Brad Beal Elite (BBE) rode the talents of EJ Liddell (Ohio State) and Mario McKinney (Missouri) straight to the Peach Jam, and while they didn't advance to bracket play, BBE had a solid overall showing in 2018. Junior guard Moses Moody is back in the fold, and he'll join forces with fellow top 50 recruits Caleb Love and Cam'Ron Fletcher. On paper, this squad looks to be well-equipped to make a run at Peach Jam gold. Head coach Corey Frazier stresses smart, fundamental basketball and his squads always play hard defensively. The same can be expected of his 2019 unit, and if Love, Fletcher, Moody, and the supporting cast start to click, BBE will undeniably wind up as a contender in Division D.
BBE junior Moses Moody (247 2020 No. 41)
BBE has a three-headed monster at the top of their rotation in Moody, Love, and Fletcher. Moody (247 No. 41) played a huge role on last year's roster, operating as a knock-down shooter and versatile defender. Moody wasn't healthy to end the year and struggled down the stretch, but he rebounded nicely during the 2018-19 high school campaign for powerhouse Montverde Academy (FL). Moody averaged 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists for BBE in 2018, and he expects to surpass those numbers across the board. Moody is one of the best pure shooters in the 2020 class, and he'll be relied upon heavily in BBE's rotation.
Love (247 No. 36) will operate as the highest-ranked recruit on the roster, and the 6-foot-3 combo guard will look to replace McKinney's production from a year ago. Love is extremely active on both ends of the floor, but his primary strength is attacking the defense and making plays for his teammates. Love will man the point for BBE, and his handles will be as good as anyone on the circuit. Love is adept at using screens to his advantage and usually makes the smart play as he's navigating the defense. He will have the ball in his hands often, and he should shine in this rotation. Love faced off against RJ Hampton at Made Hoops' 'The Warm Up', and the encounter did not disappoint.
Moody is the shooter in the rotation, Love is the scoring guard, and Fletcher (247 No. 42) is the freak athlete. Long and lanky with enough bounce for a whole 10-man roster, Fletcher has found a home above the rim. The 6-foot-6 high-flyer is a blur in the open court and loves to throw down vicious hammer dunks. While starring for Vashon (MO) high school during the 2018-19 high school season, Fletcher was a consistent double-double threat while being a force on the offensive boards. Fletcher scored 19 points in the state title game for Vashon, helping the Wolverines collect their 3rd state title in four years. Fletcher will be one of the purest athletes on the circuit, and he'll be a heck of an entertaining watch alongside Love and Moody.
Love and Moody will be the focal points of the backcourt, and they'll have help from three juniors looking to improve their individual stock. Donovan Williams was set to be a major factor in the rotation, but unfortunately the 6-foot-5 junior tore his ACL in at MADE Hoops' preseason event 'The Warmup.' Williams (247 No. 144) is arguably the best player in Nebraska's 2020 class, evidenced by his 26-game averages of 21.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.9 steals for North Star (NE) high school in Lincoln, Nebraska. He will be sorely missed and BBE will need to find answers for his production.
Jayce Catchings will see significant minutes in the backcourt, and the nephew of WNBA veteran Tamika Catchings should provide a major offensive spark for BBE. In 2018-19 for Wentzville Liberty (MO) high school, the 6-foot-4 Catchings averaged 26.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game while shooting a solid 35.3% from deep (65-184). Catchings also attacks the basket with efficiency; he shot 237 free throws as a junior, converting at a 75 percent clip. Phillip Russell rounds out the backcourt, and the 5-foot-11 guard enters the EYBL after scoring 17 points in the state championship for Vashon alongside Fletcher. Russell is a big-time shooter, and the MBCA All-State Selection will provide an offensive spark when he's on the floor.
Fletcher will be the most productive member of the frontcourt, and he'll be assisted by four big men - three of them being unsigned seniors. 6-foot-6 Devion Harris will be a factor on the wing for BBE. The MBCA Class 5 All-State selection will provide BBE with a high-energy glue-guy that will undoubtedly become a Division I recruit. Josh Wallace (6-foot-6), Jeremiah Oden (6-foot-8), and Jermaine Hamlin (6-foot-10) will all see minutes in the frontcourt, and they'll have a big opportunity to utilize the EYBL platform for all its worth. Wallace returns from last year's squad, and the 6-foot-6 forward will take on the similar 'junkyard dog' role he played a year ago. BBE will need someone to step up here, especially defensively.
With three top 50 recruits in the stable, BBE should feel good about their chances heading into 2019. They've set the bar extremely high with their recent success, therefore, anything short of deep Peach Jam run would be an underwhelming result. Expect Moody, Love, and Fletcher to contend for All-EYBL honors with every session, and expect their combined talents to result in plenty of wins for St. Louis' Nike EYBL representative.