Rivals.com caught the opening action of the Nike Peach Jam. Here are a few of the observations from scouting the event.
1. Nerlens Noel is an elite defender
An elite overall prospect in his own right, Noel absolutely dominated the defensive end at the Nike Peach Jam. During pool play he squared off against Adam Woodbury, one of this travel season's best low post scorers. Woodbury has consistently scored down low unless double teamed. That wasn't the case against Noel. He played Woodbury straight up without help and completely shut down the proficient back-to-the-basket scorer.
In leading BABC to the championship, Noel averaged an amazing 8.7 blocks per game during bracket play. Noel did more than just protect the rim for his team. In the semifinals he registered a triple double against five-star post players Jarnell Stokes and Shaquille Goodwin.
2. Rodney Purvis isn't just a scorer
Known for his ability to put up huge scoring numbers, Purvis proved that he is much more than just a scorer. In his five games at the Nike Peach Jam, Purvis registered 33 assists to only nine turnovers.
Running the point much of the time for his CP3 All Stars team, Purvis looked comfortable handling the ball, directing traffic and passing off the dribble. With his ability to score, he puts enormous pressure on the defense as a point guard. And when he finds a healthy balance between scoring and distributing, Purvis is an elite guard prospect, not just an elite scorer.
3. Impressive 2013 guards
A trio of 2013 guards stood out with their strong play in the 17-U division at the Nike Peach Jam. At only 5-foot-9, Jalen Brantley was a huge player for BABC in their run to the championship. Brantley ran the show with confidence and put pressure on the defense with his scoring ability.
DePaul commitment Billy Garrett played well as the point guard for Mac Irvin Fire. He isn't a speed merchant, but Garrett has a great feel for changing pace and knows how to score off the dribble.
Wing scorer Matt Jones was on top of his game during the event. With Julius Randle carrying the heavy load inside for Team Texas Titans, Jones provided the perimeter scoring punch. An excellent shooter, Jones was effective off the dribble as well.