Recruiting tracker: Ricardo Gathers at Nike EYBL

Out at the HAX Athletic Club in Los Angeles, the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) wrapped up their pre-Peach Jam Sessions with the third showcase of AAU teams. The top teams (top 9, according to the website) will be selected to go to the Nike Peach Jam finals in South Carolina - just over the Georgia border, hence the "Peach" name. Why isn't it called the Palmetto Jam?

The Peach Jam is a chance to watch the next big college stars competing on a nationally observed stage; last year provided statistical looks at some Red Storm targets.

Ricardo Gathers came from New Orleans to compete with his Louisiana Select team. And had a 21 reboud day, along with his usually strong efforts down low. We've gone into some detail about Ricardo Gathers' strong and weak points, and they were on display once again. How did he do? Below the fold>>

 

(Stats provided by Nike EYBL)

Let's start with Rivals' take on Gathers:

Ricardo Gathers, PF, Louisiana Select- Bottom line, Gathers puts up big numbers each and every time he takes the court. Everybody knows about his strength and athleticism, but perhaps his skill has been a bit underrated and he's definitely one of the toughest competitors in the country. The powerfully built Louisiana native finished his weekend with 26 and 15 despite being constantly double- and triple-teamed, and mauled around the basket.

The averages (in basic numbers) for his 5 games over the weekend in Los Angeles:

Ricardo Gathers, Los Angeles EYBL
Points
OReb 
DReb
TReb
FG%
FT%
BLK
21.8
4.8
7
11.8
43.1%
45.7%
1

And for all 3 EYBL sessions:

Ricardo Gathers EYBL all sessions
Points
OReb
DReb
TReb
FG%
FT%
BLK
20.2
4.1
7.9
12.0
44.7%
45.6%
1.2

This dude is killing it on the glass. A dominant rebounder, and on both ends to boot. But those shooting percentages could use improvement - that's what going 1 for 20 (5%) from beyond the arc will do for a player. The 45.6% on free throws is also in need of work. And the overall shooting percentage also shows a few more misses than one would like from a dominant post player.

Gathers seems to be working on diversifying his game, which will bode well for his future; at 6'6" or so, he's not highly likely to play a professional power forward without some wrinkles to his game. Those shooting wrinkles are still under construction. Gathers isn't a finished player, despite what some might say about him being "physically maxed out"; he can grow his effectiveness around the basket.

But outside of the perimeter shot selection, Gathers can get his shot off on anyone, despite his size; he can rebound in a way that makes him a nationally coveted prospect, and can do it at a high enough level that he can help any team. A deeper, tempo neutral look (if the headers are unfamiliar, read our tempo-neutral terminology primer):

Ricardo Gathers, tempo neutral stats, all EYBL sessions
Min%
eFG
2p%
3p%
FTR
sh%
poss
to%
or%
dr%
ppp
81.1%
44.8%
47.9%
5.0%
56.9%
36.9%
30.3%
12.0%
12.6%
26.4%
0.981

He can take up possessions (30.3% of possessions is a star's percentage)... and he can keep them going (the 12.6% offensive rebound percentage). A player who can get his shots off but can do something on the court besides get his shots off? That can be very effective. And his defensive rebounding is BEAST. And Gathers can draw fouls.

Gathers is already a dangerous post man. If he hits his free throws at a higher clip, he'll be that much closer to dominant. We'll be watching Ricardo Gathers' progress all summer.

(For more links to the weekend's AAU action, check out Rucker to Rupp's list of links.)

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