LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For one weekend, the center of the high school basketball universe resides in Louisville.
The third stop for the 2022 iteration of the prestigious Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, or EYBL, is making its way to the Derby City for the first time in the event’s history. Session Three is being held at the Kentucky Exposition Center, and spans three days from Saturday, May 28 to Monday, May 30.
Some of the top amateur basketball teams in the nation are descending upon the Derby City, along with some of the top players in the Class of 2023. This also includes a handful of targets for the Louisville men’s basketball program.
While coaches could not attend these sessions due to it not being a live evaluation period, Louisville Report was there to check out the action and observe some of the Cardinals’ targets who are participating in the EYBL.
Below is our full list of notes and observations from said targets at Day One of Session Three:
9:30am: All Ohio 58, TSF 46
EYBL started bright and early on Saturday, with the first games tipping off at 9:30. We briefly got to check out All Ohio guard Lawrent Rice, who was originally offered by Louisville under the Chris Mack regime, and has had some contact with new head coach Kenny Payne.
Rice had a fast start to the game, pouring in most of his production in the first half and helping All Ohio maintain an early that they never gave up. He scored a game-high 14 points on 6-13 shooting and also chipping in three assists. His lefty shooting stroke looked smooth, shooting 2-5 on threes, and was sneaky good on defense with two steals.
11:00am: NJ Scholars 73, ProSkills 71
This was the first of two games on the day for the NJ Scholars, who feature UofL targets guard DJ Wagner – the No. 1 player in the Class of 2023 according to ESPN – and top-25 prospect center Aaron Bradshaw.
Wagner looked every bit the part of a top overall player, scoring a game-high 29 points on 11-23 shooting with four rebounds and three assists. He had a bit of a slow start, but warmed up incredibly fast, splitting defenders and penetrating the lane with ease, while taking hard contact and making tough contested shots. He also made some good outlet passes, and was a pest on defense with three steals – one of which led to a fast break dunk† The one knock in the game was that he only made one of his six three-point attempts, but still looked confident when shooting.
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Bradshaw didn’t have nearly as flashy of a showing as Wagner did, only scoring seven points on 3-10 shooting with three rebounds. However, it wasn’t for a lack of trying, as he faced frequent double teams. He moves incredibly well for someone who is 7-foot, and where he really shined was on defense. He used his lengthy frame to significantly alter opposing shots, logging four blocks in the process. Plus, he set the screen that led to the game winning give-and-go to Cian Medley.
3:00pm: All Ohio 81, The Family 67
We got a better chance to see Rice in All Ohio’s second and final game of the day, and he was able to display his full abilities as a combo guard and a three-level scorer in this one. In-game no. 2, he finished with 13 points on 4-5 shooting and 4-5 at the free throw line, with five assists, three rebounds and a steal.
He didn’t see much action in the first half of the game, hitting the bench late in the first quarter and sitting for almost the entire second quarter. He had a couple assists and his lone three in the first half, but once the second half started, Rice really started to find a groove. He hit two of three of free throws after getting fouled on a three-point attempt, sank a pull-up midrange jumper, and had a wide open layup after crossing over his defender at the elbow.
5:00pm: Indy Heat 80, Team Thad 65
We didn’t get a chance to Louisville commit Kaleb Glenn in his first game since it was going on at the same time as the first NJ Scholars game, but the box score tells the story. Facing Bronny James and Strive for Greatness, the forward helped lead an 89-53 blowout win, chipping in a 14 point and 10 rebound double-double.
In Indy Heat’s second game, Glenn was just as much of a physical force, tallying 14 points on 6-7 shooting, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Most of his points came in the paint either put-backs or dunks with authority, and he demonstrated his insane physicality and vertical several times, especially on defense and when rebounding. He played with a ton of passion, almost a bit too much, as he did have to sit most of the first half because of an early technical he picked up after a light scuffle. Otherwise, he looks like he’ll be an impact contributor right out of the gates for Louisville in 2023-24, and his season at La Lumiere will only help that.
9:00pm: NJ Scholars vs. Strive for Greatness
Notes coming soon.
(Photo of Aaron Bradshaw, DJ Wagner: Matt McGavic – Louisville Report)
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