What We Learned: Nike EYBL Virginia

What We Learned: Nike EYBL Virginia


What We Learned: Nike EYBL Virginia


Keldon Johnson was dominant this past weekend at the EYBL. (Photo: Jon Lopez/Nike)

HAMPTON, Va. – From a super-efficient debut to being good and ready to bypass a full year of high school there were countless revelations from the opening session of the Nike EYBL in Hampton, Va.

Here are a handful of out takeaways from the weekend.

Tre Jones is staking his claim as the top PG in the EYBL

Howard Pulley Panthers (Minn.) point guard Tre Jones made a strong statement this past weekend at the EYBL posting 18 points and 10 assists per game while leading his squad to a 3-1 record.

Jones was tactical in his approach, dismantling opposing defenses by making the right play on seemingly every possession and, most importantly, making his teammates better in the process.

It’s clear that Jones, a junior who ESPN rates as a four-star prospect, is eyeing five-star status.

So far so good.

Keldon Johnson is a manchild.

In hindsight we probably should’ve been paying closer attention to Boo Williams (Va.) wing Keldon Johnson’s 34-point performance in his opening game at the EYBL; it’s obvious that he was putting the rest of the league on notice.

By the end of the weekend, Johnson, who is ranked No. 18 overall in the ESPN 60, had led Boo Williams to a 4-0 record and posted 25.2 points and 9.2 rebounds a game.

It’s clear that Johnson is eyeing a jump toward top 10 status and, if he continues this tear, perhaps even higher.

Shareef O’Neal warrants non-dad questions

Yes, you, reporter; time to talk to Shareef O’Neal about, well, Shareef O’Neal.

Game-after-game this weekend, O’Neal was bombarded with questions about his father and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.

But Shareef, an Arizona commit who is ranked No. 19 overall in the ESPN 60, led Cal Supreme (Calif.) to a 3-1 record averaging 15.2 points and 6.5 rebounds a game.

Posting those numbers on, arguably, the toughest circuit of the summer warrants questions about him and his play.

To borrow one of Shaq’s famous catch phrases: “Can, you, dig iiiiiiit.”

Vernon Carey Jr. is Mr. Efficient.

It’s hard to believe that Nike Team Florida forward Vernon Carey Jr. was “very nervous” heading into his first 17U EYBL game this weekend; before that, Carey had only played at the 15U level.

So, yes, the fact that he led Team Florida to a 3-1 record averaging 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds was impressive, but even more mind-boggling was how efficient he was in the process.

Carey, who stands 6-foot-10 and is ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPN 25, shot 85 percent from the field and 44 percent from the three-point line.

Sometimes skill trumps experience, even on, arguably, the toughest summer circuit.

Jontay Porter is ready to enroll in college.

In the past there have been plenty of players who have reclassified up a grade to graduate early and enroll in college that just weren’t ready.

But if his play this past weekend was any indication, Porter isn’t one of those people.

RELATED: Jontay Porter leaning toward reclassifying to 2017

Stepping out of the shadow of his older brother Michael, the No. 1 overall player in the ESPN 100 for 2017, Jontay led defending Peach Jam champs Mokan Elite (Mo.) to an undefeated weekend and averaged 19.2 points, 13 rebounds and 2.8 blocks a game. Often times he looked like a man amongst boys and showed off his versatility scoring from all over the court.

Porter told USA Today that he’s “leaning toward” reclassifying and joining the Tigers next season and will visit Missouri today.

If he goes through with it, he’ll be ready.

Undefeated dreams are still alive.

Every player on every team comes in to every game expecting to win, but only five teams still have an unblemished record after doing battle at the EYBL this past weekend: Mokan Elite (Mo.), Boo Williams (Va.), PSA Cardinals (N.Y.), The City Rocks (N.Y.) and Mean Streets (Ill.).

Still, there’s no time to ride off into the sunset with 14 teams only experiencing one loss.

Where will those records stand after this weekend in Indianapolis?

We’ll see.

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY


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