The recruitment period for college coaches reopened at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. That means the dead period was over and basketball coaches could throw on their polo shirts with school logos and watch prospects play again.
Hundreds of coaches flocked to North Augusta, S.C. where Nike held its annual EYBL Peach Jam event. FBI scandals hanging over NCAA basketball didn’t stop hundreds of fans, some of whom had to park miles away to get to the building, from coming out. It definitely didn’t stop the coaches, who could not talk to players, but could be seen sitting courtside.
So which Triangle coaches were there and who were they watching?
If it’s a forgone conclusion that Concord’s Wendell Moore, Jr. is Duke or Carolina bound, somebody forgot to tell N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts.
Keatts and two of his assistant coaches were constants on court six, where Moore and his CP3 teammates kicked off day one of the EYBL Peach Jam with a win.
Moore has North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke, Wake Forest and South Carolina in his top five.
As soon as the game tipped off, Keatts, James Johnson and Takayo Siddle were in their seats, front row to watch Moore, who helped lead Cox Mills to back-to-back NCHSAA 3A basketball titles. On the NIKE circuit this summer, Moore has averaged 17.7 points per game and 6.5 rebounds. Prior to the Peach Jam event Moore was named All-EYBL First Team.
Moments later, Duke assistant coach Chris Carrawell made his way into the gymnasium, but Keatts held ground letting Moore know he was the first to lay eyes on the five-star prospect.
Keatts stuck around to watch Jalen Lecque and the New York Renaissance play in the second game of the day. Lecque, who played last season at the Christ School in Arden, is the No. 1 player in North Carolina, drawing interest from N.C. State and North Carolina. However, there are rumors that Lecque could return to his native New York for his senior season or transfer to IMG Academy in Florida. No matter where he plays, the same college coaches, Keatts included, will make the trip to see him play.
Roy Williams was all over the place as well, tracking down prospects from court to court. Williams started in gym four, watching Cole Anthony, the top combo guard in the country, and his PSA Cardinals team.
Anthony, who is also drawing offers from Duke, didn’t have the ball in his hand a lot, but when he did the 6-3 guard was, more times than not, looking to distribute. When he made up his mind, though, Anthony got to the basket at will.
Prior to the Peach Jam, Anthony was named the EYBL Most Valuable Player, averaging 26.9 points in 16 games. Williams then hustled over to court five, where his assistant, Steve Robinson, had a seat waiting for him to watch Vernon Carey Jr., the No. 2 ranked player in the class of 2019 out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Carey has narrowed his final list down to Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Miami and Michigan State.
Williams didn’t have to leave his seat after Carey was done, staying put to watch five-star forward Keion Brooks and the Indy Heat take on Oakland Soldiers. Brooks, the No. 15 player in the nation and the No. 4 small forward, picked up an offer from Williams on May 1. Brooks came into the EYBL averaging 21.5 points per game in 15 games this summer on the circuit.