All Peach Jam team

20 Jul

By Bobby Bancroft
National Hoops Report

With four games going on at all times inside one building, the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam is a dream come true for college basketball coaches, fans, and would be talent evaluators everywhere.  The only unfortunate part is the inability for any one person to see every player an equal amount of time.  Given that constraint, a starting five must be picked, no matter how difficult it may be to leave off certain players.  Without further adieu, here we go:

2011 Peach Jam Starting Five

PG – Kyle Anderson, 2012 (Playaz) – Some might argue that Anderson isn’t a traditional point guard, and they would be right.  But Anderson is the player with the ball in his hands at all times and he makes everybody on his team better.  And oh yeah, he’s pretty good too.  Anderson led his team into the quarterfinals with a 4-1 pool play record.  Even more impressive is his knack for picking up triple-doubles.  He accomplished the feat twice in six games while finishing with per game averages of 18.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 7.6 assists.  He does whatever it takes to win and he does so in a very efficient manner with deceptive athleticism.

SG – Archie Goodwin, 2012 (Arkansas Wings) – Goodwin wore a brace on his left wrist that probably hampered his shooting ability but it still didn’t stop the explosive guard from leading the tournament in scoring at 20.4 points per game.  Goodwin was able to drive on just about any defender that dared try and stand in between him and the basket.  Although he wasn’t able to lead his team out of pool play (2-3) he did seem to get better as the week went on, saving a 30 point performance in his last game.

SF – Jabari Parker, 2013 (Mac Irvin Fire) – Parker lead his team out of pool play with a 4-1 record by averaging 18.8 points per game.  The versatile 6’7 forward is able to score from every spot on the court by taking advantage of what the defense gives him.  Like Anderson, he uses his brain just as well as his physical abilities.  During the week of Peach Jam, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski compared him to Kobe Bryant.  After his loss in the quarterfinals, Parker said he was honored by the praise but that he has a long ways to go. That being said, he’s a lot closer than most players will ever be to the Laker great.

PF – Julius Randle, 2013 (Team Texas Titans) – Randle is the focal point for every opposing defense.  Under normal circumstances that means double teams but since Randle is anything but normal, it’s not uncommon to see team’s occasionally triple-team the low post standout.  Randle has great footwork and is virtually unstoppable from certain spots on the court.  Randle also runs the court well for a big and can even find the open man on the perimeter.  When Randle starts hitting his jumper, it’s going to be a long night for the other team.  Randle finished the Peach Jam by nearly averaging a double-double with 19.3 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game.

C – Nerlens Noel, 2013 (BABC) – If this were a list of the top players based only on offense, Noel would be nowhere to be found.  But it’s not and Noel is the MVP of this starting five slightly getting the nod over Anderson. Noel led BABC (8-0) to their first championship in eight title game appearances.   Like Anderson, Noel simply makes his teammates better.  The defensive stalwart chipped in two triple-doubles with blocks of course being the third statistical category.  Speaking of blocks, Noel also led the tournament in blocks.  Even when he’s not blocking shots, Noel is changing shots and intimidating everybody on the opposing team.  His team routinely has a big advantage in points in the paint, second chance points, and points off of turnovers.  Noel is a flat out winner that will only grow as a player as his offense improves.

Biggest Mistake:  Like all lists, there will be some noteworthy omissions, and this list is no different.  The most glaring omission from this list is probably 6’10 SF/PF Brandon Ashley, 2012 (Oakland Soldiers).  The versatile Ashley is a mismatch nightmare for every team that he faces.  It came down to a two-man race between Parker and Ashley and, unfortunately, somebody had to finish second best.

On the outside looking in:  PG D’Vaunte Smith Rivera, 2012 (Indy Spiece), PF Shaq Goodwin, 2012 (Memphis YOMCA), PF Ricardo Gathers, 2012 (Louisiana Select), C Tony Parker, 2012 (Georgia Stars), SF Aaron Gordon, 2013 (Oakland Soliders), SG Ricardo Ledo, 2012 (Albany City Rocks), PF Jarnell Stokes, 2012 (Memphis YOMCA).

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