NIKE EYBL Hampton Session Review

Session 3 of the Nike EYBL 2016 season is complete. Boo Williams Sports Complex - a beautiful venue I might add - played host to a weekend that helped some teams prove their dominance while others showed underachievement. 

Howard Pulley(MN) remained undefeated thanks to some stellar guard play. All four of Pulley wins were crunch time victories. Friday they defeated the Georgia Stars by 8 points, Saturday they experienced two overtimes, and Sunday ended with a 6-point victory over King James(OH). 

Saturday performance by Pulley really opened everyone’s eyes. Gary Trent Jr. scored a session high 46 points against the Southern Stampede(GA), who gave Pulley everything they could handle. Clutch buckets from Trent in the overtime period is what helped them overcome the Stampede’s effort to give them their first loss of the season. Trent Jr. was our most outstanding player of the weekend, averaging 24 points per game. Whenever his team needed a bucket, he provided one. 

Brad Davidson took on the scoring role for the final two games, dropping 37 against California Supreme and 25 against King James. While majority of the attention has been around Tre Jones and Trent Jr., Davidson put his name in that conversation this weekend. Davidson single handily saved Pulley’s undefeated regular season against Cal Supreme, knocking down 4 trey balls in the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter and overtime. He also drew the foul that gave him three free throws with 0.9 remaining in overtime, knocking all three. 

Other teams that went undefeated during the Hampton Session were the PSA Cardinals(NY), MOKAN Elite(MO), Team Penny(TN), Team CP3(NC), and Each 1 Teach 1(FL). 

The PSA Cardinals almost seen their second loss in the game of the Hampton Session, defeating Team Wings Elite (AR) in overtime, 78-75. PSA has a solid team with utility man 6’7 forward, Hashan French, playing the Draymond Green role. French had his best session in Hampton, averaging 14 points and 12 boards for the Cardinals. Quade Green continued to elevate his stock, averaging 13.5 points, 9 dimes, and 4 steals, proving that he is one of the best true point guards in the country. 

As far as the underachievers go, Team Takeover(DC) was the one everyone was speaking about. Takeover went 1-3 during the Hampton session, suffering losses to Houston Hoops, CIA Bounce(CA), and We All Can Go(TN), two of which have losing records. 

The Georgia Stars also went 1-3, which put them outside of the top 4 in Division A. The Stars will play as one of the home teams during the Atlanta session, with 5 division games against Team CP3, Mac Irving Fire, Southern Stampede, King James, and Ohio Red. If the Stars want to defend their title, they will need a great run. 

The Top 4 teams from each division will advance to the Peach Jam. 

Division A

  1. Team CP3  9-2
  2. Albany City Rocks 8-3
  3. California Supreme 7-4
  4. Team Takeover 6-5 

Outside looking in: 
Meanstreets (IL) 6-5
Georgia Stars 5-6
Southern Stampede 5-6
King James 5-6
Mac Irvin Fire (IL) 4-7
All Ohio Red 4-7

Division A is still in a log jam for the final two spots. Cal Supreme shouldn’t drop no lower than four but you never know in this league. The final spot in Division A  will come down to the final 5 games of the season. Takeover has no room for error but neither does the teams that trail them. The Southern Stampede is my pick. They will be playing on home soil and has a premier player in Colin Sexton that could take over. 

Division B

  1. Howard Pulley 11-0
  2. Each 1 Teach 1 8-3
  3. Nike South Beach (FL) 6-5
  4. CIA Bounce 6-5 

Outside looking in: 
Pro Skills (TX) 5-6
Houston Hoops 4-7 

Pro Skills and Houston Hoops will fight with CIA Bounce for the final spot. CIA Bounce went 3-1 during the Hampton session, missing 4-0 because of a 1-point loss to King James. The 4th spot is for CIA Bounce to lose. 

Divison C

  1. PSA Cardinals 10-1
  2. The Rens (NY) 7-4
  3. BABC (MA) 6-5
  4. Expressions Elite (MA) 6-5  

Outside looking in: 
Oakland Soldiers (CA) 5-6
Las Vegas Prospects (NV) 5-6

The Las Vegas Prospects had a great session in Hampton, going 3-1. Their only loss came against the St. Louis Eagles by two points. With games being all division matchups, it will be interesting to see which team separate themselves from the pack. 

Division D

  1. Mokan Elite 10-1
  2. Team Penny 9-2
  3. Team Final 9-2
  4. St. Louis Eagles 8-3 

Outside looking in: 
Spiece 8-3
NJ Playaz 7-4

No room for error for any of the top 4 teams because Spiece and NJ Playaz are waiting to capitalize. The Playaz out of the top 6 teams had the worst weekend going 2-2, while everyone else stayed steady with 1 loss or none. Division D is a prime example of how important wins are in this league. After the Atlanta session, two of the top 4 teams could be outside looking in.