Virginia men’s basketball head coach Tony Bennett preaches for his players to be continuous with their play, to perform with a high level of consistency on both ends of the court. That kind of effort is just what Cavalier class of 2019 commitment Casey Morsell has exhibited through three sessions of play on the 2018 Nike EYBL circuit.
Morsell plays for Team Takeover (D.C.), which remains the only undefeated team in EYBL “regular season” after going 4-0 this past weekend in Atlanta (GA). Takeover is 12-0 heading into Session IV, which takes place in Hampton (VA) the weekend of May 26-28. The Peach Jam, the championship event of the EYBL, then takes place in July.
Team Takeover kicked off its Session III play last Friday night against Ty Jerome’s former AAU club, the PSA Cardinals (N.Y.). The 6’2”, 175-pound Morsell had a modest effort, scoring 6 points, pulling down 3 rebounds, coming away with 2 steals and yielding 2 turnovers. Takeover cruised to an 81-69 win with Villanova-bound point guard Justin Moore leading the way with 26 points.
The Saturday (May 12) schedule included two games, with Team Takeover facing The Renaissance (N.Y.) before taking on Team Melo (MD). The Renaissance gave Keith Stevens’ squad all it could handle, forcing overtime before Takeover pulled away for an 85-78 victory. The game was tied at 36 at halftime and tied at 72 at the end of regulation.
Morsell poured in 17 points against Renaissance, making 4-of-9 field goals including 2-of-6 from beyond the arc. He was a perfect 7-for-7 on his free throws and also contributed 2 rebounds and 2 assists in the hard-fought victory.
Game 3 of Session III was far less dramatic as Takeover handled Team Melo, 63-46. Morsell scored 11 points (4-of-8 field goals including 2-of-4 from 3) and had 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 turnover. This would be the final action of the weekend for Morsell and several other key Team Takeover players. Nevertheless, the team defeated the Rose City Rebels (OR) on Sunday to cap off another perfect weekend on the EYBL.
Through 11 games in his final AAU campaign, Morsell is averaging 11.5 points per game (47.6% FG, 37% 3PFG, 78.4% FT) while posting double-digit scoring outings in nine-of-11 contests. Per D1Circuit.com, which has provided all the stats for this article, he is also averaging 1.5 rebounds, 1 turnover, 0.9 assists and 0.8 steals per game.
Morsell’s points per game average is second-best on the team behind Moore, who is averaging 12.5 points per contest. The St. John’s standout has the most 3s made (17) and the most 3s attempted (46) with the second-best percentage. Morsell has the most free-throw attempts, is tied for the most free-throws made, and has the second-best free-throw percentage.
On a side note, Richmond (VA) native and coveted class of 2019 post Armando Bacot scored 13, 8, and 7 points, respectively, in his three outings with Team Takeover last weekend. Bacot, who has a Virginia offer but is likely to attend college outside of the Commonwealth, is averaging 9.3 points (51.1% FG) and 5.6 rebounds per game since joining Takeover for EYBL Session II. He began his final AAU season on the Adidas circuit with Team Loaded VA.
A tall wing with scoring ability appears to be the primary focus of Coach Bennett’s at this point in the class of 2019, for which the Cavaliers technically only have one scholarship spot remaining (click here for my full EDGE feature on UVA’s 2019 Class recruiting.). With that in mind, we check in on how West Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.) 6’7”, 185-pound rising senior Patrick Williams performed for Team United (N.C.) this past weekend in EYBL play.
Williams, who claimed an offer from Virginia within the past several weeks, scored 12, 11, 19, and 16 points in four games. Continuing his terrific 3-point shooting in EYBL play, Williams made 7-of-13 from beyond the arc in Atlanta. In 12 games this AAU season, he has shot 48.8% (20-of-41) from 3 and made 63-of-131 field goals (48.1%) in total.
Williams has been getting the job done on the boards, averaging 5.2 rebounds per game, and on defense, where he is averaging 1.1 blocks per game. He had a 3-block performance and a 2-block game this past week.
Staying with Team United, which is now 5-7 in 2018 EYBL action after losing all four games in Atlanta, Rivals.com’s Clint Jackson reports that UVA is interested in Columbia (S.C.) native Juwan Gary in the class of 2019. Gary, another good-sized guard at 6’5” or 6’6”, has multiple high-major offers — hometown South Carolina is one of them — but not one from UVA at this point.
South Carolina, Clemson, VT, Virginia, NC State & Florida are on 2019 WF Juwan Gary hard, according to his coach, Dion Bethea.
— Clint Jackson (@clintjackson1) May 14, 2018
The Gray Collegiate standout has been a prolific scorer for Team United. While he has struggled from beyond the arc, making just 24.6% of his 3-point attempts, Gary is making 75.9% of his field goals while averaging 16.8 points per game according to D1Circuit.com. He scored 33, 21, 19, and 17 points in four games in Atlanta.
The 6’10” rising senior out of Texas received an offer from Virginia before the Hoos took a commitment from 7’0” Argentinian Francisco Caffaro in the class of 2018. While a tall scoring wing appears to be the focus, it wouldn’t surprise to see Virginia remain hot on the trail of Timme, who may not be a wing-type but certainly can score.
Timme helped Drive Nation (TX) to four wins in Atlanta, pushing the team’s 2018 EYBL record to 9-3. He scored 21 points (8-of-9 shooting), pulled down 5 rebounds, had 4 steals and a block in a win over Mean Streets last Friday. Timme notched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds versus Indy Heat. He is almost averaging a double-double this AAU season, averaging 14.1 points (59.8% shooting) and 8.1 rebounds per contest.
Home-state Texas is the most recent school to offer the talented forward.
Virginia has offered a scholarship to but isn’t a serious contender with 6’9” La Lumiere (IN) rising senior post Isaiah Stewart. However, he is certainly impressing this EYBL season. Stewart is averaging 17.5 points (62.1% FG), 10.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He had three double-doubles in Atlanta, including a 20-points, 17-rebound performance in his team’s opening game.
Stewart and Timme may not be the tall, long, athletic scoring wings UVA is primarily focusing on right now in 2019, but they are both the type of talented scoring posts the Cavaliers couldn’t turn away if they wanted to come.