Tec's Takes: EYBL Louisville Overview
LOUISVILLE—After a long drive home—and a morning of recovery—I’ve had some time removed from the EYBL session in Louisville. Over that period of time, some storylines from the weekend have remained with me in a prominent way.
Here are some of the things that stood out over the weekend.
The ‘Ville made their presence known
One of the most fascinating recruiting battles picked up significant steam in recent weeks when Louisville added Milt Wagner to its staff. Joining his former teammate Kenny Payne’s staff, Wagner bolstered the Cardinals’ chances of landing Milt’s grandson DJ—one of the top players in the 2023 class. The battle is widely considered to be between Louisville and Kentucky. With both schools having deeply-rooted ties to Wagner, it will be one of the forefronts of the 2023 recruiting cycle until Wagner makes his decision.
While this weekend was a dead period, and coaches couldn’t be out on the road, the Louisville faithful showed up in a significant way for every game that Wagner and the NJ Scholars played. Current and former players—like Milt Wagner, Darrell Griffith, El Ellis, Sydney Curry, Wiley Brown and Pervis Ellison—lined the sidelines with throngs of local media while fans adorned in Cardinal red filled the stands.
I haven’t been in this business for very long yet but watching the city show up in the way that it did for Wagner was certainly something I hadn’t seen before. I often tell people in Georgia that basketball is what drives the ship 365 days a year in Louisville, and watching any of the Scholars’ games this weekend would have showcased that in a prominent way.
17U guards impress
Three guards from the 17U division made lasting impressions on me throughout the weekend and were among my favorite players to monitor over the three days in Louisville.
Meanstreets’ Dalen Davis was outstanding all weekend long, and he seemed to get better as the weekend progressed. Davis averaged 15.5 points per game, and in two of his last three, he surpassed the 20-point mark. Not overly athletic or quick, Davis is smart and crafty. He routinely picked apart defenses methodically and got to his spots with little trouble. On Tuesday, after EYBL Louisville wrapped, Davis secured an offer from Illinois.
From a pure scoring perspective, not many fared better than Wesley Yates. The Livon-Fleur De Lis guard is known for his 3-point shooting, but he also routinely found ways to put points on the board when his shot wasn’t falling as regularly as it usually does. Yates averaged 20 points per game over the weekend.
Overall, Tylaur Johnson may have been the most productive guard I saw. He routinely racked up high point and assist totals for the NY Rens and flirted with triple-doubles on multiple occasions. Johnson is tough and quick. He’s always aggressive and in attack mode. A guard with his scoring prowess could average even more points than Johnson does, but he shares the ball well and makes smart decisions with the ball that typically lead to easy baskets for his teammates.
Mokan Elite ran through its schedule with little issue over the weekend. They went 5-0 with four double-digit wins. Their closest game of the weekend was their first against BABC in which top-20 prospect Omaha Biliew didn’t play. With Biliew in the lineup, the domination began.
The 6-foot-8 forward was a double-double threat every time he hit the floor in Louisville. With his high motor and physicality, he’s a force on the glass, and he has a versatile offensive skill set that makes him a mismatch.
After the weekend, Mokan boasts an EYBL-leading 12-1 record.