By Marcus Shockley
More player evals are coming, but here’s a few notes from this year’s EYBL Final Four matchup between the CP3 All-Stars and the Oakland Soldiers.
Oakland Soldiers vs. CP3 All-Stars
Oakland Soldiers 55
CP3 All-Stars 53
The CP3 All-Stars come in loaded with a couple of a high flyers, one of whom being Theo Pinson (SG/SF, 6’5″, 2014), who has an electric style of play as evidenced in the highlight dunk from the Saturday night win over E1T1 (video above). Pinson is a big time athlete with great length and bounce. Still working on his handle but has great elevation on his jump shot. Pinson continues to track as one of the top prospects in his class.
The Oakland Soldiers’ biggest name is Aaron Gordon (PF, 6’9″, 2013) a long player with great awareness and quickness from the big forward spot. It’s not unusual to see Gordon bringing the ball up the floor and finding an open teammate. He is a top flight basketball talent, excellent footspeed for a big and light touch around the basket. He is versatile and can pull other bigs away from the basket in order to drive around them. Still needing to add muscle to bang in the paint but Gordon is a future pro prospect and likely lottery pick when he makes the jump to the NBA.
Sam Hunt (PG/SG, 6’1″, 2013) continues to impress me with his ability to score, even against elite talent. Hunt is sort a forgotten man on CP3, since there are so many big names, but I currently have him as the #2 PG in NC in his 2013, so I’m not surprised to see him getting buckets at EYBL. Hunt is strong and has a consistent deep shot.
The Oakland Soldiers, in this game, went as Gordon went- they took an early lead, but when the big man picked up his third foul late in the first half, CP3 took advantage and built a small lead. Greg McClinton (SF, 6’6″, 2013) showed much of the explosive athleticism that highlight video guys desperately seek. McClinton has an agile ability to get putback shots and finish in transition, but also can shoot from mid range or deep, as we saw during the high school season.
Kendall Smith (PG, 6’2″, 2013) is a capable, sure handed point guard for Oakland, while the player who gives a real boost to Gordon is Stanley Johnson (SF, 6’7″, 2014), who has a great ability to do his work in the mid range, whether it’s exploiting gaps in the zone defense or getting off his own shot on the move. For CP3, Youssoupha Kane (C, 6’11”, 2013) continued to show he belongs on the national scene with his superb shot blocking ability and some decent offensive moves. Kane is a solid prospect with a lot of room to grow as a player. Definitely a guy who has slipped through the cracks of the national rankings due to his limited exposure in the United States. Reggie Dillard (SG, 6’3″, 2013) showed an improved ability to pump fake on the perimeter and drive effectively for CP3.
The final play came down to free throws at the last second, with Pinson unable to convert after being fouled on a three point shot, and the Oakland Soldiers advanced to face CIA Bounce in the championship game.