The following are the top performers I personally saw play during the most recent session of the EYBL circuit. Along with the listed players, I will be adding underrated and breakout performers from the weekend in a post tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Cade Cunningham & Greg Brown III, Texas Titans:
(Cunningham: 2020 CG – ESPN #8 – Considering: Kansas, Oklahoma St, Texas, Virginia – Interest from Duke, Kentucky, Florida and Michigan)
(Brown: 2020 PF – ESPN #4 – Considering: Texas, Kansas, North Carolina, Auburn, Baylor and UCLA – Interest from Kentucky and Duke)
There wasn’t a bigger draw this weekend than the show-stopping hometown duo of Cunningham and Brown. Rim-rocking dunks amplified and punctuated their incredible overall performances, including a 31-point/20-rebound game for Brown against NY Renaissance. The star pair amassed 53+ PPG/16+ RPG in the three outings shared together during the session.
Cunningham’s physicality is a big key to his success. At 6’7”- 215 lbs, his ball handling skills allow him to isolate and attack much smaller players. The end result is frequent trips to the free throw line, where he is an adept shooter (36/42 – 85.7% this weekend). On bigger players, his athleticism wins out and also results in trips to the charity stripe.
Greg Brown also possesses a remarkably dynamic game capable of leading his team on the break, dominating in the post and creating offense by distributing the ball. You’d be hard pressed to find another player at his position capable of running the floor as well as Brown does and defending him all the way to the rim. As a high-flyer, the 6’9” forward is dangerous anytime he gets his hands on the ball. His post moves are often too quick for defenders to maintain solid position and prevent good looks from adding up.
Watching Cunningham and Brown play highlights the increasing trend of position-less basketball in today’s sport. Neither player expressly fits the physique typically expected of their skillsets, but are rather incredibly versatile and can fill multiple needs.
Jalen Johnson, PhenomU: (2020 SF – ESPN #3 – Considering: Duke, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Arizona and UCLA)
Aside from the duo of Brown and Cunningham, the backcourt tandem of Jalen Johnson and Pat Baldwin Jr may be the hardest to guard in all the EYBL. Each listed at 6’8”, the pair’s length is very problematic for opposing offenses and initiates Phenom University’s above-the-rim attack. However, Johnson ensures this team is effective at both ends of the floor.
Best suited moving the ball downhill and towards the rim, Johnson is capable of impacting his team in a multitude of ways. His midrange is the bread and butter of his game, but getting into the lane allows him to distribute the ball effectively and crash the glass for easy points. Johnson is a true ‘Swiss Army Knife’ averaging 19.2 PPG/10.0 RPG/5.6 APG/1.4 BPG over this weekend’s 5 games.
Josh Christopher & Mady Sissoko, Vegas Elite:
(Christopher: 2020 SG – ESPN #9 – Considering: Georgetown, Arizona State, Kansas, Missouri and Oregon)
(Sissoko: 2020 C – ESPN #49 – Considering: BYU, Colorado, Utah, UCLA, Utah State – Drawing Interest from Arizona, Kansas, Oregon, Kentucky and Texas Tech)
Christopher was one of the most impressive prospects I had the fortune of watching. An elite-level athlete with a large arsenal of moves on the offensive end, scoring comes with ease. However, it’s his body control that impressed me most. He can simultaneously take contact, maintain his positioning and create space to get off his shot. There is an overall completeness and maturity to his game that’s often hard to find for many players at this point in their careers. A 21.3 PPG/4.6 APG/1.2 BPG/1.0 SPG stat line this weekend highlights exactly how active Christopher is while on the court.
His teammate Sissoko had a very busy weekend himself, after failing to record multiple double-digit rebounding and scoring performances at EYBL Indianapolis. The Wasatch Academy product used his explosiveness and relentlessness to average 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds over the final EYBL session before Peach Jam. Sissoko has good balance and a wide frame to score from his spot and is a monster on the glass even against the most physical players on the circuit. His high motor to produce among a very talented roster is certainly something that stands out to me.
B.J. Boston, AOT Running Rebels: (2020 SF – ESPN #6 – Considering: Duke, Florida, Auburn and Kentucky)
Boston was one of the most fluid guys I saw play this weekend and his length is a huge benefit to his game. Around the rim, he can explode through the defense and dunk the ball or use acrobatics to lay it in. His 5-game performance this weekend was very impressive and well-rounded; 27.6 PPG/7.0 RPG/5.2 APG/2.0 SPG.
Taking advantage of mismatches on the perimeter or inside the paint, Boston looks to get to the rim. He is an adequate shooter from 3, but he thrives maneuvering around the defense and using quickness to beat opponents to a spot. Boston creates lots of offense for his team through his own shot, but also in initiating the break and drawing in defenders to open shooters. He is a true impact player in every facet of the game.