Commentary

EYBL Peach Jam Day 1 recap

Brandon Ashley's offense, Nerlens Noel's defense steal the show at Peach Jam

Originally Published: July 13, 2011
By ESPN Recruiting | ESPN.com

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- The only thing hotter than the temperature at the EYBL Peach Jam is forward Brandon Ashley (Oakland, Calif./Findlay Prep) of the Oakland Soldiers. He is the hottest thing to hit Augusta since the Masters rolled through town. Here is a look at who else stood out on Day 1.

Standout players

Brandon Ashley
2012, PF, 6-foot-8, 215 pounds
Determined to make Julius Randle (Dallas/ Prestonwood) beat them, Ashley and his crew of bigs and wings ganged up on Randle in the post. Randle walked into an ambush at the rim and Ashley was responsible for a good portion of the ruckus. At the rim, he challenged shots and his length is hard to counter. Offensively, he dropped hooks and finished plays. He's been on top of his game the entire summer and a bucket over Prince Ibeh (Garland, Texas/Naaman Forest) capped a super opening day.

Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton)
2013, C, 6-10, 210 pounds
It was a rematch of the NBPA championship when Noel faced off against Adam Woodbury (Sioux City, Iowa/East) and this time it was all Noel. Boston's finest controlled the paint and didn't let anyone into his are. If he gets his arms extended, it's a block. Right now the best way to go at him is to attack his body unless you want to chase down the rejection. He is the premier defensive player in America.

Kenny Kaminski
Courtesy of Andrew ShurtleffKenny Kaminski is the No. 67 overall player in the 2012 class.

Kenny Kaminski (Medina, Ohio/Medina Senior)
2012, PF, 6-7, 230 pounds
College: Michigan State
He was very good in the night session, dropping 30 in a variety of ways versus Houston Hoops. His 3-point shot was inconsistent, so he went to work in the low post, where he displayed solid moves (contrary to popular opinion) and was able to score in the paint and get to the free throw line. Kaminski was the key to a big victory for All Ohio.

Billy Garrett Jr. (Chicago/Morgan Park)
2013, PG, 6-3, 165 pounds
College: DePaul
He plays both on and off the ball, but we're most impressed with him with the ball in his hands. The next step for Garrett is getting stronger. He's got game to the rim but resistance is an issue. He owns plenty of scoring moves and always tried to calm everyone down. His teammate, Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) wasn't sharp in the opener but Garrett's 19 points got it done.

Ricardo Ledo (Providence/Notre Dame Prep)
2012, SG/SF, 6-7, 195 pounds
Ledo showed why he is considered one of the top uncommitted wings in the class. He used his superior athleticism and fluid game off the bounce to keep his team in contention. The long, bouncy wing displayed his unlimited range and scoring ability throughout the tough loss to YOMCA (Tenn.) and had the college coaches in attendance talking about his play.

Kyle Anderson (Fairview, N.J./St Anthony's)
2012, SF/PG, 6-8, 220 pounds
As usual, Anderson filled up the box score on his way to a triple-double while leading his team to a win in front of a full house of college coaches. While playing mostly the point guard position the 6-8 playmaker picked his spots while playing at a controlled pace, but was always two plays ahead of the competition. This kid is a winner.

Matt Jones (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto)
2013, SG, 6-4, 190 pounds
He already had the well-deserved reputation of being a big-time shooter, but he is starting to add some diversity to his arsenal. He is putting the ball on the floor some to create for himself and others. Plus, he has added a very effective floater, as well as a few one- and two-dribble moves. Jones is becoming a big-time scorer in addition to being able to shoot the ball at a high level.

Jabari Parker
2013, SF, 6-7, 225 pounds
He is one of the most versatile players in the country and he can literally play all five positions on the floor. However, Parker is at his best on the wing in attack mode because he is an effective shooter to 20 feet who can create off the dribble. He is a solid rebounder as well as a willing and able passer.

Brice Johnson (Cordova, S.C./Edisto)
2012, PF/C, 6-9, 195 pounds
Although he has a thin frame, Johnson continues to impact the game with his shot-blocking ability and offensive rebounding prowess. He challenges everything and plays with a passion few bigs possess. In the evening session against The Family (Mich.), Johnson shut the paint down early and relegated the opponents to nothing but perimeter jump shots and led his team to a win. Johnson nearly posted a triple-double with 19 points, 13 boards and nine blocks.

Marcus Paige (Marion, Iowa /Linn Mar)
2012, PG, 6-1, 160 pounds
The future Tar Heel is special as he constantly pushes the ball up the floor with the throw-ahead pass, which gets his team easy looks. He is always probing the defense to create for a teammate and thrives on getting an assist. In the half-court set, he has great command of his team with similar passing instincts to current UNC point guard Kendall Marshall. But defenses can't leave Paige alone because he will make 3s, pull-up jumpers or drive it all the way to the rim.

Sim Bhullar (Toronto, Canada/Huntington Prep)
2012, C, 7-4, 330 pounds
College: Xavier
He acts as a barrier to the rim for opponents trying to find the basket. He uses his physical presence to block, change and challenge all shot attempts without leaving his feet. Offensively, he possesses great hands to catch and a soft touch to finish plays. He rebounds anything he can reach and has above-average passing skills. He also has a good basketball IQ and knows how to maximize his size on both ends of the floor. Defenses can't simply foul him and put him on the line either because he can knock them down.

Player to watch

Isaiah Zierden (St. Louis Park, Minn./Benilde St. Margaret)
2012, SG, 6-2, 165 pounds
CIA Bounce learned the hard way that Zierden's a zone-buster. One of the EYBL's sharpest shooters torched Bounce for 29 points, including 10 of 10 from the line. He's a mid-major deluxe and all the schools recruiting him will be rooting for him to miss from here on out; the nature of July is to root for your recruits to play well, to a point. Creighton, Wofford and Manhattan offered Zierden, who is the son of a Washington Wizards executive. Iowa and California are also looking.

Andrew Wiggins (Toronto, Canada/Vaughn)
2014, SF, 6-6, 200 pounds
With his team getting torched, Wiggins fought until the end. A superb athlete, he accomplished things at the rim like tough boards and delicate finishes that only an elite player is capable of. He turned it over seven times but had 29 points and was the reason why CIA wasn't bounced by 40.

Eric Johnson (Durham, N.C./Christ School)
2014, PG, 6-2, 175 pounds
For a rising sophomore he displays a very good feel for the game while showing that he belongs in a high-level setting. He has an excellent pull-up jumper and his handle is good enough to get some separation to create, if needed. He is also a fearless driver who competes, defends and is not afraid to mix it up with the big boys.

Notes

• BABC junior point guard Jaylen Brantley (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) is drawing interest from Miami, Boston College, DePaul, Northeastern and Georgetown.

Dominic Artis (Richmond, Calif./Findlay Prep) entered July on a high note and schools began ramping up their interest.

"I didn't think it would happen this fast," Artis said. UCLA offered and is the clubhouse leader. Nevada, FIU, FSU, Cal, Oregon, UNLV, Texas and Louisville are also interested.

• Junior small forward Nick King (Memphis/East) drew the attention of Memphis coach Josh Pastner and Arkansas coach Mike Anderson. This kid is coming into his own and quickly.

Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at espndt@gmail.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter. Paul Biancardi, who has been a head coach and assistant on NCAA tournament teams, is the national director of basketball recruiting. He is also one the voters for the McDonald's All-American Game and Gatorade Player of the Year. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter. Mike LaPlante, a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting, has over 20 years of coaching and recruiting experience.