basketball Edit

Metro Area Prospects Shine @ EYBL Session 4

As Peach Jam nears, the EYBL continues to highlight a chock full of unsigned talent. As high major offers continue to fall, several New York City and metro area recruits continue to build anticipation surrounding their upcoming commitments. Here is a look at several noteworthy local guys and St. John's targets and how they fared at the recent EYBL Session 4 in Kansas City

Ty-laur Johnson
Ty-laur Johnson

Ty-laur Johnson--The Brooklyn native has come a long way in a brief period of time since garnering an offer from St. John's during the fall of his sophomore year. Now at Our Savior Lutheran in the Bronx, where he will help cushion the loss of high scoring guard Jaquan Sanders (now at Seton Hall), Johnson has become a vaunted playmaker who has racked up several performances of double digit assists this summer. He's also shown he can knock down the deep jumper with consistency and spur vital scoring surges. Playing alongside the likes of 6-foot-11, 225-pound behemoth Pape Kante has enabled Johnson to flourish as a passer, pioneering the Rens with his ability to feed the post.

Johnson scored 14 points and dished out four assists, sparking the Rens en route to a 59-53 victory over All Ohio during the Nike EYBL Session 4 in Kansas City. Johnson's presence has been instrumental in the growth of the Rens, who underachieved in Indiana during Session II and has returned with a wild 5-0 run at Session III in Louisville and another impressive showing in Kansas City. Johnson is a confrontational one on one defender and scores the ball in a variety of ways, with shiftiness and handle rendering him a difficult matchup.

Mouhamed Dioubate--The 6-foot-7 Class of 2023 prospect scored via his crafty one on one game and in workmanlike fashion, turning in a commendable 23-point and 15-rebound performance as the PSA Cardinals came roaring back from a deficit to stamp a win on Expressions.

Dioubate showed his instinctive rebounding, open court finishing, and the ability to create opportunity with his handle. His motor and ability to carve his way to the rim, along with his body control, were other noteworthy components during Session 4. Dioubate currently has offers from St. John's, Maryland, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, VCU, Rhode Island, Siena, and a barrage of others.

Brandon Williams
Brandon Williams

Brandon Williams--The Queens native is becoming a priority recruit for St. John's, with the program watching him throughout the EYBL circuit this spring and summer and tightening their relationship with the multi-positional, 6-foot-8 Class of 2023 prospect with a point forward's skill set. Williams has a feathery outside stroke and can go the length of the floor and score with the ball, a rare attribute for a player his size. His explosiveness is also a crucial component of his game as well.

This much was on display during the Nike EYBL Session 4, as Williams erupted for 22 points and seven boards during the first game. St. John's fans have been tracking his production rate, and there is hearsay that Brandon Gardner is making a recruiting pitch for the Christ The King (NY) forward to join him at the next level.

Tahaad Pettiford--The crafty, blink-quick 6-foot-1 guard continued to make the EYBL his own personal playground in Kansas City, scoring 21 points during a 77-68 loss to Team Thad.

With his knack for knifing his way to the rim and finishing through contact, along with his silky sling shot jumper, Pettiford has been one of the most consistent scorers and run sparkers on the EYBL circuit. His impact stems all the way back to the first session in Orlando, when he was able to get into the nooks and crannies of defenses and score it at three levels.

Pettiford is like former St. John's guard Shamorie Ponds, as a slick and high scoring lefty guard without imposing size. Pettiford holds offers across the board from the likes of Auburn, Maryland, UConn, LSU, UCLA, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and others.

Elijah Gertrude
Elijah Gertrude

Elijah Gertrude--As one of the country's fastest rising high major offers, Gertrude continued to thrive as a volume scorer who can hit shots from all over and score the ball in high numbers without requiring a ton of shots to do so. The Albany City Rocks product got to the rim with relative ease and was able to get stops defensively, as well.

Gertrude has been a high scoring 6-foot-4 guard with poise and the ability to get above the rim and play at the souped-up pace St. John's is known to enforce. A combination guard, Gertrude holds offers from St. John's, Seton Hall, Virginia, Syracuse, Iona, Pittsburgh, DePaul, Rutgers, St. Bonaventure, Maryland, Northwestern, and others.