Tre Jones & Howard Pulley top EYBL weekend

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – After the conclusion of the third of the four Nike EYBL weekends, only one of the league’s 40 teams stands with a single loss in 12 games.

That’s the Minnesota-based Howard Pulley squad, which Sunday morning rolled to the fourth victory in as many games that it played over the weekend at the Lakepoint Sporting Community Champions Center.

Howard Pulley toppled Houston Hoops Sunday, 100-77, to push the average margin of victory in its four weekend victories to 17.8 points.

Not at all surprisingly, the driving force for the team continued to be Tre Jones (Apple Valley, MN).

If he continues the way he has played throughout the spring into the end of July, there’s a heck of a chance that Jones (who has certainly every bit the part of the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2018 during the three EYBL weekends) could prove to be the “National Player of the Summer” – from my perspective, at least.

Jones turned in a whopper of a finale against Houston Hoops – and another of the best of the 2018 “point guard-types” in Javonte Smart – with 31 points (14 of 19 from the field), seven rebounds, 17 assists, three steals and just one turnover.

For the weekend (which also included games with the New Jersey Playaz, Wisconsin Playground Elite and Team Final of Pennsylvania), Jones averaged 21.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 10.8 assists and 3.0 steals while committing just seven turnovers.

Another point guard who turned in a weekend of superb performances was Cole Anthony (New York Bishop Molloy) of the PSA Cardinals.

The son of former NBA guard and now on-air commentator Greg Anthony used his weekend’s efforts for PSA (now 10-2) as a healthy heaping of support for those who believe he’s the best point guard prospect in the national Class of 2019.

Anthony averaged 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 4.5 steals and 2.5 turnovers per game over the weekend.

Those who live in Southern California and are enamored with all things basketball, take note:

During the fourth and final weekend spring session of the EYBL, Howard Pulley and the PSA Cardinals will play May 27 at 9:30 in the morning on Court 4 of the Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks.

You get the implications of that matchup, right?

Another outstanding point guard from the Class of 2018, Darius Garland (Nashville Brentwood Academy), averaged 16 points and four assists as Bradley Beal Elite went 4-0 over the weekend to improve to 9-3.

OK, here are three more players (joining Jones, Anthony and Garland) to make up my 6-member “All-Georgia Weekend” team, highlighted by Most Outstanding Player Jones:

*Bol Bol (Santa Ana, CA, Mater Dei/Cal Supreme): He didn’t suit up for his team’s Friday night game, but averaged 25.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 7.0 blocked shots over the final three as Cal Supreme improved to 9-3 despite an overtime loss to Detroit’s The Family in a Sunday morning game at 8 o’clock – and that’s 5 a.m. for the SoCal lads.

*Jontay Porter (Columbia, MO, Tolton/MOKAN Elite): His team suffered three narrow losses before cruising past Portland Sunday morning after winning all eight of its games over the first two weekends.

The 6-foot-9 Porter continued to look like one of the 10 or so best players in the Class of 2018, though, while averaging 16.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game.

*Jaylen Hoard (High Point, NC, Wesleyan Christian/Team CP3): At this rate, France is going to join the ranks of countries that have produced McDonald’s All-Americans. Hoard, who is as vertically explosive as any 6-8 or taller player at the event, averaged 23.0 points and 8.8 rebounds as Team CP3 (Chris Paul) went 4-0 over a weekend that was capped by a rally from a second-half, double-digit deficit to edge BABC, 73-68.

Hoard & Co. join the PSA Cardinals, Team Ohio Red and Boo Williams as teams with 10-2 records.

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Frank Burlison

Frank Burlison is a well-regarded basketball writer who was inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2005. His opinions on the potential of high school and college players are widely respected and sought by college coaches and NBA scouts, personnel directors and general managers from coast to coast. Oh, yes – he can offer plenty of thoughts on movies, television and pop music. Yes, he can rank those, too. Hint: He’s a big The Godfather, Larry Sanders, The Wire and The Beatles loyalist.

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