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SPRING 2017 FAB FIFTEEN

By Rick Staudt, 06/13/17, 7:00PM CDT

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It has been a busy spring travel season.  There have been a lot of games played between the EYBL of Nike, Under Armor Association, Adidas Gauntlet and a plethora of independent events.  As we wait for the July live period, here are the fifteen players that made the most of their spring.  Players considered play on Florida-based teams and play their high school ball in Florida.  They are listed in alphabetical order.

Madut Akec, Florida Sons (Adidas), 6’7, 2018

Akec was the primary scorer and rebounder for a Florida Sons team that finished second overall in their division on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit.  His offensive numbers weren’t stellar but sound: 12.4 points per game on 47% shooting.  Akec also grabbed just short of eight rebounds a contest and contributed nearly two steals per game.  Defensively, his length and lateral quickness allowed him to defend positions 1-4.  While his high game was 19 points, his best overall game was an 18 point, 10 rebound, 3 steal performance in the Sons last game of the Gauntlet circuit.

Michael Akuchie, Team Knight (Adidas), 6’8, 2017

Akuchie used the spring to elevate his recruiting profile and signed with Youngstown State in Ohio.  He showed that he was comfortable playing out on the perimeter at the offensive end, boasting improvement in scoring from beyond the arc as well as taking defenders off the bounce and finishing at the rim.  He averaged just over thirteen points and grabbed nearly eight rebounds a contest.  His high scoring game was 17 points, which happened twice but his best overall game was a 16 point, 10 rebound, 2 assists, 2 steals performance in his opening game in the Gauntlet back in April.

Keyshawn Bryant, Showtime Ballers (Adidas), 6’7, 2018

Bryant is an incredible run/jump athlete and he used his physical gifts to great effect during the Adidas Gauntlet series.  He’s a highlight reel in transition and his perimeter shooting is showing improvement.  His averages of 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game paced Showtime.  While his high scoring game was 22 points, he best overall performance was a 16 point, 11 rebound, 2 steals effort during the Gauntlet’s second session in Atlanta.

Vernon Carey, Jr, Nike Team Florida (Nike), 6’10, 2019

The only member of the Class of 2019 to make our list, Carey adapted quickly to the rugged nature of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League and has consistently put up solid numbers in each of the sixteen games he played.  National scouts have praised him for his skills and potential all spring long.  He has the ability to take smaller players in the post and score over them or take bigger players outside and get by them.  He averaged over seventeen points and six rebounds a contest while shooting 54% from the field.  Carey’s 27 points against BABC was his single game-high.  His best overall performance might have been against Expressions Elite when he went for 21 points, 10 rebounds and a pair of blocks.

Caleb Catto, Team Knight (Adidas), 6’5, 2018

Catto got off to a slow start in the first Gauntlet session but he was highly productive in the second session.  He also received a lot of positive attention at the Bob Gibbons’ Tournament of Champions over Memorial Day weekend.  While given effusive praise for his outside shot, Catto has shown that he can put the ball on the floor and score as well.  Catto averaged just under fourteen points and five rebounds a game while shooting over 51% from the field.  His high scoring game of 25 points was also his best game as it included six rebounds and three assists.

Darius Days, Florida Vipers (Under Armor), 6’7, 2018

Days has been downright beastly during his run with the Florida Vipers on the Under Armor circuit.  A double-double threat every game, Days has impressed with his ability to score out to the arc as well as power drive to the basket for points.  Also, few if any play harder when they step on the court.  Over the course of twelve games in the UAA, Days has averaged seventeen points and seven rebounds a contest while shooting 47% from the field overall and 41% from three point range.  His high game was a 30 point effort, which also included 10 rebounds, 2 steals and a block

Silvio De Sousa, Florida Vipers (Under Armor), 6’9, 2018

De Sousa has proven to be far and away the best big man on the Under Armor circuit.  He’s near the top of the leader board in points, rebounds, and steals.  De Sousa owns the paint at both ends of the court as he powers home offensive rebounds, alters shots, and muscles his way for baskets in the post.  He averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds a contest with the Vipers, shooting 64% along the way.  His high point game was 28 but his best overall game was likely his 23 point, 11 rebound performance against a talented Atlanta Express squad.

