April Roundtable: Team of the month
April was full of lessons learned and with the commencement of the travel basketball season, we asked the HoopSeen team as to which team impressed you the most in calling them the team of the month.
Justin Young: Norman Parker Showcase: The Georgia Stars 17U EYBL squad. They picked up from where they left off in 2015 - with a championship trophy. With size at every position, the Stars made it difficult for everyone in the field. Injuries and some roster fluctuation limited the team some in the first EYBL stop but don’t be surprised if a summer surge awaits.
Atlanta Jam: The Atlanta All-Stars. Every year Ben Miller puts together a team full of talented players with great grades. This year is no different. With a roster that goes deep into the second rotation for college talent, the All-Stars started the Live Period with a championship at the Atlanta Jam. The team has great balance and should be a program to reckon with moving into May and the summer events.
adidas Gauntlet: D1 Minnesota. From top to bottom, the fellas from the Land of Lakes are as balanced as a squad that I saw at the adidas stop. Their starting five is big, talented, versatile and unselfish. D1 Minnesota is 7-1 after the first two weeks of adidas and should be a tough squad to beat in the second half of the three stripe circuit.
Garrett Tucker: Plenty of talented teams have walked through the doors at Suwanee Sports Academy this month, but I don’t think there are many that are quite decorated as Da House out of Mississippi.
Da House started out the spring in Little Rock with Real Deal in the Rock, where they defeated a handful of shoes circuit teams. They followed that up by going to Birmingham and winning the AAU State Qualifier, and the next weekend they reclaimed their Atlanta Jam crown with a 16U championship win – without their best player in Robert Woodard. Needless to say, whatever tournament this team goes to, they expect to win. 2018 Canton (MS) big man Javian Fleming started his story at the Atlanta Jam and has landed scholarship offers from Kennesaw State and Cincinnati, while other players like Axavious Stricklen and Deanthony Tipler have manned the backcourt. They’ve put together a total team effort to this point and it looks to be paying off.
Carter Wilson: Baltimore Elite. They have a trio of guards that gets them going, led by 2018 point guard Immanuel Quickley, who is one of the best point guards on the Adidas circuit. They surround Quickley with other guards who can really score in Jamir Moultrie, Travis Ingram, and Blake Francis as well as forward Nemanja Knezevic. This is a well balanced group and they are tough to beat.
Corey Evans: There seems to be a bevy of loaded teams throughout the nation but what I am thinking of here is on a team that is chock full of talent, guys that play hard and compete, along with the coaching in place that can pull out games that come down to the wire. KC Run GMC, led by Coach LJ Goolsby, comes to mind but I will have to give the nod to the Team CP3 gang out of North Carolina.
If you want to contend for this spot, you have to have ‘a guy’. CP3 definitely does with the top ranked 2017 big man in Wendell Carter. The Peach State native made his debut last weekend in Indy with the Chris Paul sponsored crew and did so in a productive manner. He dominated the paint as he averaged a double-double throughout his stay in the Midwest. The emergence of the star center allowed for more spacing on the perimeter which gave credence to Devontae Shuler, who is thought of as an elite athlete, in hitting five 3s in his final contest in Indy. Throw in the likes of quality lead guards in Jalen Spicer and Lavar Batts, the ultra-small-ball 4-man in JP Moorman, and a litanty of others utility pieces such as Jalen Seegars and Michael Hueitt, and the cupboard is more than full for the CP3 gang to make a run to the Nike Peach Jam in July.
On the clipboard, diagraming the proper plays aren’t much of an issue for the loaded bunch and now sitting nicely at 5-and-2 on the season within the gauntlet that is the Nike EYBL, Team CP3 impressed me enough to call them the team of the month that I would be buying further stock in moving ahead.