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May 14, 2012
FRISCO, Texas The Dallas session of Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League came to a conclusion on Sunday. After 14 league games spread across Minneapolis, Hampton and the Dallas area, only the CIA Bounce remains with an unblemished record and while having the No. 1 player in the class of 2014 Andrew Wiggins has helped, they've been salty from top to bottom and stood out as a team on Sunday.
CIA Bounce perfect through three sessions
Going undefeated in the EYBL is no small task. Then again the CIA Bounce are no normal team. Made up entirely of players who come from Canada (although most play high school ball in the states), the Bounce has stormed through EYBL competition while racking up a 14-0 record through three sessions of play.
Leading the way has been the nation's top player in the class of 2014, Andrew Wiggins. The 6-foot-7 wing from Huntington (W.V.) Prep has been a stud in league play and continuously does things that leave you shaking your head. Maybe the most important thing he does is always make up for any mistake he makes. When he takes a bad shot, he has a knack for finding the rebound. When he makes a bad pass, he almost always seems to come up with a steal on the other end. An elite athlete, Wiggins is also much improved as a ball-handler and shooting the ball with much more consistency. At his current stage of development, he looks like he'll ultimately develop into a jumbo-sized shooting guard. Wiggins doesn't typically discuss his recruitment, but is listing Kentucky, Florida State, Syracuse and others.
Wiggins certainly isn't alone in standing out and point guard Tyler Ennis was impressive Sunday and all weekend. A heady floor general, Ennis rarely forces things, doesn't miss open looks and gets others involved. Because he plays virtually mistake-free basketball, defenses get frustrated because they can't rattle him.
Team Takeover wing Stanford Robinson has always been tough off of the dribble, but he was shooting well from deep over the weekend. Ranked No. 88 in the class of 2013, the junior from Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI is currently on an unofficial visit to Indiana. Keep in mind that recently hired IU assistant Kenny Johnson has coaching ties to both Robinson's high school and summer teams which will make the Hoosiers a major factor if they offer during his visit.
Give it up for Baltimore Elite's Kameron Williams. The skinny 6-foot-3 shooting guard is wired to score and he's been serving up ice-cold buckets throughout the entire EYBL. It was too bad to see a scorer's table error muck up the end of an entertaining game with the Houston Hoops where Williams went for 32. His comfort is as a jump-shooter with a very fast trigger, but he can attack off the dribble and is outstanding working off the ball to lose defenders and catch for wide open shots.
Justise Winslow sure played the part of a top 10 player in the class of 2014 during the Houston Hoops win over Baltimore Elite. Acting as a point guard, the 6-foot-5 do-it-all wing controlled tempo and easily blended his scoring with playmaking. He's not lightning off the dribble and you wouldn't characterize the sophomore as a high flyer. However, he is very strong with the ball, has great instincts and plays extremely hard without ever getting out of control. The ability to go all out while remaining in control isn't something that comes easy for guys his age.
Combo forward Reggie Cameron cooled off a little from deep on Sunday, but he was solid on the glass and made plays in other areas and got to the free throw line while playing a nice game and registering a double-double against the Spiece Indy Heat. However, the Playaz main offensive weapon was the recipient of some big time help from point guard Shane Rector on Sunday. The 6-foot-1 point guard played on and off the ball in a Playaz attack that features two other very good point guards in junior Kavon Stewart and freshman Isaiah Briscoe. Wherever he was, he made plays and finished with 26 points on an efficient 9-12 shooting from the field.
It's a pretty safe bet that All-Ohio big man Zach Garber earned the respect of Julius Randle on Sunday. Randle's Texas Titans got the win, but the 6-foot-8 Garber played Randle as physically as anybody we have seen all spring. Garber has good length, is a strong kid and has soft touch on jump hooks offensively. He's already prime target of regional mid-majors and should continue to be.
Combo guard Isaac McGlone was in the zone for King James during a hard-fought win over MoKan Elite. The skinny 6-foot-2 guard knocked home 5-of-6 three point attempts and they almost always seemed to come at key times. He has the look of an excellent mid-major shooter. On the other side, recent Missouri State commit Austin Ruder hit some big shots of his own and matched McGlone's five-three pointers.
Earlier this spring, Johnathan Williams III looked a bit shaky. Actually, the entire Bluff City Legends team looked shaky as they got off to a poor start through two weekends of EYBL play. In Dallas, the addition of a fiery Todd Day as their coach seemed to make a huge difference. Williams certainly played with more fire than he had previously and was a matchup problem. He got on the glass, ran the floor, converted at a high rate and looked like the highly regarded power forward prospect that he is. Bluff City also got a solid effort out of Nick King who manned up and battled on the glass while also making the jumpers he took.
Anthony Barber just refused to let it happen. "Cat" simply wouldn't let his team drop any games on Sunday and he played particularly well during a win over Howard Pulley. One of the fastest players in the country, he looked the part of a five-star point guard as he kept turning the corner and getting into the lane for finishes around the rim. There are still some adjustments he needs to make with running a team, but he generally plays with tons of heart and his speed is tough to match.