The Nike Peach Invitational is not Peach Jam, but there will be plenty of great basketball played in Augusta, Ga., from Wednesday through Sunday. The Peach Invitational is for the 16 teams in the Nike EYBL that did not qualify for Peach Jam.
Here are some things to watch during the Peach Invitational, which will be live streamed by FloHoops.com for subscribers:
Few — if any — players have had the type of spring and early summer that Sexton has had.
Sexton from Pebblebrook High (Mableton, Ga.) led the EYBL regular season in scoring at 31.7 points per game this spring. Then, he was named MVP of the U17 World Championships in Spain where he helped Team USA again win a gold medal. He averaged 17 points and 4.2 assists during the tournament.
All this from a player who was unranked by most of the major recruiting services when the spring began. He is a secret no longer as the offers have continued to roll in.
Sexton will lead Southern Stampede in the Peach Invitational.
“He’s obviously talented and he’s just super focused on what he has to do on the court,” Southern Stampede coach Aljami Durham says. “He’s a really hard worker. You’re not going to outwork him … Ever.”
The big programs
The Peach Invitational is filled with perennial programs that are used to being on the bigger stage, including defending champion Georgia Stars. Boo Williams, Mac Irvin Fire, Oakland Soldiers and The Family also are in the invitational field.
All have talented players who will be looking to impress this week after the programs had regular seasons that were not up to their typical standards.
The Family might be the most intriguing among this group. It finished the regular season at 7-9 but that was after a 2-9 start.
2019 name to know
Trendon Watford is back at the Nike EYBL and plays for the Alabama Challenge. What makes him unique is he just finished his freshman year at Mountain Brook (Ala.), making him among the younger players in the EYBL.
Watford, a 6-7 small forward, was ranked No. 11 in the Scout.com rankings for the Class of 2019 released this week.
Watford averaged 13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the Challenge during the regular season.
One of the nation’s top backcourt tandems during the high school season again joins forces in the EYBL.
Point guard Jaylen Nowell and shooting guard Deajon Davis play for Garfield High (Seattle) and also Seattle Rotary Style.
Nowell from Garfield (Seattle) committed to the University of Washington in late June. Nowell is ranked as the No. 9 shooting guard in the Class of 2017, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Davis is ranked as the No. 2 combo guard by the 247Sports Composite and is uncommitted after decommitted from Washington in April.
Could the duo end up as Huskies eventually? Anything is possible.
Busy schedules for top recruits are nothing new, but Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) point guard Alex Barcello is playing with a purpose. Ranked as the No. 16 point guard in the Class of 2017, Barcello wants to show he belongs among the elite.
He was among the invitees to the NPBA Top 100 Camp in Virginia, Nike Elite 60 in Los Angeles, and the SC30 (Steph Curry) Select Camp in the Bay Area. He has 25 offers thus far with more to come.
He averaged 25.3 points in the EYBL regular season with the Oakland Soldiers.
“I hope to show that I am one of the best point guards in the country for many reasons,” Barcello told Gannett partner The Arizona Republic. “Being able to get my teammates easy buckets, scoring from anywhere on the court, coming off the ball screens and reading what defenses give me to make plays out of it, and really locking down on defense.
“Mainly, I just want to show that I’m an overall floor general.”