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Nike EYBL: Day 1 Recap

LOS ANGELES – Unlike the end of summer runs where the athletes are drained from months of travel, competitive play, and the pressure that comes from trying to be “on” under the weighted eyes of collegiate coaches and scouting services, the first day of the early April evaluation period brought forth a high energy affair on the opening day of the 2013 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. Here’s a rundown of Day 1 stars and surprises:

2015's Ivan Rabb

Ivan Rabb
Class of 2015
Travel Team: Oakland Soldiers
High School: Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, CA)
Measurables: 6-foot-10, 215 pounds

Rabb, a 5-star recruit with a rating of 100, is ranked No. 1 in the country by 247Sports in the Class of 2015. He is also the No. 1 overall player at any position in the nation in the 247Composite, which equally weights prospect rankings and ratings from major recruiting media outlets. The power forward played just like that on Day, leading his travel club to a 64-62 win over MacIrvine Fire. Rabb scored 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting while hauling down a game-high 19 rebounds. The night was rough at the start as 2014’s Cliff Alexander dunked over Rabb on a baseline drive, but Rabb soon demonstrated his own toughness with two physical scores against Alexander at the basket.

Cliff Alexander
Class of 2014
Travel Team: MacIrvine Fire
High School: Curie (Chicago, IL)
Measurables: 6-foot-9, 250 pounds

I was critical of Alexander last season as the 6-foot-9 big man tended to play flat-footed at times. Not anymore. One of the benefits of evaluating high school talent year over year is that one gets to see a player develop and hone their skills. Alexander has done exactly that, showing tremendous athleticism both in his explosion off the floor as well as his ability to run the court and stay involved in the usual up-and-down, open-court play of AAU basketball. Alexander, a 5-star recruit with a rating of 99, is ranked No. 12 in the country by 247Sports. He is also the No. 3 power forward in the nation in the 247Composite.

Stanley Johnson
Class of 2014
Travel Team: Oakland Soldiers
High School: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA)
Measurables: 6-foot-7, 200 pounds

Johnson is a veteran on the AAU circuit, and has just about accomplished everything a player can at the high school level. He’s led his Mater Dei high school team to three consecutive state titles and has participated in nearly every elite AAU all-star event the past few summers. If Day 1 is any indication, Johnson is not satisfied, and instead remains hungry for more success. On Friday, Johnson secured 12 rebounds and scored 12 points, including the game winner with less than 10 seconds remaining, while playing every position except the center spot.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright
Class of 2014
Travel Team: California Supreme
High School: Loyola (Los Angeles, CA)
Measurables: 5-foot-9, 148 pounds

Outsiders shouldn’t be fooled by Jackson-Cartwright’s height or size because insiders have seen the 5-foot-9 point guard shine for years against the nation’s elite athletes. Jackson-Cartwright is ranked No. 38 in the country by 247Sports. He has a 247Composite rating of .9877, which equates to five stars. He only scored six points while dishing out four assists Friday night, but that’s because he only had to play 14 minutes in an 85-52 rout of Team United. Jackson-Cartwright has already committed to the University of Arizona, but said last night that he’s not resting on his laurels. He’s one of the quickest players on the AAU circuit, and once again demonstrated exactly how a point guard can control a game when he’s on the court as Cal Supreme, under his leadership, was by far the best passing team I saw on Friday. The final score was a bi-product of making the extra pass.

2014's Kameron Chatman

Tyus Jones
Class of 2014
Travel Team: Howard Pulley Panthers
High School: Apple Valley (Apple Valley, MN)
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds

Jones is very smooth on the court. There’s really no simpler way to put it. The 6-foot-2 point guard arguably had the best performance of any competitor on the night, scoring 18 points while doling out 11 assists in a 73-62 win over Athletes First. Jones, is the No. 2 point guard prospect nationally and the No. 4 overall prospect in the country by 247Sports. In the recruiting industry-generated 247Composite, Jones has a rating of .9993, which equates to five stars.

Isaiah Briscoe
Class of 2015
Travel Team: New Jersey Playaz
High School: St. Benedict (Union, NJ)
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 205 pounds

Briscoe is one of the more intriguing point guards in the Class of 2015. His size alone warrants attention while his style of play demands respect. Briscoe is old school, bodying and swarming opponents defensively, while carrying over that bruising style to his offensive game. By way of example, in a competitive 52-50 loss to Mokan Elite Friday, Briscoe used his 205-pound frame and explosive dribble to get into the lane and draw fouls. Briscoe was 9-for-10 from the foul line, finishing the game with 19 points and five assists. Briscoe is the No. 6 point guard nationally and the No. 1 overall prospect in the state of New Jersey by 247Sports. He has a 247Composite rating of .9903, which equates to five stars.

Kameron Chatman
Class of 2014
Travel Team: ICP Elite
High School: Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, CA)
Measurables: 6-foot-7, 190 pounds

Chatman was excellent Friday, scoring 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting while also pulling down 15 rebounds. Similar to my observation of Cliff Alexander, Chatman has improved in the past 12 months by becoming a much more aggressive, physical player. Chatman, the No. 9 overall player in the state of California by 247Sports, has a 247Composite rating of .9792, which equates to four stars. Chatman, considered by most to be a heavy Oregon lean (he’s from Portland), will likely see more schools like Arizona, UCLA and Memphis, which have each already offered, try and make a bigger push following the April evaluation period if he can sustain his level of play.

Follow me on Twitter @GaryRandazzo, and follow the website @WSRArizona.

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