The first session of the 2012 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League tipped off on Friday night and college coaches returned to the AAU bleachers for the first time since last July. A modified NCAA recruiting calendar allows for two evaluation weekends in April and this was the first.
Among the most prestiguous events in the country is the Nike EYBL, featuring the top 40 Nike sponsored travel teams in the country. The EYBL consists of four league sessions which before concluding with playoff action at the Peach Jam in Georgia.
Michigan head coach John Beilein and assistant coach Bacari Alexander were both on hand to catch action throughout the weekend. After the jump find a full rundown of statistical standouts, notes and more.
One of the interesting benefits of Nike’s EYBL format is the fact that more accurate statistics are tracked – a far cry from the numerous AAU games across the country where accurate rosters are a luxury. The stats are fairly accurate and they are public, so let’s take a look at the performances of notable players on the Wolverine radar.
Nike EYBL Session 1 Per Game Averages
Notes & Observations:
- Reggie Cameron was the name to watch for Michigan fans. Michigan has major interest in the 2013 combo forward and the feelings appear to be mutual, judging by our update last week. Cameron’s shooting ability has been touted across the internet and he backed it up in Minnesota, averaging three 3-point makes per game and connecting at a 57% clip from long range for 15 points per game.
- Devin Booker is another name that Wolverine fans should be familiar with. The 2014 guard moved to Mississippi from Grand Rapids this season but is a former Michigan camper and also visited for the Ohio State game this season. It was a disappointing 1-3 weekend for Booker’s Alabama Challenge squad but his play was superb, averaging 16 points per game and connecting on 64% of his threes.
- John Beilein also watched 2013 combo guard Jaren Sina last week. Team Final finished 2-2 on the weekend and Sina averaged nine points per contest. He never truly found a groove but still connected on over 40 percent of his long range efforts.
- James Young’s offensive explosion was impressive, especially considering that he led The Family to a 3-1 record on the weekend. Young is regarded as a top-15 prospect in the class of 2013 in most circles because of his rare combination of athleticism, size and skill. Grades have been and continue to be an issue in his recruitment but Michigan State has long been considered the favorite for his services.
- EC Matthews is another Michigan native that the Wolverines have kept an eye on. Matthews has also had grade issues but Michigan has maintained contact at varying levels throughout his recruitment. Thought of as more of a slasher, Matthews exploded against the Southern Stampede for 24 points on 10-of-14 (4-6 3pt) shooting on Saturday afternoon.
- Trevon Bluiett exploded in his final game of the event, scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds in a win over the Southern Stampede.
John Beilein and Bacari Alexander watched Reggie Cameron, Jaren Sina, Devin Booker, James Young, EC Matthews, Justin Jackson and Trevon Bluiett at least once during the event.
There are plenty of standouts on Blueitt’s loaded team, but he was second to none as his team took a four point decision over the Southern Stampede. Blueitt had a terrific all-around game, starting off with prolific outside shooting (3 for 5 from 3-point) and bringing his game near the hoop to finish with 24 points and 9 rebounds in the victory.
Scout.com added praise for Devin Booker ($) noting that he lived up to his reputation as a shooter entering the event and will now have to continue to diversify his game.
Kam Williams and Reggie Cameron are turning the B-More Elite/NJ Playaz game into a shooting showcase. Both are skilled offensively.
— Hoopniks (@Hoopniks) April 21, 2012
Like what I’m seeing from Alabama Challenge 2014 wing Devin Booker this morning. His shot is pure.
— Scott Phillips (@sphillipshoops) April 22, 2012
Head coaches at Alabama, Michigan, Northwestern, Memphis, Gtown & Penn St saw 2013 Team Final trio Jaren Sina, Davon Reed & Austin Colbert.
— Alex Kline (@TheRecruitScoop) April 22, 2012
Up Next: Session Two of the Nike EYBL takes place this weekend (April 27-29) in Hampton, VA.