NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. —
Several top high school basketball prospects made headlines on the first day of the Nike EYBL Peach Jam on Tuesday as the battle for the top spot in the Class of 2022 continued to heat up. In addition, a number of under-the-radar prospects opened eyes as action of the two-week event got underway.
This year's event is not open to the public, but scouts, media, parents and fellow EYBL participants loaded the stands to catch the nation's best go head-to-head as the Nike EYBL returns in a compacted form after a one-year COVID layoff.
Who's the Class of 2022's top prospect?
and Emoni Bates
were both in action Tuesday with both losing their opener and neither being overly dominant. Top-ranked Duren finished with 16 points and six rebounds, while second-ranked Bates scored 19 with seven rebounds. The duo will be watched heavily as each looks to shine brighter on the summer circuit's biggest stage. After Bates held onto the top ranking for nearly two full years, Duren recently passed him in multiple national player rankings.
The Nike EYBL circuit gives unheralded or overlooked players an opportunity to prove their standing each year against the nation's top talent. No player ranked outside the Top 100 stood out more than West Virginia commit Josiah Harris of Richmond Heights (Ohio)
. The 6-foot-7 forward was tasked with guarding Bates. Not only did Harris do an admirable job containing the nation's top scorer, but he chipped in 21 points and 10 rebounds to help All Ohio Red upset Bates Fundamentals. Harris is the No. 240 prospect in the Class of 2022. Another player outside the Top 100 who stood out Tuesday was the day's top scorer — Foster Loyer
. The Purdue commit is No. 128 in the Class of 2022, but outplayed his rankings by chipping in 27 points while shooting an efficient 9-of-14 from the field.
24-second shot clock
A hot topic at major
events, the Nike EYBL has implemented a 24-second shot clock to force
teams into quicker possessions. The change was noticeable on
the Peach Jam's first day as teams adjusted their offenses
accordingly. Some high school events have made use of a 30- to 35-second
shot clock. However, the EYBL took the next step to mirror NBA game-play for the top prospects in high school
Stat-lines of the day
Five-star point guard Jaden Bradley
of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
put together an impressive performance in a win for Team CP3. The No. 17 ranked player in the senior class stuffed the stat-sheet with 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals in 24 minutes while shooting 7-of-12 from the field. Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)
guard Knasir McDaniel
also put together a strong game despite Team Takeover losing big as the recent Michigan pledge finished with 10 points, nine steals and eight assists.
Canadian prospect shines
After picking up 11 Division I offers in June, Montreal native Luke Hunger didn't take long to have his coming out party. The 6-10 forward put up 24 points, 11 rebounds and four assists while knocking down 10-of-17 field goal attempts in 30 minutes of play for BABC. Hunger is not ranked by 247Sporsts Class of 2022 rankings, but that's certain to change by the end if his stellar play continues.