Little Stevie has big day

HAMPTON, Va. -- This past weekend at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League was something to behold. The event featured plenty of individual talent and some well-rounded team play. While the oldest classification (U17) was the main attraction, the prospects in the U16 and U15 events are names we should be seeing much of in the future. After the weekend of intense competition, there were only two undefeated teams left standing: New Jersey Playaz and the St. Louis Eagles.

Standout player

Stevie Taylor, PG (5-foot-9, 140)
2011, Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln, AAU: All Ohio Red

Little Stevie had an excellent weekend for his All Ohio Red Summer team. This quick point guard got in the cracks of the defense to score or find open teammates. He has blazing speed and knows how to finish. He is a solid shooter with range to 22 feet. Taylor can be a human fast break with his speed, quickness and ballhandling ability. He throws his body around so much he can remind you of a smaller Allen Iverson. Little Stevie left you wondering what he was going to do next. He saved his best for last; Taylor led All Ohio to a one-point upset win over the Drew Gooden Soldiers from Oakland. He scored 32 points, including six 3-pointers.

Surprise player

Josiah Turner, PG (6-2, 175)
2011, Sacramento, Calif., AAU: Drew Gooden Soldiers

Turner is a skilled combo guard who is at his best at the point with the ball in his hands. He has great size and quickness and has a knack for getting into the lane and finishing. Turner is also a solid jump-shooter with range to 22 feet. He is one of the top unknown point guards in the 2011 class. Turner is also a solid defender. His size allows him to be a solid rebounder for a point guard. He had an excellent game against All Ohio Red in the final game of the Nike EYBL. He got to the rack all game, exciting the crowd with his acrobatic plays. Turner is definitely one to watch in the 2011 class.


• The Drew Gooden Soldiers may be the most talented team in the Nike EYBL. They have at least five players who will be recruited at the high-major level -- Turner; SG/PG Nick Johnson (Phoenix/Findlay Prep); PF Kyle Wiltjer (Portland, Ore./Jesuit); PG Brandon Ashley (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd); and SG Jabari Brown (Oakland, Calif.).

• 20011 wing Joe Coleman (Minneapolis/Hopkins), of the Howard Pulley Panthers, is one of the top sleepers in this class. He was already known as a great athlete last season. He has improved his skill level and is now a very effective shooter out to 20 feet. He also consistently gets to the rack and finishes. He is a very good rebounder for his position. Keep your eye out for this kid.

• The Houston Hoops team struggled some over the weekend, but the squad is loaded with young standout guards. 2012 prospect J-Mychal Reese (Bryan, Texas) is a dynamic lefty who can score and dish. PG L.J. Rose (Houston/Second Baptist), who is also a 2012 prospect, is another top 20 talent in their backcourt. He is a solid shooter and scorer who is excellent running a team. Shooting guards Rasheed Sulaimon (Houston/Strake Jesuit) and Keith Frazier (Irving, Texas) give the team two more talented options on the perimeter. When these guys mature, Houston Hoops will be tough to beat.

John Stovall is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He has worked as part owner and director of scouting for Prep Spotlight Scouting Service and magazine for 15 years.