Lone Star State Showdown
Five-Star Basketball - Players shine in the Lone Star State
Grant Jerrett steals show in cameo appearance
Coming into this weekend, Houston Hoops was riding high; ranked No. 2 in the country, undefeated in EYBL play and home to arguably the best backcourt in the circuit this summer. On the other end, California Supreme arrived in Dallas this weekend to little fanfare; not ranked in the top 25, and fared a less than stellar 2-3 in the first session of the EYBL. Enter Arizona Five-Star recruit Grant Jerrett. Usually the anchor to Belmont Shore's offense, Jerrett chose to make a cameo appearance for Supreme, leading them to a stunning upset victory against the best team in the Lone Star State.
It was apparent from the jump that Houston had no answer to Garrett's size and versatility. If Garrett found himself open on the baseline fifteen feet out, he easily shot jumpers over a mismatched Houston forward. When they took away his mid-range game, he went to the block and sealed his man with ease; the lack of frontcourt size for Houston really set them back, as they were forced to foul Garrett in the paint late in the second half. Defensively, Garrett dominated the paint with 6 blocks and countless altered shots; when Houston Hoops did have good shots, they were almost exclusively 3-point jumpers and long range two-pointers.
Even in a loss, the Houston Hoops backcourt did not disappoint. Duke commit Rasheed Sulaimon and J-Mychal Reese combined for 35 of the team's 65 points (18 points and 17 points respectively).
CP3 17U dominates with team play
Thanks to team play and multiple players in double figures each game, the CP3 All-Stars went undefeated on Saturday. In their first game on against the St. Louis Eagles, CP3 had 5 players in double figures, including 17 from 2014 standout Theo Pinson. Theo's combination of pure athleticism and solid shooting ability makes him a player to watch. Rodney Purvis also scored 17 in the 80-71 victory.
In their second game against California Supreme, scouts and fans alike witnessed the emergence of a relatively unknown player. From the moment 2012 G/F Travis Hammond checked in, he was difficult for the California team to handle. His ability to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court with his compact release was complimented by his strong build and knack for getting to the hole. There was a sequence in the first half where Hammonds hit two 3-pointers jumpers in a row, then hit a pullup from the elbow and finished it off by launching a guarded 30-footer, pointing three fingers to the ref the moment the ball left his hands. After the shot went in, he jawed with his defender, "Get a hand up, come guard me!"
Saturday's Top Performers
New York Gauchos SG standout Omar Calhoun continued his reputation as one of the most consistent scorers in this tournament with his deep arsenal of shots. There are moments when you think his opponent is defending him fairly effectively, then you check the box score and realize he has over 20 points. In the Gauchos game against Athletes First, this was the case. It looked like Omar was being limited offensively for a good amount of the game, then by the time the final buzzer sounded, Omar had 24 points.
Jabari Parker fared far better in his second day back with the Mac Irvin Fire. More comfortable in the offense, Parker calmly froze defenders with stutter steps and hesitation moves, freeing his path to the basket.
CP3 youngster Theo Pinson had no problem playing up in the 17U division. He already has the frame to play at the level, with ample athleticism in tow. More impressive, however, was his ability to make the open 3, and know when to kick it out if he didn't have a good look on the drive.
Seen and heard on Saturday ...
- Team Takeover, BABC, and the Oakland Soldiers are the only remaining undefeated teams in the EYBL. On Sunday, Takeover and Oakland will square off in the marquee matchup of the weekend.
- 7-5 goliath Sim Bhullar of CIA Bounce ended his recruitment, committing to Xavier's basketball program. He will be the tallest player recruited in their history.
- Basketball legend, Nancy Lieberman was in attendance for Nike Team Florida's game, as was ESPN commentator Mark Jones. Mark's son Shea is a PG for Team Florida.