Michael Devoe, Nike South Beach (Nike), 6’4, 2018

Devoe grabbed the reigns of Nike South Beach and has been their leader and catalyst the last half of the EYBL.  He’s had to play both guard spots at times and has proven to be not only a capable scorer but set up man as well.  He finished the EYBL regular season with averages of nearly 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game while shooting almost 50% from the field overall and 42% from beyond the arc.  Devoe had a high game of 31 points in the last EYBL session in Los Angles but his best game was a near triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists in a win over Portland Basketball Club.

Nick Honor, E1T1 (Nike), 5’10, 2018

Honor played up on the 17U level last season and his confidence and experience have been a key factor in E1T1’s run to a birth in the Peach Jam.  Not only has Honor proven that he can score against elite level competition, he can also set up his teammates and get them baskets while taking excellent care of the ball.  In the second EYBL session, he had 34 assists to just 3 turnovers over the course of four games.  For the EYBL regular season, Honor averaged 12 points and nearly 5 assists per game while shooting 48% from the floor overall and a solid 38% from behind the three point arc.  His high game was 23 points but arguably his most complete performance was a 14 point, 11 assist outing with no turnovers back in April.

Nassir Little, 1 Family (Adidas), 6’7, 2018

By all accounts, Little has gone from a fringe national top 100 guy to a solid top forty player in the country.  He’s proven he can make shots consistently from the perimeter while also maintaining his attacking mindset and score at the basket.  Over the course of eight games in the Gauntlet series, Little averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds a contest while shooting 50% from the floor.  His high game was 26 points against a team from Utah but his finest outing may have been a 22 point, 13 rebound, 5 block performance in the last regular season game of the Gauntlet.

Zach Scott, 1 Family (Adidas), 6’4, 2018

In his first season with 1 Family, Scott has provided a consistent offensive threat from the perimeter and a defensive presence in the backcourt during the eight games of the Gauntlet.  He continues to add to his count of high major offers and several ACC and SEC schools are looking to get involved.  Scott averaged nearly 13 points and 5 rebounds a contest and shot a solid 38% from beyond the arc.  He had a high scoring game of 21 points in the second session but his best overall game may have come a day earlier when he tallied 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Anfernee Simons, Team Breakdown (Under Armor), 6’4, 2018

A Louisville commit that will do a prep year to better prepare for the rigors of high-major college basketball, Simons has been the catalyst for Team Breakdown as they only suffered one defeat in twelve games on the Under Armor circuit.  Simons shows no fear in attacking the basket and his jumper has a quick release to go along with being deadly accurate.  He averaged 19 points and 6 rebounds a contest for Team Breakdown while shooting 43% from beyond the arc.  Simons’ top scoring game was 27 points but his 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals against Grassroots Sizzle was arguably his most complete performance of the spring.

Serrel Smith, Nike South Beach (Nike), 6’1, 2018

Smith has been a consistent double-figures scorer in the EYBL for South Beach.  His ability to play both guard spots has raised his recruitment level.  Smith averaged 12 points and just over three rebounds over the course of sixteen games, while shooting a solid 35% from three point range.  His high game was 22 points but against EYBL rival Southern Stampede his 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists might have been his most complete outing.

Elijah Weaver, Team Breakdown (Under Armor), 6’5, 2018

Weaver, a big point guard, continues to elevate his recruiting status in the Under Armor Association.  Not only blessed with great size for the position, Weaver is also very quick with shifty dribble moves.  He has no problem getting by smaller guards and will easily take bigger defenders off the bounce.  Weaver is also a strong defender.  While his averages of 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game may not be eye-popping, it doesn’t begin to tell the impact Weaver has for his team.  Twice he has scored 19 points as game highs but an 18 point, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals performance against a strong DC Premier squad was arguably his best overall game.

Emmitt Williams, E1T1 (Nike), 6’7, 2018

No question that Williams took over the title of “The Man” for E1T1 this season.  Much like Kevin Knox did last spring and summer, Williams is using his second year of experience in the EYBL to showcase all of his talents and skills.  Most likely the best rebounder in all of high school basketball, scouts describe Williams as “having no ‘off’ button” and voted most likely to play harder than his opponent.  He had two 21 rebounds games another with 19 rebounds this spring.  Williams averaged a double-double over the course of 16 games in the EYBL, finishing with averages of 18 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 61% from the field overall and a stunning 12-25 from three point range.  His scoring high was 31 points but he put together a 30 point, 21 rebound outing the next game.  Williams is the ultimate warrior of high school hoops.