Team United pulled off the upset of the day by giving California Supreme their first loss of EYBL league season. Team United is now 6-3 while California is 8-1. Coming into the contest, California Supreme garnished the most buzz as one of the elite level teams in the EYBL but someone forgot to communicate that to the coaching staff and team members of Team United.
Another story line was the matchup between 6’9 Marcus Lee of California Supreme and 6’9 Kennedy Meeks of Team United. With the recent accolades of teammate Sindarius Thornwell, Kennedy Meeks was like a forgotten man or placed in the witness protection program as he was getting little to no love. In addition, conventional wisdom would have given the advantage to California Supreme and 6’9 Marcus Lee who had become one of the hottest prospects in the country. That being said, Team United executed their game plan to perfection and left many in attendance scratching their heads. Team United was led by 6’9 Kennedy Meeks with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 block shots while 6’2 Matthew Howard continued making a name for himself by scoring 15 points and 6’4 Sindarius Thornwell finished with 13 points. 6’3 Jordan Mathews led California Supreme with 14 points while 5’9 2015 PG Parker-Jackson Cartwright finished with 12 points. 6’9 Marcus Lee was held in check and seemed frustrated by the size of Meeks and ended up with 5 points and 4 rebounds.
6’9 2013 Kennedy Meeks (Team United) if the contest between Meeks and Lee were a boxing match, it would have been a clear TKO! Meeks completely dominated this game from start to finish and made a believer out of me. First of all, he recorded a double-double against one of the hottest names in the country. He scored 17 points going 7-9 from the floor and 3-4 from the FT line. He also knocked down two 15 foot jumpers after a well executed “pin down” screen where Meeks rotated near the top of the key. My concern in the past has been whether Meeks could play with more energy and a higher motor. While Meeks will never be that high energy guy, he does have a game that resembles former UNC star Shaun May who won a NCAA National Championship. One thing is for certain, Meeks is a winner and he wins at every level. His high school team has won a state championship and he is winning on a good, but not great Team United squad. At 6’9 and 280 pounds, he does occupy a lot of space and he is excellent at using it to his advantage. While he doesn’t sport great bounce, he does position himself rather well and does something very few big men do today; he BOXES out on both the offensive and defensive end of the court! He is a two handed and may we add “sure handed” rebounder where he possesses the best outlet pass in high school or even college. Yes, he is that good at the outlet pass and was tremendous at the “pitch ahead” pass to open teammates in transition. He is patience on offense and uses a steady diet of pump fakes and up and under moves against taller and more athletics players. Since Meeks doesn’t elevate much on his jumper, one would think many of his shots would get blocked, but not one shot was blocked by the more athletic 6’9 Marcus Lee.
6’4 2013 Matthew Howard (Team United) while he lives in the shadow of teammate Sindarius Thornwell, coaches need to take a good long look at this athletic WG from Columbia, South Carolina. While he doesn’t have the flash to his game, he is one of those “glue guys” that is often needed on championship teams and against California Supreme he was tremendous and efficient. He scored 15 points going 6-8 from the floor (1-2 from the 3 point line) and 2-2 from the FT line. He has the ability to stretch the defense and take his man off the dribble. While he was really good offensively today, I really was more impressed with his defense. He is tough as nails on the defensive end of the court. While he may not have high level skill sets, he would be a great find for mid major schools.
6’4 2013 Sindarius Thornwell (Team United) came into the contest as one of the hotter prospects from the EYBL, but in the game against the California Supreme he was solid, but not spectacular. Thornwell scored 13 points going 4-10 from the floor and 5-6 from the FT line. He didn’t attempt any 3 pointers. While his shots were not falling as efficiently as previous games, you have to give him credit for attacking the rim and drawing fouls. He is a very talented WG that simply knows how to score and his suitors at the high level will continue to surge.
6’9 2013 Marcus Lee (California Supreme) simply stated, it wasn’t his day at the office and we were completely surprised in the outcome of the game and the matchup against Meeks. That being said, it is easy to understand why he is becoming a hot commodity. He is a 6’9 athletic WF/PF that is highly skilled and oozing with potential.
6’3 2013 Jordan Mathews (California Supreme) is the son of UCLA assistant coach Phil Mathews and on Sunday against Team United, he was without question the best player on the California Supreme team. He is a highly skilled WG that has a nice arsenal of offensive moves. He finished with 15 points going 6-8 from the floor (1-2 from the 3 point line) and 2-2 from the FT line. He was scoring off the dribble with the pull up jumper and was aggressively taking it to the rim. Although he only took two 3 point shot attempts his technique was “right on” While we only watched California Supreme for one full game, I was surprised he was not getting more buzz and attention. In addition, he handled the ball extremely well and led the team in assists with 3. I can’t help but think his stock will continue to rise.
5’7 2014 Parker-Jackson Cartwright (California Supreme) enjoyed solid and productive game going for 12. No question, he is quick and crafty and has a high basketball IQ. He scored 12 points going 4-10 from the floor (2-3 from the 3 point line) and 2-2 from the FT line. He dished out 2 assists and had 2 turnovers.
5’10 2013 Darren Williams (Team United) came off the bench and enjoyed a solid game. He scored 9 points going 3-5 from the floor and 3-4 from the FT line. He dished out 2 assists, but it should be noted he had 2 big steals against Parker-Jackson Cartwright (one which was a big time rip at mid court) More importantly, Williams has outstanding quickness of his own, but is much stronger than PJC of California Supreme and one has to give credit where credit is due and Williams did not allow little to any dribble penetration by the young California Phenom PG.