EYBL Recap: Down Goes BABC
No. 1 loses, while Memphis YOMCA and Team Takeover D.C. make their presence felt
Entering Sunday's matchup with the No. 1 team in the Five-Star Top 25, BABC, No. 10 Memphis YOMCA had already put together arguably the most impressive weekend of any team at the second Nike EYBL session, beating its first four opponents by an average of 14 points.
BABC also came into the game undefeated, but without 2013 Five-Star rated center Nerlens Noel, who was forced to sit with an ankle injury. BABC would need somebody to step up and keep YOMCA at bay. And that proved to be their undoing.
In the first half, 2014 standout SG Wayne Selden did his best to compensate for the loss of Noel. He scored almost every time he touched the ball, torching YOMCA's backcourt with various jumpers in the half-court offense, as well as multiple layups in transition. Thanks in large part to his play, BABC went into halftime up 35-33.
Things changed after the break, though, as YOMCA made adjustments to their defensive strategy, slowing down Selden and turning it up offensively, giving Jarnell Stokes and Shaq Goodwin more touches. (Goodwin, a regular with the Atlanta Celtics, has played with Memphis at each of the two EYBL sessions so far.) In the end, shorthanded BABC had no answer for the frontcourt duo and lost 81-78, ending their undefeated streak. Selden, who already holds an offer from Kentucky, finished with a game-high 23 points for the Boston squad, while Stokes led YOMCA with 20 points, including one jaw-dropping play in the post where he up-faked his man, drove in and put down a reverse jam that changed the game's momentum for good.
Soldiers suffer a hostile Takeover
The marquee matchup for the weekend was clear from the moment the Session 2 schedule was released: No. 3 Oakland Soldiers versus fourth-ranked Team Takeover D.C. Both teams entered the matchup undefeated in EYBL play, and both teams had been destroying their opponents by large margins throughout the weekend. It was clear from the tip-off that this would be a different beast, however, as the whole game was a mixture traded buckets, lead changes, and hard fouls.
Five-Star rated PF Brandon Ashley handled his business with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks for the Soldiers, but Team Takeover's own showstopper, F Jerami Grant put in some work of his own, ending the game with 18 points, while effectively taking away Oakland's vaunted frontcourt.
The Soldiers outscored Takeover in the second half 28-27, but could not overcome the 39-32 halftime deficit. The 66-60 Team Takeover win left them as the only remaining undefeated team in EYBL play at 10-0, and could move them up in Five-Star's Top 25, with the three of the top five teams losing a game this weekend.
Houston Hoops came away with the championship in the 16U division with a 59-52 overtime win against the Atlanta Knicks. Houston Hoops also qualified for Nike Peach Jam's 16U division this weekend with a 60-59 victory over Team Texas. Kelly Oubre led the Hoops all weekend with his combination of leadership and outstanding play, scoring at will against Team Final in the semis and continuing his strong play in the finals.
Seen and heard on Sunday ...
- Team Takeover is the only undefeated team in the EYBL, leading Division A with a record of 10-0. YOMCA leads Division B with a 9-1 record, while Playaz Basketball Club controls Division C with an 8-2 showing in the league thus far. Finally, Houston Hoops is 9-1 through two sessions of league play, leading Division D.
- Five-Star rated G Rodney Purvis has decommitted from Louisville, re-opening his recruitment process. His mother Shanda McNair told Five-Star Basketball, “The coaching change was tough on Rodney, and he wants to see if he can try and build a relationship with the new staff before he decides on if Louisville is still the right fit for him.” Purvis has since made it clear that his choice to decommit has not taken Louisville out of the running for his services.
- While the Mac Irvin Fire did not fare well this weekend, Five-Star rated Jabari Parker impressed scouts with his new frame; dropping 10 pounds has only made Parker more explosive athletically, and each game he was a consistent threat on both offense and defense.