Session 3 of Nike EYBL came to a close on Sunday from Cartersville, Ga. As teams continue to fight for position in the coveted Peach Jam before the finals get set at the end of May, Foster Loyer and All-Ohio Red went out with a bang on day three. 

Top Performers
R.J. Barrett – 2019 – SF – UPlay Canada

The nation’s number one player in the 2019 class lived up to the hype in a loss to Team Penny. Barrett dropped 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds, accounting for nearly half of his team’s points. Barrett has terrific handles for 6-foot-7 and is a creative scorer. He showed no issues finishing in traffic or against size and length. Barrett’s ability to adjust in mid-air and even change his shooting hand powered the way to his big effort. Barrett’s feel when he gets into the teeth of the defense. He anticipates the next move so well and is able either to maneuver around coverage for the shot or dump it off to a teammate for an easy deuce. 

Ignas Brazdeikis – 2018 – G/F – CIA Bounce
Brazdeikis has unique size and skill ability. He can play anywhere on the perimeter, including point guard and uses that versatility to his advantage. Brazdeikis is very skilled and at 6-foot-8, 220-pounds is a difficult matchup for just about anybody. In a tough loss to Southern Stampede, Brazdeikis had a team-high 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting. He also grabbed eight rebounds and two assists. Brazdeikis is a smooth jump shooter, but prefers the drive. He’s able to create on the perimeter or slash from the high post. Brazdeikis also has some exciting bounce and took it to defenders who challenged his leaping ability. 

Jalen Carey – 2018 – SG – NJ Playaz Club
Carey is super smooth and a bonafide scorer. The top 100 prospect got whatever shot he wanted en route to an 11-of-13 performance. 3-pointers, mid-range, dribble drives – Carey does it all. He can be a catch and shoot threat, blow by defenders off the bounce, or size up his man and pull-up from mid-range. En route to a 30-point performance in a win over Playground Elite, Carey didn’t miss a shot from beyond the arc (5-5). Playaz Club dropped 95 points on 38 made baskets. Carey had a hand in 19 of those 38 field goals, also dishing out eight assists. 

D.J. Jeffries – 2019 – SF – Team Penny
Jeffries went for 25 points to pace Team Penny in a win over UPlay Canada. An explosive, high-level athlete, Jeffries made some fantastic plays at the rim. When he gets baseline and a path to the bucket, it’s over. Jeffries loves to go 1-on-1. Against UPlay, his teammates just got out of the way and let Jeffries size up his man and go to work. A five-star prospect in the class of 2019, can also knock down jumpers when he gets into a rhythm. When his shot is falling consistently, Jeffries becomes unguardable as defenders have to pick their poison.

Foster Loyer – 2018 – G – All-Ohio Red
Loyer just continues to impress and put up big performances. A player that’s going to rise in the rankings nationally, Loyer dropped 29 in a win over Nike Phamily. The Michigan State commit was 10-of-12 from the field, including 5-for-6 from downtown in what was an offensive explosion. Loyer might be undersized, but his speed on the ball is very difficult for defenders to handle. He’s getting better and better at being a scorer off the dribble and shooting on the move. Loyer is far from the biggest player on the floor, but adding to his game, even showed a sweet post-up game with the ability to fade away and shake defenders with his back to the basket. 

Stock Boosters
Keion Brooks – 2019 – SF – Spiece Indy Heat

A physical, aggressive wing, Brooks set the tone and jump started a big comeback for Spiece Indy Heat on Sunday. Brooks is a fearless driver and puts so much pressure on defenders with his willingness to attack the paint at full speed and play right into the chest of shot blockers. Brooks scored 20 points, mostly on finishes against contact and getting to the free throw line. His defensive intensity also stood out. Brooks created a couple of turnovers in the press, hassling passers and getting his hands in the passing lanes. In a complete effort, Brooks also had five rebounds and three assists during a loss to Nike Pro Skills.

Carlos Curtis – 2018 – G – Playground Elite
Curtis played well in a loss to NJ Playaz. He scored 22 points, viciously attacking the rim. Curtis killed on the offensive glass and racked up 12 total rebounds from the guard spot. A fearless attacker, Curtis isn’t fazed by the trees down in the paint. While he usually lives at the rim, Curtis got hot from outside the lane and consistently knocked down jumpers. Curtis has a unique game and it may be tough for schools to project how he fits their system. Bottom line, he’s too good only to have a few mid-major offers. Curtis has proven time and time again he’s legit and is now doing that in the EYBL – posting 17 points per game. 

Marcellus Earlington – 2018 – PF – NJ Playaz Club
Earlington had a double-double in a win over Playground Elite. Although he’s a highly coveted defensive end recruit in football, Earlington has some skills on the hardwood. The 6-foot-5 250-pound forward is pretty nimble for his size and displayed solid footwork down on the block with a soft touch around the rim. You can see the football player in him, not just with how he moves, but his motor as a rebounder and willingness to run the floor. Earlington, who is receiving offers as a basketball prospect, finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds on Sunday.

Connor Vanover – 2018 – C – Nike Pro Skills
For starters, you can’t teach 7-foot-3. It’s also very difficult to find players this size how move well and can shoot the basketball like Vanover. The Arkansas native has a sweet stroke and excelled in the pick n’ pop game. Vanover has good hands and showed the ability to catch and score in traffic without hesitation. He scored 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting and was a cool 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Defensively, he was a major shot blocking presence in a win over Spiece Indy Heat. Vanover stays on the ground until the shooter leaves his feet and doesn’t commit many fouls.