Every year the top high school basketball players in the nation compete in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. The EYBL consists of 40 teams in four divisions. These 40 AAU teams compete in four different cities over four different weekends throughout the year. This Memorial Day weekend in Minneapolis is the final weekend installment of the EYBL before the top 24 teams battle it out at the Peach Jam Finals in South Carolina later this year. Syracuse’s 2015 recruits Malachi Richardson and Tyler Lydon each played in Minneapolis.
Richardson plays for one of the best teams in the EYBL, Team Final. SU’s top 2015 recruit lives in New Jersey but plays his AAU ball in Pennsylvania where Team Final is based. He got off to a tough start in his team’s first game in Minneapolis against Team Scan 45 (Team Final still won 50-45) but dropped 30 points in Team Final’s 78-68 win against Northwestern Xpress on Saturday. The 6’6’’ shooting guard shot a jaw-dropping 50 percent from beyond the arc in his two games during the first day in Minneapolis.
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse’s second rated player in the class of 2015, also plays in the EYBL for the Albany City Rocks. The Rocks are not as talented as Richardson’s Team Final but Lydon still looked solid. In his first game on Saturday against Mokan Elite Lydon lead his team in minutes, scoring seven points and grabbing seven rebounds in a losing effort. In the Rocks’ second game Saturday, Lydon once again lead his team in minutes. He scored nine points and added six boards.
Syracuse’s other 2015 recruit guard Franklin Howard does not compete in the EYBL. However, some other Orange targets do: 6’8’’ power forward Moustapha Diagne has starred so far in Minneapolis. He had two doubles-doubles Saturday and looks like a man amongst boys in the paint despite being slightly undersized. He will choose between playing at Memphis and Syracuse in the coming months. 2016 SU targets Tyus Battle (guard) and Jamal Murray (guard) also impressed Saturday.
The EYBL is the most elite AAU league in America. It provides the top high school players with a chance to showcase their talents against other dominant high schoolers. Richardson, Lydon and Diagne all seem more than ready for their freshman seasons at the Division I level because of their EYBL performances.
Posted by: Connor Morrissette