Top names in the 2020 and 2021 classes impress in Indy and Louisville
For those that are involved in AAU, whether it be as a player, coach, or parent, it’s no secret that July is the busiest month. With multiple tournaments taking place across the country, college coaches are out looking towards their future, as they take in games throughout the month. With the first weekend of the month coming to a close, many players and coaches have already made the trip to their next tournament.
Before heading into the next weekend filled with games across the country, let’s take a brief look at some of the student-athletes that were most impressive in the first weekend of play. This look will focus on the players who participate in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), as those were the games I was able to take in directly. The second part will take a look at more players to keep an eye on heading into the second weekend.
One of the most impressive kids in the ’21 class, Miles had a great opening weekend, as she helped lead the Philadelphia Belles U17 team to the EYBL platinum bracket championship in Indianapolis. Miles averaged 15.6 points and 6.2 assists per game, including a 24-4-10 line in a win over All Iowa Attack. She can impact the game in so many ways, which makes her extremely difficult to guard. She can score 24 points, or she can score 2 points, and have a similar impact due to her skill set. She reminds me a lot of Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, which is certainly very high praise.
Parrish, the Oregon commit, led all of the EYBL in scoring this past weekend at 22.5 points per game. She scored over 25 points twice for the Indy Gym Rats, leading them to a 3-2 record. Parrish showcased her elite-level range from the outside, a quick release, and what was most impressive, was her ability to get to the rim and draw contact. She was 35-41 (85.4%) from the free throw line. Parrish also rebounded the ball extremely well at 4.8 per game. She will need to improve a bit on the defensive end, but she is a special talent, and plays with a ton of joy.
More from High School
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, November 2: Shakeup in the ACC with Bollin commit, UNC retool
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, August 3: Sabrina Ionescu to miss one month
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, July 2: Maya Moore helps overturn wrongful conviction
- Citron, Wolfenbarger choose their college destinations
- Caroline Ducharme commits to UConn
Reese was one of the 2020s to watch this month and she did not disappoint in the opening weekend. Reese nearly averaged a double-double for Team Takeover in Louisville, with 16.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Reese, currently the second ranked player in the ’20 class, according to ESPN, also showed her ability to impact the game on the defensive end, as she led all of the U17 EYBL teams in steals. She’s the real deal.
McLean is a UConn commit, and the 5’11 wing, had a great start to her July averaging 10.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for Team Takeover. McLean’s weekend was highlighted by a 12-point, 9-rebound performance in a win over Cal Swish.
Marshall had a great weekend for Exodus NYC, as the Notre Dame commit showcased her ability to impact the game on both ends of the court. Offensively, Marshall showed her ability to dominate on the inside, with great footwork and a soft touch, while also showcasing her ability to stretch the floor and connect on her attempts from the outside. Defensively, Marshall was terrific, blocking a number of shots and controlling the boards.
Another Oregon commit, Watson, who also plays for the Belles alongside Miles, had a solid weekend. She finished averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds. While she struggled a bit in the championship game, Watson was a force throughout the rest of the weekend, including a 17-point, 12-rebound performance in their opening game.
Walker, who plays for Boo Williams AAU, and is the 28th ranked player in the ’21 class according to ESPN, had herself a fantastic opening weekend. Walker was a scoring machine down the stretch, as she helped lead Boo Williams to the U17 EYBL championship in Louisville. She finished her final three games by scoring 21, 20, and 20. The 5’6 point guard is a terrific ball-handler and a dynamic scorer.
Johnson, along with Walker, put on a show for the Boo Williams team in Louisville. Johnson averaged 17.2 points per game, to go along with 4.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Johnson, currently ranked 6th in the ’20 class, showed the ability to be an elite-level shooter at times this weekend, as she recorded multiple threes in each of her team’s five games. She really pushed the tempo and showed her explosiveness at the guard position all weekend.
Ten other names to keep an eye on heading into this weekend
Caroline Ducharme ’21 (Exodus)
Piath Gabriel ’20 (Lady Rivals)
Taziah Jenks ’20 (West Virginia Thunder)
Caroline Lau ’22 (Exodus)
Saniyah Rivers ’21 (Carolina Flames)
Lauren Jensen ’20 (North Tartan)
Sonia Citron ’21 (Hoopers NY)
Payton Verhulst ’21 (Next Level Eclipse)
Shay Bollin ’22 (Bay State Jaguars)
Mellanie Daley ’21 (Empire State)
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