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April 21, 2013

EYBL Day 2: Alexander again proves to be the standout



GARDEN GROVE, Calif. - The second day of Nike EYBL Los Angeles was much like the first one - great talent, great teams, great basketball and the had the pleasure of gracing the presence of many of college basketball's best coaches.

The GOAZCATS.com team again had its four reporters spread out all over the Next Level Sports Complex, bringing you the most comprehensive coverage of one of the best events of the spring and summer. Here's what this analyst saw:

Game One: MEANSTREETS 66, Athletes First 35 - MEANSTREETS dominated this contest behind a pair of Chicago thoroughbreds in five-star, class of 2015 guard Charles Matthews and four-star, class of 2014 recruit Paul White.

White, who holds an offer from Arizona, played just nine minutes but scored eight points on 4 of 8 shooting, and pulled down five rebounds. White showed why he has 17 total offers on his plate, using his lengthy frame to snag rebounds and his versatility to take it coast-to-coast for the bucket.

Matthews saw 19 minutes of time, scoring 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is already known for his ability to score the basketball, but Matthews used this game to prove that he can be a lockdown defender. When on the floor, Matthews was glued to the hip of super-scoring sophomore Allonzo Trier.

Trier finished the game with just 10 points on 3 of 10 shooting in 28 minutes thanks in large part the the disruptive defensive presence of Matthews.

MEANSTREETS had a 32-15 lead at the break, and went on to dominate the Paul White-less second half to take the easy early morning win.

Game Two: Team SCAN 62, Baltimore Elite 47 - This is the first time I've seen four-star, class of 2015 Arizona recruit Cheick Diallo since the Tarkanian Classic in mid-December, but nothing has changed. Diallo is still an extremely long, defense force in the paint.

The 6-foot-9 forward out of Centereach, New York, who holds an offer from Arizona, played 28 minutes, scoring 11 points on 5 of 12 shooting while pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds. Diallo did a lot of the same things well offensively that he did back in Vegas. He ran the floor with purpose and used his good hands for the catch and finish.

What was different about Diallo was the right-handed hook shot that he showcased. Diallo looked comfortable posting up on the left block, turning over is right shoulder and elevating for the hook-finish.

Game Three: Mac Irvin Fire 68, Nike Team Louisiana 48 - Mac Irvin Fire seemed to draw the biggest crowds on the day, and rightfully so.

Five-star, class of 2014 forward Cliff Alexander is having a weekend he won't soon forget. The 6-foot-8, 240-pounder scored 15 points and snagged 12 rebounds in 26 minutes of play in his first game of the day.

With the No.1-ranked player in the class of 2014 in Jahlil Okafor sidelined due to injury, Alexander did a little bit of everything - dunks off of post moves, dunks off of offensive rebounds, running the floor for dunks and even stepping out to 17 feet for the jumper.

Four-star, class of 2015 point guard Marcus LoVett Jr. of Mac Irvin Fire drew "oohs" and "aahs" from the crowd with his nifty dribbling and flashy no-look passes. LoVett also had an efficient game in the win over Nike Team Louisiana, scoring 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting while dishing out six dimes.

Game Four: Albany City Rocks 62, Oakland Soldiers 60 - The Oakland Soldiers had a tough day, dropping both of its games on Saturday, with this game being the latter.

Five-star, class of 2014 Arizona recruit Stanley Johnson scored 18 points, but it wasn't the usual efficient-Stanley we have all come to know and love. Johnson was 5 of 14 from the field, and 7 of 13 from the free throw line.

He also fell victim to one of the more spectacular dunks of both days of EYBL provided by 6-foot-3 City Rocks guard Jamil Hood.

Ivan Rabb, the top ranked player in the class of 2015, played well against NTL, scoring 10 points on 5 of 10 shooting while pulling down 14 rebounds.

Hood led all scorers in the contest with 21 points on 6 of 13 shooting,

Game Five: Texas Titans 46, ICP Elite 44 - Arizona's Joe Pasternack was court side to watch Kameron Chatman of ICP Elite by way of Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High.

The four-star forward struggled mightily in the low-scoring affair, producing just five points on 1 of 13 from the field. Chatman did, however, pull down 10 rebounds and kept his energy level high on the defensive end despite the lack of offense.

While Chatman ran into trouble, another four-star prospect played lights out for the Texas Titans squad. D.J. Hogg scored 16 points on 6 of 13 shooting and had a number of highlight-reel blocks.

Hogg has no offers reported, but has interest from Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame.

Game Six: Mac Irvin Fire 72, Team Texas Elite 68 - In one of the more competitive games of the day, Alexander found himself matched up with a guy just as big in five-star, class of 2015 forward Elijah Thomas.

Alexander finished with 15 points on 6 of 12 shooting, but only found his way to three rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Thomas led Texas Elite with 23 points on 10 of 17 shooting, including seven boards.

Texas Elite sharpshooter Matt McQuaid had himself a good game, scoring 19 points on 7 of 14 shooting, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range.

Four-star, class of 2015 point guard Jalen Brunson bounced back from a tough game earlier in the day to lead Mac Irvin in scoring with 16 points on 6 of 15 shooting.

Devin UglandDevin Ugland
GOAZCATS.com West Coast recruiting analyst

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