From questions about youth prevailing over experience to players finding new motivations juicy storylines abound headed into the Nike Peach Jam July 12-16.
Here are the five most intriguing.
Tre Jones is on a mission.
The general consensus among spring/summer circuit followers was that Jones was not only in for a major leap in the recruiting rankings, but, potentially, set to claim the coveted No. 1 spot among point guards in the class.
Makes sense for a guy who pumped in 19.3 points (56.5 percent from the field), 8.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game and led the Howard Pulley Panthers (Minn.) to a 13-3 record on the toughest circuit of the summer.
But when the new ESPN 100 dropped, Jones checked in as the No. 4 point guard in the class and No. 19 overall prospect.
A big jump up from his unranked status before, but not quite where he wants to be.
Jones, who was named EYBL Offensive Player of the Year, watched his older brother, Tyus, who went on to star at Duke and is now with the Minnesota Timberwolves, obliterate the competition at Peach Jam headed into his senior year back and 2013 and now it’s Tre’s turn to leave his mark.
Expect that motivation to be obvious.
Can Marvin Bagley III translate dominance into wins?
Don’t think for one second that Bagley, the top player in the ESPN 100, isn’t aware of the controversy behind his Nike Phamily (Ariz.) squad picking up the wild card nod to participate in Peach Jam after finishing 2-14 during the EYBL regular season.
And don’t think for one second that he’s not extra motivated to prove to everyone that he can lead his team to the winner’s circle.
Despite the lack of wins, Bagley dominated the competition all spring posting 25.8 points (54.6 percent from the field), 14.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 1.7 assists per game.
Still, lofty numbers aside, the only thing that matters at Peach Jam is wins and Bagley will have to figure out how to, once and for all, piece them together to change the narrative.
Is this the year for Team CP3?
The North Carolina-based squad would have to be on anyone’s shortlist to bring home the Peach Jam crown for anyone who followed closely this spring.
Team CP3 finished 13-3, but two of their losses came by a total of just three points.
Team CP3 averaged 76 points per game during the EYBL, third best in the league, and held opponents under 70 points per game in all but four games.
Jaylen Hoard (14.9 points, 6.4 rebounds) and Coby White (21.6 points, 3.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds), a North Carolina commit, give the team dominance on the perimeter, but with Hoard (6-foot-8) as its tallest player, Team CP3 will have to have consistent answers for bigger teams.
Is Nike Team Florida too young?
Sounds like a crazy question for a team whose young stars have been consistently strong all season, but when it comes to winning Peach Jam, experience matters.
Team Florida finished just 8-8 this season and its youth showed at times.
Five-star rising juniors Vernon Carey Jr. (17.4 points, 5.8 rebounds) and Trendon Watford (13.1 points, 5.2 rebounds) have exceeded expectations in their first year on the 17U level and Carey recently led the USA U16 National Team to the gold medal in Argentina.
Experiences like that will help, and it’s clear that the future is bright in Florida; now can they piece together a spirited run at the Peach Jam this year?
Can Bol Bol take the next step?
You’d be hard pressed to find a more dominant player on any circuit than Cal Supreme’s Bol Bol. The 7-foot-2 center was named MVP of the EYBL regular season after posting 24.1 points (65.6 from the field), 10 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game.
Cal Supreme finished 13-3.
His dominance on both ends has translated into open looks for his guards and thus has made Cal Supreme one of the best shooting teams on the circuit.
The question is: Have teams used the off-time to come up with a strategy to contain Bol Bol enough to force tougher looks from the perimeter?
If not the Peach Jam hardware could be L.A. bound.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY