Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NYBL Session #2 2019 Recap

Rowan Barrett Jr., Balsa Koprovica, Chandler Lawson, Brian Antonie & Wendell Moore
If there were any lingering doubts about the significance of the NYBL, what went down in Session #2 in Atlanta last weekend squashed all of that. The NYBL is hands down the best thing to hit middle school basketball in decades. The amount of team and individual talent amassed in the second session is unmatched. In terms of elite teams, the addition of the Memphis War Eagles and George Hill, the emergence of the Brampton Warriors and Team United; the discovery of Butler Elite and the known juggernauts like All-Ohio Red, Team CP3, S.C. Hornets, Team Rio, Texas Express as well as other elite teams, the NYBL is a force to be reckoned with.

In terms of individual talent, 9 of the top 10 ranked players in the country were ballin out in the ATL. When you talk about top 100 ranked players nationally, it’s safe to say 90% of the most elite players are in the league, and they hooped last weekend. Names like Balsa Koprovica (6’8 C Florida), Chandler Lawson (6’7 WF Tennessee), Scottie Lewis (6’3 WF New Jersey), Wendell Moore (6’4 PF North Carolina), Jeremiah Francis (5’11 PG Ohio), Jordan Mitchell (6’3 WF Ohio) and Kobe Langley (5’9 SG North Carolina) were all established top 10 players when year #2 of the NYBL tipped off in Washington D.C. in March, but guys like Rowan Barrett Jr. (6’4 WF Canada), Nobal Days (6’8 C Wisconsin), Isaiah Moseley (6’0 SG Canada), Andrew Nembhard (6’0 PG Canada) and BJ Mack II (6’6 C North Carolina) have all burst onto the national stages since their teams joined the NYBL.

All-Ohio Red Sits 10-0
This past weekend featured early season match-ups that could not even be imaged 2 years ago. Team CP3 vs Memphis War Eagles; All-Ohio Red vs Texas Express Elite; Team Rio National vs S.C. Hornets; Memphis War Eagles vs S.C. Hornets and Team CP3 vs Memphis War Eagles our just a few of the elite match-ups that were offered in Session #2. With those types of battles, some teams that are not accustomed to loosing at all, let alone this early in the season were going to take some “Ls.” All-Ohio Red went undefeated for the second time in 2 sessions, including a surprising blowout (41-62) win over Texas Express Elite, and now sits at a perfect 10-0 in league play. All-Ohio is playing some of the best basketball in the league.  Not only are they bringing the full court pressure for 32 minutes, they bring a fresh 5 players off the bench to maintain that pressure.  Most teams simply can’t hold on for an entire game.  We no their top guns (i.e., Francis, Mitchell & Reynolds), but guys like Chris Payne, Chris’Sean Stringer and Amri Davis have been leading the team at times. According the score books, Payne was the big dog in Atlanta.

Team CP3
Keyford Langley’s Team CP3 faced one of the toughest schedules of the weekend and came out unscathed (9-1 overall) with wins over Team Rio (54-47), Memphis (57-52), Team Takeover (67-39), 6th Man Warriors(63-43) and Academy Prep Hawks (50-45). Wendell Moore had another good weekend as did Chaz Gwinn, the Langley twins and Mike Green. The upstart Brampton Warriors solidified their place among the elite teams in the league with a 5-0 record in Atlanta. That unblemished recorded included a lopsided victory over Texas Express Elite (62-41) on Saturday. A virtual unknown in the U.S. prior to Session #1 in Washington D.C, Brampton’s Rowan Barrett was killin it in Atlanta. Multiple 20 point games, dunks and athletic demonstrations finally convinced some folks that he’s the top guy in this class. Speaking of tops in his class, his running mate, Andrew Nembhard, is quietly building a case as the top PG in the class. He’s not flashy, but he runs the point like a poised college guy.

Andrew Nembhard, Isaiah Moseley, Myles Pierre & BJ Mack
Although the Ohio Hoopsters left D.C. 0-5 in the opening session, their ride home from Atlanta had to feel much better packing a 5-0 record. Now that’s a serious turnaround! Speaking of turn arounds, with the addition of Balsa Koprovica, who is a big who is super skilled, and the continued physical play of Bryan Sanders, Team Florida has a new look, a new swag, and 5-0 record coming out of Atlanta. They are now a legitimate threat to upset somebody in Columbus in June. Over the weekend, Team Florida took down the Charlotte Rivals, D-Wade Future Stars, Team United, Reach Higher Kings and Carolina Chaos. In 2 sessions Team Rio has only lost 2 games (8-2 overall) and has played a very competitive schedule.  We know they have top 5 Scottie Lewis on the roster, but Brian Antonio was the story this weekend, as he knocked down a boatload of treys in several tough games. Team Rio continues to get better, and could find themselves in the final 4 in Columbus in June.

Other impressing showings included Team United’s 68-67 overtime victory against the Memphis War Eagles on Sunday. In that game, North Carolina’s BJ Mack silenced some of his many critics with a big time, 30 point performance. Butler Elite had to be happy with their 4-1 showing last weekend. Their only loss came at the hands of Texas Express Elite, who had to overcome a double digit deficit to pull out the 58-60 win. Noble Days was hurt on day one, but returned on Sunday. In his absence, Demonta Hudson put together a great weekend, and was his team’s leading and most consistent scorer.

Juwan Gary, Chris Payne, DJ Jeffries & Joe Jones
Fresh off a great showing in a big tournament their home country, the Northern Kings logged in a surprising 4-1 record in Session # 2.  Their lone loss came against DC United, another Canadian team (33-30). Their best win of the weekend was a 39-37 nail bitter against Texas Express Elite Saturday afternoon. A big shout out goes to the Georgia based TNBC, who got out of Atlanta with a surprising 4-1 record. You can’t blame it on a soft schedule, as TNBC beat a very competitive Team Takeover (59-57), the Academy Prep Hawks, DC Assault and Upstate Elite.

There were a number of 3-2 teams after last weekend, most notably the Memphis War Eagles. Rodney Newsome’s bunch has rarely lost 2 games in a season, let alone in 1 weekend! But hey, that’s what happens in the NYBL. It was hard getting him here (the league), but it was clear his team enjoyed the competition and are very much looking forward the Session # 3 in Louisville, Kentucky in 2 weeks. The S.C. Hornets were initially flying high after the opening session with a gaudy 5-0 record; however, in Session #2 they took 2 body blows from Memphis (60-69) and Team Rio (48-51). No shame in those losses, as they came at the hands of 2 of the league’s top teams.

Now that Session #2 has been put to bed, all eyes turn to Louisville and the third stop of the league. Teams are starting to think about seeding and the championship session in Columbus, Ohio in June. With a crystal trophy, and national championship rings up for grabs, teams are starting to feel the heat! Can’t wait for Louisville!


15 comments:

  1. You seem to write about the same teams and players regardless of what they do. Many teams went 4-1 or 3-2 but you expend do much ink on Memphis

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    1. I agree, I believe that going 3-2 in the NYBL on any given weekend is not really worth writing about. Memphis can't beat AOR, CP3, or that Canadian team so I don't see what the hype is anyhow. Solid team with a ton of size, but a lot of individual play.

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  2. Many kids had big games for non top 10 or elite teams, even against those teams but get no love. If you 6"4 or taller you are highlighted regardless and the focus seems to be mentioning the same 5 from the Preps, AOR, the two or three from Team Rio and now the kids from Brampton Warriors/Canada. A kid dropped 22 against Brampton and that team won but he got no mention ?smh. Academy Prep Hawks played CP3 within 5 points and had two players with good numbers who remain anonymous ? Come on Rob, if you gone do this actually look at some games or at least the score book before dolling out accolades to the same kids over and over.

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    1. Rob is really stuck between a rock and a hard place cause when it comes to this NYBL League I'm sure there are plenty of politics involved. Rob has to satisfy the Elite teams such as AOR, CP3, and Team Rio, and yet somehow manage to pub up other good teams like Memphis to keep them interested, while trying to seem fair enough to the other teams that make up the league. Good luck with that! What needs to happen is maybe Rob needs to add to his reporting staff so as to cover more games to get a broader perspective on all the interesting performances by a range of good players.

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    2. Couldn't have said it better. If you are 6'4 or taller, can dunk in the game or the warm up line, if you got 5 or 6 different uniforms like the Wareagles, if your team name bares that of an NBA player, or if your team is from outside the United States then you will get plenty of hype and praise. To add to that, if your last name is Mitchell, Francis, Langley, Lewis, Moore, Green, Brelsford, Williams, Gwen, Hinton, Hoggard.... so on and so on, then you are getting ink regardless of how you performed! The only kids that kinda deserves that kind of shine is Francis and
      Mitchell because they are on the only undefeated team, and even they shouldn't
      take all the credit for that cause their team is loaded with guys that are just as
      responsible for all those blowouts. If you take away those AOP kids from Red,
      Davis, Stringer, Payne, Tribble, Matthews, and Bradley Jr, that changes the
      complete dynamics of that team, and none of these kids are ranked! I watched AOR play WACG in Akron at the Lebron James Classic and the leading scorer of that game would surprise you, it wasn't Mitchell, Francis, or Reynolds. It was the Matthews kid from Dayton, he must have hit 6 or 7 three's in that game, the purest stroke I've seen. None of these so called ranked players or teams will beat Red, and thats because AOR has the best players that you never hear about.

