EYBL Wrap Up: Jersey Edition
Over the course of the past couple of years, New Jersey has been making its case as one of the top basketball states across the country. Even though other places like Texas, California, New York, North Carolina, etc., deserve to be mentioned as well, the Garden State has been on another level recently. In this year’s EYBL tournament, various players from back home have been able to separate themselves from others in what many have called the highest level of high school basketball in America.
In fact, Co-MVP of the entire EYBL is Roselle Catholic’s own Simeon Wilcher. Averaging 19.2 points on over 50% shooting, Wilcher made NBA scouts aware that he is a force to be reckoned with as a top prospect in the class of 2023. Leading the City Rocks to a 5-0 record also proved that Wilcher could once again lead a team in an outstanding manner, as he did with Roselle catholic as they were able to win the Tournament of Champions (TOC).
Fellow Class of 2023 guard and top three player in the country DJ Wagner also let it be known that he is one of the brightest stars in high school. Wagner has become a target since being rated the number one player on ESPN. Despite this, Wagner has shown up in numerous games and performed well enough to stay at the highest level and help show why the NJ Scholars are a respected team. Wagner was also accompanied by extremely talented bigs in Duke commit Mackenzie Mgbako and Aaron Bradshaw. Mgbako’s versatility on offense and Brandshaw’s presence in the paint usually made it difficult for multiple players to perform at their best. The trio were at their best from the Scholars against Team Griffin as they combined for 56 points in a commanding 16 point victory.
For the younger players, the talent and impact is just as much as the older guys. Playing a grade up with the New York Lightning 17u, the backcourt in Elliot Cadeau and Tahaad Pettiford solidified their case of being a top backcourt in the EYBL. The contrast of play styles between the two is what makes them so dangerous. For example, in a game against the Oakland Soldiers, Pettiford took more of the scoring load with 23 points while Cadeau controlled the pace of the game with an efficient 12 points and 4 assists. In the past couple months, both Cadeau and Pettford were able to gain offers from some of the top college programs across the nation like the University of North Carolina and the University of Kentucky.
Last but not least, Dylan Harper of the New York Renaissance has had as much success as any player on the circuit. While averaging 14.6 points, 5.8 assists, and 6 rebounds, Harper was able to lead his team all the way to the 16u championship against Team Takeover. Even though his team lost, Harper put the country on notice of his elite ability.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that New Jersey is in good hands.
photos provided by: Lokesh Southerland (@lokesh.photo)