#OTRHoopsReport: EYBL Underclass Standouts – June 4, 2015

Class of 2017 Troy Brown is a consistent performer on the EYBL circuit. Read how his spring finished in Minnesota.  Photo cred – Jon Lopez/Nike

MAPLE GROVE, Minn., – The EYBL circuit is one of the premier places for prospects to make a name for themselves. Here is a rundown on some of the underclassmen who showed they are already at the top of their class.


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By: @JLHemingwayPSB

Nike Elite 100. St. Louis.Troy Brown (Las Vegas, Nev.), – Las Vegas Prospects – 2017

Currently the No. 1 player in the BrandonClayScouting.com rankings, Brown backed up that reputation with a consistent performance in Minneapolis. Standing 6-foot-6, Brown plays either back court position with confidence and skill. His versatility and play-making ability gives us the assurance that he will remain at the top of the class. He finished league play averaging 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists for the spring.


Nike Elite 100. St. Louis.Markus Howard (Chandler, Nev.), Las Vegas Prospects – 2017

One of the biggest jumps made by an already ranked player came from the 5-11 combo guard. After de-committing from Arizona State earlier this spring, Howard has been on a scoring terror throughout circuit play. He finished the season averaging just over 20 points per game while shooting an impressive 49 percent from the field. More impressively was his 45 percent from beyond the stripe, where over half of his field goal makes came from. While in Minnesota as he stuck shots from 24 feet while also using an array of dribble moves to hit floaters in the kill zone. Playing alongside of the aforementioned Brown frees Howard up to move off screens and get loose as a scoring dynamo. Do not sleep on the rest of his game either, as the Findlay Prep bound lead guard made plays consistently on both ends of the floor.

Elfrid Payton EliteJavonte Smart (Baton Rouge, Louis.), Elfrid Payton Elite – 2018

It is unusual to see such poise in a point guard as an underclassmen. We just mentioned Smart a few weeks ago in our Notebook edition, however his play was so notable again in Minnesota that he will move to the front of the line in point guards in his class. It is nearly impossible to pressure Smart into a mistake because of his combination of size and skill. What makes the 6-4 lead guard so valuable is that he naturally looks to involve his teammates, but he can get to the rim for his own shot when called upon.

Nike Elite 100. St. Louis.Gary Trent Jr. (Apple Valley, Minn.), Howard Pulley – 2017

Trent earned a 5-star rating while playing in his home state. His outstanding play lasted the entire season as he lead the league with a 22.1 scoring average. Trent stands at 6-5 and plays primarily the shooting guard position. He excels at getting his shot off quickly in transition and while coming off of screens. Although he has a quick trigger, he shoots the ball with accuracy both off of the dribble and in the spot up situation. Trent Jr. is a tough, competitive kid who will find ways to get buckets in critical situations. He even proved he can get create moves in isolation situations to get buckets. Expect him to move up the rankings nationally.

2014 Nike EYBL. Session #2. Dallas.Jarred Vanderbilt (Houston, Texas), – Houston Hoops – 2017

Vanderbilt is quickly turning into one of these position-less players that are so effective and popular in the game today. The left-handed combo-forward puts us in the frame of mind of a cross between Ben Simmons and Justice Winslow. His explosive athleticism on the interior allows him to rebound and finish with the best in the country. However, he is showing that he can be a stretch forward that can attack the defense off of the bounce. Currently ranked No. 4 in his class, Vanderbilt could easily be considered the top prospect nationally because of his effectiveness in every game. He finished the circuit averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds a game. However, if there is an area that Vanderbilt could improve upon, much like Simmons, is his jumper. He only connected on two 3-point attempts all year long.

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Jonathan HemingwayJonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. Hemingway serves on the Board of Selectors for the Naismith Trophy. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on  twitter @JLHemingwayPSB


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