NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Now the fun begins.
As the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League rolls into the second day of four at the Riverview Park Activities Center.
There are eight teams undefeated while just as many checking in at 0-2. Considering the talented field, those winless teams cannot afford another loss or it’s an early exit from the event that is among the best the summer has to offer.
After Day 1 of the EBYL 17U tournament, here is Thursday’s Blue Star Media checklist:
Believe it or not there are eight teams, two in each pool, that face elimination with a loss on Friday. Those that dropped two on Thursday are Bluff City Legends, California Supreme, Team Final, Boo Williams, Wisconsin Playground, BABC, Baltimore Elite and Team Takeover.
MoKan can eliminate Bluff City Legends with a win at 10:30 a.m. BABC, the defending champion, looks lost without Kentucky-bound Nerlens Noel patrolling the lane. The 6-foot-10 Noel of Tilton School (N.H.) was supposed to return for a final year but reclassified in February and signed with the Wildcats on April 11.
There are eight teams that positioned themselves to advance into the quarterfinals Saturday. Perhaps the two biggest surprises are MoKan Elite in Pool A and The Family in Pool D. Joining them at 2-0 are CP3 All-Stars, Oakland Soldiers, CIA Bounce, Team Texas Titans and Mean Streets.
It’s not the best teams that advance from pool play but the teams that are playing the best.
Standings through two games
Pool A: MoKan Elite 2-0; CP3 All-Stars 2-0; Houston Hoops 1-1, Arkansas Wings 1-1, Bluff City Legends 0-2, California Supreme 0-2. Pool B: Oakland Soldiers 2-0, Team United 2-0, Indy Spiece 1-1, N.J. Playaz 1-1, Team Final 0-2, Boo Williams 0-2. Pool C: CIA Bounce 2-0, Team Texas Titans 2-0, Howard Pulley 1-1, Mac Irvin Fire 1-1, Wisconsin Playground 0-2, BABC 0-2. Pool D: Mean Streets 2-0, The Family 2-0, E1T1 1-1, All Ohio Red 1-1, Baltimore Elite 0-2, Team Takeover 0-2.
The top two teams in each pool advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals. The semifinals are Sunday morning; the championship game follows at 3 p.m.
It was a long day in the gym but here are 10 noteworthy performances from today’s 17U pool play.
In the morning session, Stanley Johnson had 24 points on 9 of 17 shooting and two three-pointers, five rebounds and five assists.
Andrew Wiggins of CIA Bounce dropped in a game-high 19 points and snared four games in a narrow one-point victory over BABC (Mass.).
Tyus Jones of Howard Pulley (Minneapolis, Minn.) had 15 points and five assists in a victory.
Jordan Matthews threw in 26 points but it wasn’t enough California Supreme dropped a decision to MoKan.
Julius Randle of Team Texas Titans had 34 points, 16 rebounds and three assists in a win.
In the later session, there were five more that stood out.
For the second time, Wiggins, a 6-8 coveted Canadian, produced a solid effort with 22 points, 11 boards and four dimes in an 83-69 win over Howard Pulley.
James Young of The Family flipped in 23 points and had nine rebounds in a 75-60 win over Team Takeover.
Jones of Howard Pulley, who has several schools such as Minnesota and Duke, had 30 points (12 of 18 shooting and making all four threes), six rebounds and four assists in a 14-point loss to CIA.
Michael Young (St. Benedict’s Prep, Newark, N.J.) canned 24 points on 8 of 10 shooting and four three-pointers, grabbed six rebounds as N.J. Playaz topped Indy Spiece, 74-61.
Semi Ojeleye of MoKan Elite had 12 points (8 of 9 free throws) and 10 rebounds in a 66-53 win over Houston Hoops. The 6-7 product from Ottawa (Kan.) is interested in Duke, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri and UCLA.
Sindarius Thornwell of Team United provided 24 points, six boards and four assists to keep Boo Williams (Hampton, Va.) winless in a 75-70 decision.
Christopher Lawlor is a Senior Writer for Blue Media and compiles the Blue Star Go-To 25 national boys and girls high school basketball rankings during the season. Lawlor, an award-winning writer, is a voting committee member and advisor for several national high school events, including the McDonald’s All-American Games. He previously wrote for USA TODAY and ESPN.com, where he was the national preps writer, while compiling the national rankings in four sports. He also managed the Gatorade national high school player of the year award program for a decade at Scholastic, Inc.
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