Sunday at Suwanee Sports Academy brought another great day of action on the Nike EYBL circuit. With many rivalry games taking place, there were intense games from start to finish.
Here’s Garrett Tucker’s top storylines from Sunday at the Nike Memorial Day Classic…
PENNY DEFEATS MOKAN IN CLASH OF TITANS
Heading into this weekend’s session, many pegged Mokan Elite vs. Team Penny as the game of the EYBL Atlanta stop. It’s safe to say that the game lived up to the billing. If the Fire Marshall ever needed to be called to Suwanee Sports Academy, Sunday night would have been the night on Court 3. Filled at full capacity, 2017 shooting guard John Petty (pictured) helped lead Team Penny past Mokan Elite by a score of 91-89.
Petty, a 6-foot-5 scorer, showed off his polished offensive game en route to a team-high 22 points. The athletic wing can score from all levels, but during this matchup, he shot the ball well from 3, as he knocked down five 3’s. He also finished at the rim and took advantage of his size on smaller guards and took them in the post. While it has been known Petty is a talented scorer, he showed he wasn’t afraid to defend, either. At various points in the game, the junior matched up with Trae Young and Michael Porter and did good jobs on both. Petty lives for the big game situations, and Sunday night he played like the top shooting guard in the country.
Despite the loss, Porter had a phenomenal outing, leading Mokan with 38 points and 18 rebounds. The No. 4 overall prospect in 2017 came out active on the offensive glass, finishing above the rim with several dunks off of teammates’ missed shots. The 6-foot-8 forward played like he had something to prove, too. Porter also showed his resiliency down the stretch, as he put his team on his back to put them back in the game. He hit deep shots that were contested and will translate to the next level. At his size and skill level, Porter is one of the toughest matchups in the country. He had a noteworthy showing to make his case as the top player in the 2017 class.
JORDAN TUCKER VS. CHARLES O’BANNON LIVES UP TO THE BILLING
Right before Penny and Mokan tipped off, the New York Rens took on the Las Vegas Prospects in an intriguing duel that featured talented scoring forwards in Jordan Tucker and Charles O’Bannon. Both came to play and showcased their shooting and ability to fill it up from deep.
O’Bannon came out on top in the scoring and winning department, as he paced the Prospects to a 93-89 win with 37 points. The 6-foot-5 scorer finished 11-17 from the field, including 4-8 from behind the three-point line. O’Bannon had his shot going early in the game, as he was able to knock down a couple of 3’s early on. As the game progressed, he began to attack and finish at the rim, as well as make it to the free-throw line. If there’s one thing Charles O’Bannon is comfortable doing, it’s scoring the basketball. He proved he was one of the top scorers in the country this weekend.
The Rens came out on the losing end, but it was an impressive showing from Tucker. The 6-foot-6 wing has a nice shooting stroke, and he showed that predominantly with his five made 3’s. Tucker is smooth and gets his shot off in a timely manner over the defense. Syracuse is getting a lot of buzz in his recruitment, and, as a wing with good size and shooting ability, he would be a perfect fit with the Orange in the ACC.
UNDER-VALUED POINT GUARDS STATE THEIR CASES
At HoopSeen.com, we preach the idea of starting your story and playing for scholarships. During Sunday’s morning session, two point guards that are competing for the same scholarships had strong runs.
Alex Barcello, a 6-foot point guard from the Oakland Soldiers, did a fantastic job of passing and setting up his teammates in the morning game vs. BABC. While he won’t wow you athletically, Barcello is good with the ball in his hands and has outstanding vision. He does a terrific job of distributing the ball and getting it to teammates. However, he’s a dangerous shooter, too. Against BABC, Barcello finished with 27 points, five rebounds, and five assists. He affected the game in all aspects and showed why schools such as Arizona, Virginia, and Stanford are following him closely.
Howard Pulley point guard Brad Davison blew up after a productive weekend in Hampton for the third EYBL session. It carried over to this weekend too, as the 6-foot-2 all-purpose guard has had some solid showings in Atlanta. He’s physical and strong for a point guard, making the correct play each time down the floor. He has a high IQ and knows when to distribute to his teammates or score for himself. He’s knocking on the door as a possible top 100 candidate.
With that being said, Barcello and Davison are both very similar and will have the same recruitments. Both are high-academic guys and will host some of the top academic institutions in the country during their recruitments. Who do you take? That’s a tough question that will be answered in July.