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  3. One thing to think about the kids that we hear nothing about now we will be some of the top players when they get in High school mark my word. So just set back and years from now we will see who stands out we tripping about kids being ranked in the 7th grade this stuff only feeds into the parents ego. Just sit back and watch.

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    1. All the top kids you constantly hear about in the league are mostly all reclass, so a lot of times when kids are way taller, faster, way more athletic it should come as no surprise. If you are a kid who is 14 years old in the 7th grade, put an asterisk by your name, you are too old. If you are 13 years old, but turn 14 before September, put an asterisk by your name, you are too old. But if you were 12 years old at the start of your 7th grade year and have turned 13, I salute you and your parents, you are a true 7th grader who is gettin it in against older kids that happen to be in your grade!

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  4. You are wrong. Some are re-classed. Different states have different cut-off dates and start school at different times. Anyway rankings and recruitment goes by your class, not your age. It's middle school basketball. If they cheat themselves or the game it will catch up to them. Other sports do it all the time. For instance if you are 17 going to college and playing football, coaches will tell you that they are going to redshirt you because you are not big, strong or fast enough. Not all 17 year old boys can compete with 20-23 year old men. More importantlyI would like to see their report cards.

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    1. Doesn't matter what states have cut off dates and whatever other excuse you want to use. This is not high school, this is still middle school ball where age and maturity does matter. Line kids up by their age and let them play against each other and half of these so called ranked 7th graders would be playing against 8th graders cause they are the same age as true 8th graders, not 13 year old true 7th graders!

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  5. No excuses. I'm not crying about re-classed kids. So you got kids that turn 14 after school is year is over during the summer. Is that a true 7th grader or should that kid have been in 8th grade during the year? Like I said this is middle school basketball and to tell the truth it doesn't matter. If kids want to play when they get to high school then they have to play against older kids.

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    1. Not making excuses, I don't make excuses, it's a cold hard fact. All I want to do is give my cudos to the 13 year old 7th graders, not the 14 and 15 year old 7th graders! And your right about one thing, in High School if these guys choose to play they will play against kids of all ages and sizes, but this is not high school, this is middle school. The Shamar Morrow kid is a great player, but he dominates a circuit of kids that are in some cases a whole year, year and a half younger than him. He is suppose to be the #1 sixth grader. But what I enjoyed watching at the Lebron tournament was when Shamar went against kids his same "age" when he played with MSE National and they played up in the 7th grade division. When AOR got done with that team you would have never known he was even ranked cause he didn't do much of anything against guys his age, and on the same talent level. Not taking anything away from these older 7th graders, they are still very talented, but it is what it is, an advantage. Just like steroids in basketball, an advantage. You come to watch level playing fields, not kids being held back cause they can't dominate their own age group so they can shine amongst younger kids.

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  6. I want to ask the question why reclass kids. This is not college where you can redshirt. If you are 14 before sept 1 you are a 8th grader simple.

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  7. Not simple. So what is the difference between a kid born August 30 and a kid September 2. And by the way they have to get thru high school first. This is not football. You are only allowed 13 scholarships per year in Division I basketball, you have 85 in football. Coaches are not gonna waste a scholarship to red-shirt in basketball.

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    1. Just imagine if all the older 7th graders in the NYBL that are 6'2 or taller stopped growing! Is their size and athleticism their entire game, their sole advantage! Is their extra year of maturity a plus for them. That's why all kids should be concerned with is learning the game and development cause when you stop growing, then what. Will you be skilled enough to play high school ball cause the playing field will no doubt level off as far as physicality! Big or small, older or younger, develop your skill level! Basketball is a game of skill!

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  8. Is it true that AOR 7TH will not play in the Session #3 in Louisville? Hear they have their state tournament next weekend. If this is true that's going to be a major letdown for the NYBL. Everyone wants to see the rematch of AOR vs CP3, which is the only team that beat Red last year. Tell me this isn't true.

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