New York Recap
The Nike EYBL season opened this weekend in Brooklyn with a cruise terminal overlooking the Statue of Liberty and the tip of Manhattan turning into a facility hosting four basketball courts and hundreds of on-looking college coaches. New England’s two Nike sponsored teams, Expressions Elite and BABC, opened their 2016 season by going 2-1 and 1-2 respectively.
BABC opened with a 67-53 win over the Las Vegas Prospects behind a huge performance from Marcus Santos Silva who finished with 18 points on 8-11 shooting from the floor and 17 rebounds. Terrell Brown also asserted himself to the tune of 9 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks to give BABC the interior advantage while Justin Mazzulla (8 points, 7 assists) and Jalyn Hinton (12 points in 14 minutes) led the way on the perimeter. Unfortunately though, offense was harder to find in the next two games as BABC fell to Spiece Indy Heat 54-41 and RM5 61-47. Corey Romich knocked down three threes and finished with 11 points against Spiece while Hinton scored a team high 10 against RM5.
Kimani Lawrence picked up right where he left off at least weekend’s Northeast Hoops Festival in Expressions opening 68-51 win over The Family with 18 points, including 3-3 shooting from deep, and 9 rebounds while Tremont Waters flirted with a triple-double (10 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds). Jermaine Samuels and Nick Richards finished with 13 and 11 respectively. Waters had 18, 4 and 3 against EP4, while Richards had a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Lawrence 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks but they came out on the short end of a 68-60 decision. Expressions bounced back with a win over Las Vegas Prospects on Sunday as the Waters (23 points on 6-9 shooting from the floor), Lawrence (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) and Richards (13 points, 14 rebounds) again led the way.
The PSA Cardinals and Albany City Rocks, two programs lined with New England prep talent, both finished the weekend with perfect undefeated records. PSA opened with a 69-68 win over Cal Supreme live on ESPNU with both Walter Whyte and Hasahn French logging major minutes. The City Rocks also knocked off Cal Supreme on Saturday with Andrew Platek going for three triples and 11 points, Anthony Gaines stuffing the stat sheet with 9 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals and Kristers Zoriks running the point with 8 points and 5 assists. Gaines had 14 points and 10 rebounds in a big win over CIA Bounce later in the day while Platek added 13 more including 3-4 shooting from three. That duo got even better on Sunday as Gaines had 23 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists while Platek had 20, 8 and 2 steals. Zoriks added 11 points in the win.
Across the river on Pier 36 in Manhattan, Under Armour hosted the first session of their UAA season which meant the debut of the Connecticut Basketball Club. Their 17’s got off to a slow start, but big man Jeff Allen still managed to shine by leading the team in scoring and rebounding. The real story though was their u15 team that won their first 3 games of the weekend, including one of a New Heights team that looked dominant at last weekend’s Northeast Hoops Festival, before falling to WE-R1 in Sunday’s nightcap, but still finished atop the Clutch Division. Isaiah Williams led a balanced scoring attack while Chol Marial dominated the interior with nearly 9 rebounds and over 4 blocks per game.