Ayala’s Stock Rising
There aren't many players in New England's class of 2018 who have helped themseslves more than Eric Ayala this spring.
Playing alongside the best point guard in high school basketball, Trevon Duval, on a We-R1 squad that currently sits atop the Under Armour Association standings with a 7-1 record, Ayala has proven himself to be one of the most dangerous guards in all of the UAA.
While Duval has often times been the primary playmaker, Ayala has the ball in his hands plenty, averaging 12 points per game and sometimes even being the player to have his number called in late game situations.
It was more of the same last weekend at the Hoop Group's Southern Jam Fest when Duval played led the way throughout much of the weekend only to be forced out of the line-up in the finals with severe dehydration and leg cramps. That void was all Ayala needed to step-up with a huge performance in the final, delivering 33 points to lead We-R1 over Team Loaded Virginia for the championship.
As his typically the case, the increase in his production has led to an increase in his recruitment. Miami became the latest high-major program to offer earlier this week while St. John's, Cincinnati, Temple, USC, Penn State and South Carolina had already done so. That might prove to be just the tip of the iceberg though as numerous others are now showing increasing interest.
The escalation is the reward for the obviously long hours put in on his game. While he was known as a shooter when he first announced his move to Putnam Science last year, his handle and ability to make plays off the bounce has improved exponentially in the last twelve months, all of which makes for a versatile guard capable of playing on or off the ball and putting points on the board in numerous ways.