BABC Completes Nike EYBL Season
The regular season of Nike’s first ever Elite Youth Basketball League came to a conclusion after session three this weekend in Los Angeles.
Following up on session one and two in Virginia and Texas respectively, this weekend’s action was particularly important because it gave teams their final opportunity to qualify for next month’s Peach Jam Tournament.
Coming into the weekend with a league record of 4-5, good for ninth place in Division D, BABC had their work cut out for them if they hoped to finish in the top five of their division and earn an automatic bid to the Peach Jam.
But the boys from Boston would respond in a big way, going 4-1 on the weekend, with their only loss coming to the Georgia Stars in a controversial finish. BABC’s four victories came over the New York Gauchos, Metro Hawks, Arkansas Wings, and Charlotte Royals.
Ultimately, BABC finished the EYBL regular season play with a record of 8-6, and while that was good for sixth place in the division, they appear to be a virtual lock for one of the four at-large bids for the Peach Jam.
Defense was the key to the successful weekend according to assistant coach Chris Driscoll as BABC was able to hold three of their five opponents under 50 points in games played with a 35 second shot clock.
Carter-Williams drew praise from ESPN, Scout.com, and Rivals during the course of the weekend with ESPN’s Joel Francisco saying “Williams exhibited why he is considered one of the better scoring guards in the country.” Scout.com’s Evan Daniels echoed those sentiments, “When BABC needed a bucket, MCW was called upon to get it.” Rivals’ Eric Bossi says “M.C.W. has been on an absolute tear since February and it didn’t stop in L.A…He’s got one of the most advanced offensive repertoires of anybody in the class of 2011. He’s only enhanced his five star standing.”
ESPN’s Francisco also liked what he saw from Noel, calling him “one of the top up-and-coming prospects in the class of 2012.”
Driscoll agreed with that sentiment noting that “Nerlens is still getting over his injury but without him on the court we probably don’t win any of those games.”
Brantley also continues to step up in the big moments and was “a model of efficiency” according to Driscoll. Perhaps the game that best exemplified that was when the young sophomore drained five of his six shots from the floor to finish with 18 points.
In addition to Carter-Williams, Noel, and Brantley, a variety of other players stepped up at various points. Egi Gjikondi was reportedly at his best during the first day of the event while Shaquille Jones hit some huge three-pointers down the stretch of BABC’s win over the Charlotte Royals.