By Marcus Shockley
Once again some of the top high talent in the nation descended on North Augusta, SC for the Nike EYBL series championships. I’ll have evals coming soon for more of the tournament, but here’s a report on the Final Four 17u match up between MoKan Elite and CIA Bounce.
This year’s EYBL Final Four included MoKan Elite vs. CIA Bounce and Oakland Soldiers vs. CP3 All Stars.
MoKan Elite vs. CIA Bounce
CIA Bounce 81
MoKan Elite 67
MoKan Elite has the talented Semilore Ojeleye (SF/PF, 6’7″, 2013), a physically strong player who is agile and has great hands. He can play the SF or PF spot effectively and is a solid rebounder. However, CIA Bounce also has their own superstar in Andrew Wiggins (SF, 6’7″, 2014), a player who might just be the #1 NBA draft pick when he gets the chance. Wiggins has a pro level first step, and he likes to push the ball into the mid range, spin, and get off a shot. He’s explosive and dynamic – there aren’t going to be many players at the high school or college level who will be able to guard him effectively. Wiggins scored 23 points in the win, leading all scorers.
CIA Bounce also has a talented combo guard in Tyler Ennis (G, 6’2″, 2013), who can score from inside or outside and plays with great awareness. Ennis is a combo as opposed to a true point, but runs the team effectively but also moves well without the ball. A player who I had not seen before but has blistering speed is Lourawls Nairn (PG, 5’10”, ’14) who came in off of the bench and showed he has elite speed and can finish with contact. Nairn is one of the fastest guards in the country and has a deft handle. Definitely a player to watch.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes (SG, 6’4″, 2013) of CIA Bounce showed good poise with the ball and that he can shoot under pressure. Solidly built and effective with the shot or pass, Mayes and Ennis create problems for defenses because they cannot double Wiggins without leaving one of them open. Duane Notice (SG/SF, 6’4″, 2013) also provides tough, hard-nosed play for CIA Bounce on both ends of the floor. Notice is also a kind of ‘glue guy’ for the team, getting loose balls, a solid free throw shooter and all around worker.
O’Shai Clark (SG, 6’1″, 2013) of MoKan Elite is an active rebounding guard who often drew the toughest defensive assignments. He also can put the ball on the floor and attack. Andre Sands (PF/C, 6’7″, 2013) is a capable big who is mobile and has good hands around the basket.
In the second half, CIA Bounce pulled away behind the scoring of Mayes, Ennis and Wiggins and put the game out of reach, sending them to the EYBL Championship.