Tuesday, May 21, 2013

EYBL sends recruits' stocks soaring Part I

One of the best ways for a high school basketball player to get noticed -- and, in turn, earn a scholarship offer -- is to perform well on the AAU summer circuit in front of head coaches and assistants.

Through three Nike EYBL events, dozens of players have cemented their statuses as elite recruits in the 2014 and 2015 classes. Others have failed to live up to expectations. But the following 10 players have played their way from virtual unknown into bona fide high major recruits.

Player AAU Team / Class PPG RPG APG
Bonzie Colson BABC (Mass.) / 2014 20.1 6.5 1.6

Case in point is Bonzie Colson, an undersized power forward from Rhode Island. Colson -- whose father is an assistant at Boston College -- came into the AAU season with offers from Rhode Island, Vermont, Boston University, Seton Hall, George Washington, Harvard, Fairfield and Quinnipiac.

But Colson should be collecting plenty more offers soon. The rising senior has exploded in the early part of this summer's AAU events, averaging more than 20 points per game for BABC (9-4). Though he may be undersized as a big man, he's clearly one of the more cerebral players on the circuit and hasn't let his 6-foot-6 frame stop him from stat-stuffing the box score.

Player AAU Team / Class PPG RPG
Martin Geben Team Takeover (Md.) / 2014 8.2 7.2

Another player who has exceeded expectations is Team Takeover's Martin Geben. While his team has improved to 13-0 in EYBL play -- the only team still undefeated through three events -- Geben has been steady, averaging a hair over eight points and seven rebounds per game.

The Hagerstown big man had offers from Xavier, Temple and Dayton prior to AAU season, but has since collected offers from Maryland, Notre Dame, Virginia and Villanova, among others. Geben will miss the upcoming EYBL event as he travels to Lithuania to try out for its U19 national team.

Player AAU Team / Class PPG RPG
Aaron Falzon Expressions Elite (Mass.) / 2015 12.2 5.8

Expressions Elite's Aaron Falzon has made quite the splash so far. The rising junior big man plays alongside consensus blue-chip recruit Abdul-Malik Abu for the Massachusetts-based AAU team.

While coaches from all over the country plant themselves at Expressions' games all summer in hopes of landing a commitment from Abu, Falzon's stock will continue to rise. He holds offers from Providence, Boston College, Sacred Heart and Boston University, but Rivals.com reports he has drawn interest from Ohio State and Duke as well.

And best of all, he has an entire AAU season left to play after this year.

Player AAU Team / Class PPG RPG
Julian Richardson California Supreme (Calif.) / 2014 12.2 3.6

California Supreme's Julian Richardson -- whose father, Pooh, played NBA ball for a decade -- has emerged in EYBL play. Julian, a 6-foot-2, 160-pound shooting guard, came into the AAU season with an offer from Fresno State.

But he and blue-chip wing Bennie Boatwright, who holds high major offers from most of the Pac-12, have led the team in scoring through 13 games. And while coaches continue to scout Boatwright -- a top 40 recruit in the class of 2014 -- they'll get a glance at Richardson, whose stock should continue to improve as his numbers continue to impress.

Player AAU Team / Class PPG
Tyler Nelson BABC (Mass.) / 2014 13.2

While Colson collects accolades for his play thus far, another player on BABC -- shooting guard Tyler Nelson -- has turned heads, too. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound sharpshooter ranks second in scoring on the Massachusetts squad with 13.2 points per game. He's established himself as one of the premier three-point threats on the AAU circuit, hitting 38 of his 77 three-point attempts, good for 49%.

And while he holds mostly low major offers from the Ivies and Northeastern schools, his performance through 13 games has cemented himself as an elite sharpshooter on the circuit.

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