A trio of 2018 prospects, Alex Lomax, Ryan Boyce, and Jordan Johnson combined to score 53 points as Team Penny out of Memphis, TN defeated Expression Elite out of Boston, MA 80-72 on the opening day of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League “EYBL” Session 1 in Hampton, Virgina.
The Boo Williams Sportsplex is the host site for the tournament, and several notable Division 1 coaches were on hand to see some of the best talent the Bluff City and Boston has to offer including: Tubby Smith, Bruce Pearl, Josh Pastner, and Andy Kennedy.
Team Penny trailed 33-29 at halftime, but outscored Expressions Elite 51-39 in the second half. The aforementioned Lomax is pound-for-pound one of the toughest guards in the country, and he proved it on this night as he finished with a double-double, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with 3 assists, and 2 steals.
The ultra-athletic 6-foot-6 Boyce, who will play his senior year at East High School next season, was all over the court on the day showing the potential to be an elite lockdown defender due to his tremendous length, instincts, and timing. He tied Team Penny’s 6-foot-3 Martell Brooks for a game-high honors with 3 steals, while he also shooting 7-9 from the field, and 4-5 from the charity stripe.
Johnson, a Central High School standout, and son of former Memphis Tigers sharpshooter Mingo Johnson, is a gunner in his own right, and he was very efficient on the night after he finished 5-6 from the field, 4-5 from the free throw line, and 3-4 from behind the arc.
Expressions Elite was led by 6-foot-7, 2018 forward Dana Tate, one of the top players in New England. He finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds.
DJ Jeffries is Team Penny’s highest rated prospect, as he currently is the number sixth-rated prospect in the 2019 ESPN 25. Jeffries, is likely adjusting to his first EYBL action, as he led Team Penny with 4 assists despite shooting just 1-6 from the field.
Team Penny will take on the Southern Stampede out of Atlanta, Georgia, who lost their opening game a 79-75 to Team Takeover out of Washington, DC.
Southern Stampede has a roster with seven players 6-foot-6 or better, but they are led by 2018 guard Jalen Lecque, a 6-foot-3 scorer out of the Bronx, NY who lit up Team Takeover for 35 points on 11-13 shooting and 7-9 free throws from the charity stripe.
Team Penny will likely try to apply the pressure on Lecque, after he turned the ball over six times with only 1 assist against Team Takeover. They will also need to improve their free throw shooting in upcoming games, after finishing just 28-40 in their opening day matchup against Expressions Elite.