The Team Takeover (Md.) Under-17 team, one of the top programs on the Nike circuit, is home to several players in whom the Maryland coaching staff is seriously interested. Takeover established itself as a team to be reckoned with once again this weekend at the Nike EYBL tournament in Los Angeles by going 4-0, and IMS had several sets of eyes on the scene.
Already known as a dangerous shooter, Wiley showed off his improved all-around floor game in L.A.
Here’s the breakdown.
Tournament Recap: Wiley averaged 15 points per game on 46 percent shooting and a red-hot 48 percent from three-point range. We’ve heard recently that Wiley, known for his three-point shooting, has vastly improved his all-around game; his whopping 3.25-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and 1.25 steals per game appear to corroborate those reports.
Terps coach Mark Turgeon is expected to visit Wiley Tuesday at his school. With Wiley poised to ascend toward the top echelon of the 2014 rankings, Turgeon would love to seal the deal with the 6-foot-4 sniper.
Courtside Seat: “Dion looks very confident and poised. He had a tough streak in game two where he missed four shots in a row. Then after a nice spin move, he missed a layup with contact. After missing the second foul shot, players were wrestling on both sides of the lane. The sea parted, as it were, so Dion got a short rebound right under the basket and missed the lay-in. He was visibly annoyed at this point.
“A few minutes later in crunch time, he swished two straight from about the 3-point line and made a pair of free throws. At one point, a guy in an [opposing coach] called out "shooter" when Wiley was open outside the three point line. Respect.”
On what he’s working on …
“My footwork. From an agility standpoint just trying to get better to defend quick guards. My coaches are helping me out, we do a lot of foot speed work in practice and I’m doing some extra agility stuff on my own.”
On his position at the next level …
“I see myself as a combo guard. [college] coaches are telling me combo guard as well so I’m working on those offensive skills, but really trying to become a quicker defender so I can stop both guard positions.”
On his strengths offense and defense …
“Shooting and passing and finding my teammates on the floor, trying to keep guys involved, especially the bigs at an event like this where it’s up and down so they still get touches. I can defend all the perimeter positions, but I know I have to get quicker to defend the guards in college.”
On schools showing most interest …
“Maryland, Florida, Miami, Cincinnati and Georgetown are giving me the most interest lately.”
On whether one style of play is most attractive to him in college …
“Not really. I’m looking for a school where I can do well academically and on the court.
On his academic interests …
“I want to study to become a physical trainer.”
Tournament Recap: For a player with his size and potential, the 6-foot-8 Geben has been somewhat under the radar. That seems unlikely to last. He started the EYBL circuit in strong fashion, shooting 65 percent from the floor and averaging nearly 10 points and eight rebounds per game – and doing so while playing less than 21 minutes per game. For good measure, he knocked down both of the three-pointers he attempted.
InsideMDSports first reported Maryland’s interest in Geben two weeks ago, and it’s safe to assume the Terps will continue to keep an eye on him.
Courtside View: “Geben is a force right now. He will undoubtedly get more attention soon. He is not afraid to mix it up with players listed at 6-11.”
Geben is a powerful and efficient post play whose stock is rising.
On what he hopes to accomplish this spring and summer on AAU circuit …
“Just get as much exposure as I can, face the best competition in the United States and just get better. Have fun.”
On where college coaches are projecting him position-wise …
“They’re telling me how they can utilize my size and my ability to shoot from the perimeter. Like a stretch-four type of player that can also go inside and rebound the ball for them.”
On which schools are showing most interest right now …
“The most recent offers are from Xavier, Dayton and Temple, and I’m getting interest from UVA, Notre Dame, Maryland. Georgetown a little bit.”
On position he plays for his high school team …
“My coach needs me to play center for my team.”
On how playing center in will help him play power forward in college
“It makes me more versatile, learn how to play both positions. I’m at the low post a lot in high school but out here I’m more setting high screens and playing away from the basket, so I’m getting experience inside and outside.”
Tournament Recap: Enechionyia averaged a shade better than four points and two rebounds per game on 38 percent shooting. Though he didn’t shoot well, he did block nearly three shots per game. Although he's working on developing into a face-up forward, we've always viewed him as a potentially dynamic shot-blocker.
On this being his final AAU season …
“What I’m working toward is trying to play the three in college. I just started playing basketball in eighth grade. I was pretty raw. I had no offensive skills so I’ve just been working on going out with the mindset to play the three and learning those skills because the position feels natural to me.”
Enechionyia didn't light up the scoreboard, but he did showcase his shot-blocking ability.
On feedback from college coaches about playing the three in college …
“Yeah, coaches are telling me the three is a good position for me. Some see me at the four, but a more perimeter-oriented big man.”
On the schools showing most recent interest
“I’m getting interest right now from Maryland, Notre Dame, Indiana, Temple, Villanova. Those are the top ones right now.”
On whether he’s got any visits planned …
“Not really right now with basketball games, but maybe to those close around, like Maryland.”
On what he’s looking for in a school, style of play and environment …
“A school where I can play the three. That’s probably one of the biggest things.”
Courtside View: “Obi looked like he was ill on the bench during the first game. The team barely had time to check in, eat and get ready for game. At this point, Obi doesn’t seem suited so much for the banging AAU style inside, not to say he won’t adjust or fare well in college. Your comment that he sees himself as a 3 is reasonable. But he played the post in Game Two. The coaching staff is giving him a lot of attention. They either see lots of adjustments for him during the game or they just like the sound of calling out his name.”
Gary Randazzo of Wildcat Sports Report contributed to this report.