Each of these teams will be vying for a top seed in Peach Jam when all is said and done, and there’s no better place to start that quest with this game.
In addition to two outstanding squads, this game will also feature two of the EYBL’s premiere players in E1T1’s Emmitt Williams (20.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG) and Boo’s Keldon Johnson (21.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG). Will be quite the treat on opening night.
This game is huge for the Playaz, as a win would get them a game closer to the division lead. Their rotations don't have much in common, but Tre Jones vs. Jalen Carey should be a heck of a matchup.
Pulley’s size advantage over Playaz could loom large in this one, but a win for the Jersey boys would be enormous in their bid to contend in the Division.
In this midwest battle, both squads are holding on for dear life to their prospects of making Peach Jam, and a win or loss in this one could dictate those prospects one way or another. The matchup to watch in this one is Fire’s Ayo Dosunmu and Demarius Jacobs vs Family’s Duane Washington and David DeJulius, four hungry lead guards who make their teams tick.
This game will be a statement for the winner and a missed opportunity for the loser in Division A, as both of these teams are chasing All Ohio, and a win here would be huge.
Though they will rarely guard each other, Soldier Taeshon Cherry (6-foot-10) and MeanStreets newcomer Darius Bazley (6-foot-8) will be a battle of elite prospects.
In yet another high stakes matchup, two consistently good programs will be facing off for supremacy in the league. Each will have a chance to pull ahead or keep pace with the other teams at the top of their respective divisions.
E1T1’s Williams will again be put to the test against reigning Indy MVP Jontay Porter (18.9 PPG, 12.9 RPG).
In addition to being a battle between two of the top squads in the 2017, on a macro level this game is a matchup of two of the most storied programs in EYBL history.
BABC may be slotted slightly lower in the power rankings, but they also have more depth and arguably more offensive weapons than Boo. Cole Swider will lead the charge for BABC, but Jakigh Dottin, Shandon Brown and Maurice Works play in the backcourt could determine the outcome.
Each of these teams has gone through immense changes in personnel from last season, but they are hanging around as potential pool play candidates as well. This game is also about bragging rights.
The Lightning hail from NYC and they bring a hard-nosed style of play to the table. The upstate City Rocks boys are looking to rebound after an 0-4 showing in Indianapolis. NYL’s Jared Rhoden (13.6 PPG) will face off against City Rocks’ Jeenathan Williams (12.6 PPG) in the game’s marquee matchup.
Playground Elite (WI) vs. Howard Pulley (MN)
Pulley is the overwhelming favorite in this game, and while Playground Elite has dug themselves quite the whole already without a win to show through eight games, there’s something to be said about a border rivalry.
Though it would be a massive upset, a win for Playground would mean much more for the future of the program than the present.
Team Melo and Team Hood have impressed so far as newcomers to the league, and this game will be a chance for one of them to add to their resume as they try to break the mold.
Team Hood has looked more consistent through eight games, but Melo is only going to get better after the second session addition of Wynston Tabbs.
Tons will be at stake in this game, as both MOKAN and Boo could have a shot at getting the top seed heading into pool play, and this could also be the first loss for MOKAN should they arrive with an unblemished record.
While MOKAN’s Porter and Boo’s Johnson will be a highly intriguing battle, the supporting offensive players will make the difference here.
All Ohio has been arguably the most consistent team right out of the gate, and they can all but lock up a spot in pool play with a strong session in Atlanta; the Rens are also scrapping for a spot in Peach Jam.
Two versatile guards, AOR’s Foster Loyer (16.4 PPG) and The Rens’ Cormac Ryan (18 PPG) will take center stage in an intriguing matchup.
This game is much more crucial for Team Final than for Pulley, as Pulley has set themselves up to have a little breathing room and still be safely in contention, whereas Final desperately needs big wins like this.
Final’s star forwards could help lead them to a victory here but unsung Matthue Cotton will have the task of the game guarding Puley’s Tre Jones (19.4 PPG).
PSA has a balanced scoring attack and many weapons at their disposal, which could spell bad news for the Soldiers, who have been magnificent defensively but struggle on the other end.
PSA floor general Cole Anthony (14.2 PPG) will be the X factor, as the Soldiers don’t have anyone who can match up with the bulldog.
Traditionally, BABC is a defensive-minded bunch, and while they usually have no shortage of scorers on their roster, Leo Papile’s press has become stuff of legend.
That being said, Team CP3 has plenty of offensive firepower to combat Cole Swider, Jakigh Dottin and company. Their coaches have also seen years of BABC implementing their pressing strategy, so they should have a strong game plan.