber gave a list of just Virginia Tech and Virginia and mentioned that there was a good chance he'd stay relatively close to home. 2012 scoring guard Myles Davis listed Xavier, Pittt, Villanova, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Clemson and South Carolina. 2014 wing Justin Jackson already claims offers from Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma (old staff) and Baylor. Among others showing early interest are Kansas and North Carolina -- where he visited unofficially earlier this year. Elijah Macon may be transferring to a prep school and has plenty of high major interest. The 6-foot-9 big man mentioned West Virginia. UConn, Cincinnati, Dayton, Xavier and Tennessee.