2023 Peach Jam: Marquee Pool Play Matchups

Less than five days now from tip in Augusta. With the pool play schedule's release, I'll zoom in on a collection of key matchups heading in. For more on 2023's Peach Jam, we laid out the key stats, players and themes to monitor for the EYBL, E16 and E15 divisions.


 E16: Nightrydas versus Maine United    July 5th at 9 AM

One we've been waiting for all spring long. The top two prospects in 2025 battle it out in Cameron Boozer and Cooper Flagg. Nightrydas has lost just one game, and that was their final one against Team Takeover. Meanwhile, Flagg carried his group down the stretch to clinch a Peach appearance, putting up 27 points, 12 rebounds, 4.7 assists and nearly 6 stocks per game over the course of the spring. This one is setting up as one of Peach's main attractions.


EYBL: NY Rens versus Houston Hoops    July 3rd at 7:30 PM

In a similar flavor, this one has the consensus top two prospects in the class of 2024 set to match up. Current teammates on the USA's U19 team out in Hungary, Dylan Harper and Tre Johnson have been atop the ranks for sometime now. Both have had their ups and downs through the spring, meaning this one could hold some extra weight. As always, Peach is where the best meet the best.


 EYBL: Team Final versus NH Lightning    July 4th at 4:30 PM

One that jumps off the page. Even without Cadeau, NH Lightning brings forth plenty of firepower with Tahaad Pettiford, Meleek Thomas and Jakhi Howard. Final enters as the favorite after winning 14 games straight. Jalil Bethea has been the story, surging into the Top 5 of 2024, but it's the group's role allocation and wealth of weapons that's set them apart. Five guards who land in the top 60 of their respective class all in one game is a fantastic recipe for a premier Peach Jam matchup.
 EYBL: Expressions versus Paul George Elite    July 4th at 7:30 PM
Not one that jumps out at first glance, but it's a rematch from one of Session 2's, and maybe any sessions, most entertaining games for me. It was a welcome for many to 2026's top prospect AJ Dybantsa, as he dropped 28 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists (2 TO's) on impressive efficiency and grabbed the win. But on the other side, Session 2's MVP Jamari Phillips poured in a loud 33 points on 10/15 from the field. Ingredients for a must-watch matchup in Augusta.


EYBL: Team Thad versus Florida Rebels    July 6th at 4:30 PM

Will be hard-pressed to find more talent, especially athletically, on one court than this one. Both have had moments through the spring where they looked like serious contenders and have the weapons to reach that level in Augusta. Derrion Reid has had a big spring, and we'll see where he stacks up against top-20 guys in Liam McNeeley and Karter Knox. Top-50 prospects all over the floor and two groups that have progressed down the final stretch, this is one that'll be circled and highlighted heading in for scouts.


EYBL: MoKan versus Brad Beal Elite    July 6th at 4:30 PM

All the makings of a grind-it-out fight. Both teams bring forth plenty of toughness and a defensive mentality, landing inside the top-10 in terms of points allowed per game respectively. MoKan seems to have gotten hot at the right time each of the last few years, while Brad Beal Elite ended the spring on a 7-1 roll. I'd bet against it being a pretty one, but has all the makings of an outstanding game.


EYBL: Vegas Elite versus Boo Williams    July 5th at 3:00 PM

Vegas Elite came out the gates scorching, but have stumbled some down the stretch. Boo Williams, behind two of the most explosive guards in the country, can get hot fast. The only team with two 18+ PPG scorers, as Austin Swartz and Jaeden Mustaf have escorted them to 7-2 to finish the regular season. One to team loaded with top-50 prospects trying to regain their form matching up with a surging backcourt tandem firing on all cylinders at the right time. Chance to be a very good one.


E16: JL3 versus Arizona Unity   July 3rd at 3 PM

They records don't jump off the screen, both teams that found success and impressed heavily through stretches this spring, but it's a high level prospect game that should have scouts flocking. Between the classes of 2025 and 2026, this one has six combined top-50 prospects set to face off. Both love to get out and run and pose mismatch problems in the half-court. One I've got circled as a key one for evaluators. 


E16: Maine United versus Pro Skills    July 6th at 1:30 PM

E16's Pool A is a prospect gauntlet, bringing forth another big time matchup early matchup between Pro Skills and Maine United. On paper, Pro Skills has no shortage of talent, but they've struggled to stay healthy. Now with their pieces in place, they could be set to make some noise. But Cooper Flagg, as he does against most opponents, provides plenty of matchup problems. He'll get a ton of different types of defenders thrown at him, making for an intriguing evaluation. An E16 clash that'll draw plenty of eyes.


E15: Team Takeover versus Drive Nation   July 4th at noon

An undefeated Takeover group faces a stout Drive Nation defense with a pair of wing prospects that continue to progress at a promising rate. Both bring forth a ton of perimeter firepower and landed in the top 10 in terms of points allowed per game. Tough to bottle up TTO's flurry of guards, per usual, but if anyone is going to trip them up in pool play, it might be Drive Nation.
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