The level of talent and competition is top notch on the Nike EYBL circuit. This past weekend in Indianapolis, the second portion of the four part league was run and some of the top prospects throughout the nation continued to shine at the brand new Jonathan Byrd's Fieldhouse. We take a look at who stood out from the rest of the fray during the three day event.
WENDELL CARTER, C, CP3, 2017: Making his Nike EYBL debut in Indy with the CP3 bunch, Carter was phenomenal, cementing his status as a top-three prospect within the 2017 class and remaining in the argument to be the top junior nationally. He posted double-doubles in all four contests where he pulled down 21 rebounds in his second contest of the weekend along with 12 points posted on the scoreboard. Carter seems a lot more explosive off of two feet in the lane and is someone that has continued to work on his body and frame in handling the physicality of any given contest down low. A super skilled, bright, and productive recruit, Carter is as good as it gets at the center position and he didn’t do anything this past weekend to make us back off the statement.
QUADE GREEN, PG, PSA CARDINALS, 2017: His team walked away with a 6-and-1 record and is tops in its division and it is primarily because of Quade Green. Sure, the talent is off the charts with the PSA bunch boasting four top-50 juniors, but without the lead guard at the helm, those wins could be reduced quite quickly. Green’s presence with the ball in his hands exudes over onto the rest of his teammates. He never gets sped up and because of it, doesn’t turn it over for as much as he should in seeing how much usage he gets on the playing floor. At one time a prolific scorer of the basketball but with heavy volumes of shots taken, Green has bought into being a facilitator and distributor. He has racked up double digit assists in each contest that he has played in within the EYBL realm and is the reason why his team stayed on top with its 3-and-1 weekend in Indy; he leads the entire circuit by nearly five assists per game more compared to his nearest counterpart.
CHARLES O’BANNON, SG, LAS VEGAS PROSPECTS, 2017: A top-30 recruit within the 2017 class, O’Bannon continues to add new dimensions to his game as the Vegas native displayed his pristine stroke throughout the three days in Indy. He had two games of 25-points or more and did so by averaging close to four 3s per contest. Add in the fact that he got to the foul line 29 times and it looks like O’Bannon is one of the more well-rounded scorers of the basketball throughout the land. He has gotten tougher, stronger, and more athletic and because of it, continues to be one of the more consistent producers and scorers of the basketball throughout the gauntlet that is the Nike EYBL.
CHUMA OKEKE, F, GEORGIA STARS, 2017: With its star big man, Ikey Obiagu, nursing an injury and out for the weekend for the second straight session, Chuma Okeke has taken things into his own hands for the Georgia Stars 17-under bunch. In Indy, the 6-foot-7 do-it-all, did just that. He showed off a much more consistent jumper that he hit when the time permitted but was also capable of securing numerous rebounds within traffic, defending various spots on the playing floor, and also facilitating a tad as a point-forward type out of the high post setting. He scored in double figures in every contest and had two double figure rebounding games as Okeke, fresh off of an offer from Kansas, was a major standout and a key cog for the Peach State bunch.
COLLIN SEXTON, PG, SOUTHERN STAMPEDE, 2017: The best scorer in all of the EYBL, where Sexton is leading the entire circuit with the closest person being nearly eight points away, the 6-foot-1 guard continued to lead in Indy. He had games of 37, 29, 17, and 36 in his four contests this past weekend while getting to the foul line no less than eight times in each contest. Sexton’s stock has hit the next level and rightfully so. Arizona offered on Friday evening and he was heavily tracked all weekend long by the Pac 12 bunch, along with by those from some of the top programs out of the SEC and Big 12. He scored the ball at all three levels and showed some energy on the defensive end where Sexton has his entire game headed in the right direction as a premier scorer of the basketball.
KAMAKA HEPA, PF, PORTLAND BASKETBALL CLUB, 2018: Taking his talents to the continental United States, the Alaskan native was quite impressive in Indianapolis showing off a stronger yet leaner physique, along with budding ball skills as a play making forward type. The long bodied sophomore is very skilled within the half-court setting as he hit on numerous mid-range shots within the lane and did so with either hand. Hepa can step out and nail outside jumpers from off the catch and shows off good instincts on the offensive glass. While he is still a far ways away from where he can be in the future, the basketball ceiling is mighty high with Hepa, who walked away with new offers from Hawaii and Tulane following his stay in the Midwest.
VERNON CAREY JR., PF, NIKE TEAM FLORIDA, 2019: Where the lights were the brightest at the main gym for the 17-under level, Carey was causing some noise at an off-site gym with his finishing prowess and production in the open floor. The son of former Miami Dolphins’ lineman Vernon Carey, the freshman big man brings ideal size to his spot on the court along with quality athleticism and the perfect physique out of the power forward position. He has gotten a lot more mobile and active and can produce from 20-feet and in. He has Velcro-like hands on the glass, can hit the face-up jumper out to the arc, and is becoming much better at scoring through contact at the basket. Head coaches from Baylor and Miami watched him throughout the weekend along with assistants from a litany of top-level programs on the east coast; expect to hear much more about the super talented and five-star freshman from here on out.