Augusta, Georgia -- The annual Nike EYBL Peach Jam took place in Augusta, GA from July 17th-24th. Forty Nike-sponsored AAU teams from across the country play for a chance at the Peach Jam championship. These teams play on the EYBL circuit for four sessions throughout the spring and summer before they head to Augusta. This tournament draws media attention from the country’s biggest outlets as well as almost every Divison 1 basketball coach in the nation. NBA scouts were also in attendance to check out future draft picks. Peach Jam also drew the likes of NBA players such as Lebron James, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony.
I was in Augusta for three days watching high-level basketball and the future of basketball at the college and professional levels. In this article, I will recap the best guards that I saw during my time at Peach Jam.
Rob Dillingham/2023/Team CP3 (NC) 17U
Dillingham is a really flashy guard who hit tough shot after tough shot. He is extremely fast with the ball in his hands and looks like a blur. He is really good at grabbing a rebound and immediately pushing the ball up the floor which opened up a ton of transition opportunities for Team CP3. He keeps the ball close when dribbling and rarely turned it over. He made defenders pay when they went under a screen by constantly knocking down the three-ball. Dillingham is really athletic and quick which helped him on the defensive end. Coach John Calipari was on hand to see his future point guard put on a show in a packed gym.
DJ Wagner/2023/New Jersey Scholars 17U
When the number one player in the country suits up, it is must watch basketball. Wagner is wired to score and can score the ball in every way imaginable. He has all the offensive traits to be an elite scorer at the Power 5 level in college. He plays with great pace but still plays under control. He is a knockdown shooter who is able to put the ball on the deck when needed. He showed a deep bag with pro-level moves that are just levels beyond other high schoolers.
Ty-Laur Johnson/2023/New York Rennisance 17U
Johnson is one of the most impressive guard that I saw at Peach Jam. He is a strong lead guard who is comfortable with the ball in his hands. He is an elite finisher around the rim and used almost every finish in the book. Johnson hit shots with floaters, runners, off the glass, and with both hands. He has excellent body control and used angles well when finishing. His strength allowed him to work through bigger defenders inside. Johnson is also a great facilitator and makes great decisions when running the offense.
Caleb Foster/2023/Team Thad (TN) 17U
The future Duke Blue Devil is a pure three-level scorer at the guard position. He has all the physical tools to compete at a high level with his pure athleticism and natural length. Foster creates space well off the dribble and knocked down shots from both the mid-range as well as from three. He is also a crafty finisher inside and used a variety of moves around the basket. Foster skied for a couple of throwdowns in transition and showed off his athletic ability.
Xavier Tubbs/2023/Team United (NC) 17U
Tubbs is a true combo guard who impressed me in the two games I watched him play. He was able to handle the ball and run the offense well. Tubbs made great reads out of the pick and roll when finding teammates. He handled pressure well and didn’t get sped up by his opponents. Tubbs was also able to work off the ball and was his best when he attacked the rim. He was able to finish well in traffic and amongst bigger defenders.
Jamyron Keller/2023/Drive Nation (TX) 17U
Keller is a bigger lead guard who had real two-way impact. He did most of his work on offense inside the paint. Keller got downhill quickly and finished well around the rim. He has a quick first step that allows him to get past defenders in a flash. This quickness extends to the defensive end as Keller was an excellent perimeter defender. He kept his opponent in front of him and forced his opponent into mistakes.
Etienne Strothers/2023/Boo Williams (VA) 17U
Strothers is a deadeye shooter who rarely missed from long range. He was hitting from well beyond the college line and even out to NBA range at times. He moves well without the ball and is set to shoot before the pass gets to him. Strothers also did a great job relocating after passing up shots. One of the best shooters in his class, I’ll be interested to see where Strothers goes.
Royal Brown/2023/Expressions Elite 17U
Brown was the driving force and main guy for Expressions. He was almost impossible to stop when he got to his left hand. He has a really solid handle and quick first step that most defenders couldn’t stop. Brown consistently hit from long range and even had a mid-range pull-up. He showed off a ton of different moves around the rim and converted consistently.