Hampton, VA - The Boo Williams Invitational as part of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League kicked off on Friday evening. There were some special performances as usual, but maybe the most impressive was from New Jersey Playaz point guard Myles Mack who propelled his team to a win over the host team.
Mack attacks the host team
Without the services of James McAdoo, there was no doubt that the Boo Williams Summer League was going to be in the unfamiliar role of underdog facing off against the New Jersey Playaz. The Playaz jumped on Bo Williams from the start and never looked back.
From the very beginning it was all about Mack for the Playaz. The diminutive point guard was quite simply the most dominant player on the floor. He scored off the bounce going to the rim, hit shots from deep, and his step back off the crossover was flat out lethal. Mack didn't miss a shot in the first half, and scored 21 points leading his team to a big lead. Quite simply there was nothing that could be done to stop Mack. He was just in the zone.
While most know that Mack can score, he was also being a lead guard at the same time. He made several nice passes, one to Desmond Hubert for an athletic slam, and a few others that led directly to Playaz buckets.
In the second half it was more of the same for Mack. While he cooled off slightly, and by slightly that means he actually missed a few shots, still he was able to make things happen, and Mack finished with over 30 points and put the game on ice for the Playaz.
While Mack was dominating the game for The Playaz, he was far from the only one making a big impact. Hubert looked like a young version of Jarvis Varnado blocking shots and finishing above the rim with athleticism and length. He is still raw on the offensive end, but Hubert is a game changer on defense, and makes opponents think twice about attempting shots in the lane.
Also the Playaz had good performances from Myles Davis and Derrick Randall. Randall isn't the athletic force that Hubert is, but he is solid down low using his strength and solid skills to convert near the rim and control the glass. Davis is a power guard who is able to get to the bucket at will, and then also is more than capable of knocking down the perimeter jumper.
For Boo Williams the players that attempted to keep them in the game were Dorian Finney-Smith and Justin Anderson.
Finney-Smith is a versatile forward who is at his best when attacking off the rim against a bigger defender. Using his quickness, Finney-Smith scored off the bounce at the rim, and then when the Playaz would put a smaller quicker defender on him, he took him inside and did work on the glass and down low. Maybe the most impressive thing though was his rebounding and motor. Finney-Smith absolutely crashed the glass with reckless abandon and turned second chances into buckets.
Anderson started off slow for Boo Williams with his perimeter jumper, but in the second half he got going a little bit. He hit a few threes, and of course used his trademark athleticism to finish above the rim in impressive fashion.
Other notable performances
While Mack was a big time scorer in a winning effort, UConn commitment Shabazz Napier lit up the scoreboard in a losing effort. Napier hit seven first half threes and added a layup to finish with 23, and then in the second half and overtime he did more of the same. Napier eventually would nail 11 threes, and looked the part of a big time player. Most of Napier's shots were created by himself, and he was even well defended, but still there was nothing that could have been done.
In the win over Napier and BABC, The Family got a big performance from Amir Williams. The 6-foot-10 center started off slow, as did his team falling behind by 20, but he picked it up as the game went on. Williams used his long wingspan and supreme athleticism to dominate down low, and he finished the game with authority. If Williams had been able to knock in some free throws he would have had a near perfect game. As it is, Williams played as well as he has at anytime over his career.
Joining Williams with strong play for The Family was Junior Lomomba, Carlton Brundidge, and Dominique Pointer. Lomomba is a 2012 wing who is strong going to the rim, Brundidge battled a hand injury to gut out a double-figure point performance while hitting clutch shots, and Pointer used his athleticism to impact the game on both ends of the floor.
For BABC outside of Napier, Michael Carter-Williams and Egi Gjicondi also made an impact. Carter-Williams has good size for a point guard, and converted both with an impressive mid-range game and from the outside. Gjicondi is a bruising 2012 power forward who can step out and hit a corner jump shot while also attacking the glass.
In a backyard battle between Team Takeover and Nike Baltimore Elite, maybe the most impressive guard was a 2013 for Baltimore Elite, Aquille Carr. Carr is only about 5-foot-7, but he is a jet with the ball in his hands and has a lot of lift. It was nearly impossible for anyone on Takeover to stay in front of him.
For Takeover Mikael Hopkins had some solid moments down low showing good footwork, Michael Gbinije was steady as always, and A.J. English was able to run the show using his combination of athleticism and ball handling.
Derrick Randall says he has offers from Rutgers, Seton Hal, St. John's, and Providence with more interest coming from St. Joe's and Virginia Tech.
Myles Mack has offers from DePaul, Fordham, St. John's, Virginia, Penn State, Western Kentucky, and a couple of others.
Junior Lomomba is hearing from Marquette, Xavier, Indiana State, New Mexico State, Baylor, and Cincinnati. He noted that he thinks all have offered.
Amir Williams says he recently picked up an offer from Duke, and also has heard a lot more from Tennessee, LSU, Ohio State, and Florida International recently to go along with schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Wake Forest.
Mikael Hopkins rattled off an extensive school list of Kansas, Texas, Villanova, Georgetown, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, and noted that probably some other schools he couldn't remember. Hopkins says all of the schools have offered him a scholarship.