Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Jolly To Assume Leadership Role At Elev8
The ensuing chapter in Elev8 basketball will start with explosive guard Tyson Jolly. The 6-foot-4 Cal-commit averaged 20 points and nine boards at Putnam City West in Oklahoma this season, en route to a state semifinal berth.
Having overcome a life-threatening condition in pulmonary blood clots in his legs and lungs, Jolly now has the opportunity to make up for some lost time.
Elev8, in sun-soaked Delray Beach, Fla., has evolved into one of the nation's recruit-rich breeding grounds. Preparing for the rigors of PAC-12 basketball, Jolly will play alongside and against top-stratum recruits on a workaday basis.
Hyper-athletic and a bit more cerebral than credited for, Jolly's attributes would indicate a featured scoring role. He's adept at getting to the rim and finishing among the trees in the post, refusing to shy away from amplified contact.
Jolly has also discovered a set shot and utilized a nifty floater. The focus, however, is on expanding his range and molding him into a more reliable shooting threat.
He has the potential and defensive acumen to dictate a game without the basketball in his hands.
"People ask, 'is he a shooter? Does he just get to the rim? I think he's just a guy that gets baskets," explained Elev8 head coach Chad Myers.
"He's got a little bit of a mid-range game. He can make open shots, he can get to the rim. He's a pretty good athlete, so he just scores in a variety of ways."
With Elev8 now savoring the speedball concept, Jolly appears to be a critical piece on a deeper roster.
With an influx of diversified recruits, several adapting to multiple positions and interchangeable, Elev8 is expected to run-and-gun with gusto. With low to high major Division-I talent across the roster, Myers anticipates more balance in the scoring book.
Jolly will likely inherit the same freedom as last year's go-to-guy, Alabama-bound wing Kobie Eubanks. Eubanks' newfound knack for putting the ball on the deck, increased shot creation, and ability to dish from both hands bolstered his stock last season.
He wound up one of the nation's most heavily coveted recruits, penning with Avery Johnson following a topsy-turvy recruiting process which initially saw him de-commit from Baylor.
With a Big East body and floor-spreading range, it wasn't hard to see the consistent matchup difficulties the prolific-scoring Eubanks created.
Given Jolly's hounding defense and high-motored style, Myers likens Jolly's role to South Carolina-signee Jamall Gregory.
The high-rising Gregory was a defensive catalyst for Elev8 last season, providing key stops and acrobatic forays to the rim.
"His toughness and competitiveness (are similar to Gregory)," Myers explained. "
When a guy plays that hard, it kind of wears off on everyone else. Not only just tenaciousness and toughness, just the competitive nature in every drill is evident."
Elev8 has fortified its interior game with the addition of 6-foot-9, 300-pound behemoth Levi Cook. Cook has budding interest from West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Marshall, Oklahoma, Providence, and a slew of others.
Delray Beach has plenty of appealing factors for your average high school senior or post-graduate. There is the ocean, just a mile from Elev8's campus.
There are palm trees and pools. There are hordes of scantily-clad young women pretty much everywhere. There is nightlife and oceanfront Tiki Bars, an accurate depiction of paradise.
The high-order commitment to training, underscored by intensified workouts under NBA trainer Cody Toppert and international basketball guru Ganon Baker, leaves little room for vacationing time. Day-to-day production is the primary focus, with extra emphasis on player development.
With Myers inheriting arguably his deepest team on paper, one rife with ball-dominant scorers, selflessness and a swift-passing attack is essential for this group. Guys accustomed to scoring 20PPG must adjust to scoring less, creating and defending more.
With highly-touted NBA prospect Jaylen Brown solidifying a prized incoming recruiting class at CAL, Elev8 could potentially gear up Jolly for an instant impact freshman season.
Playing a national schedule and spearheading a program suddenly climbing the national ranks will not come easy. Having overcome a mountain of uncertainty and adversity off the court, however, no task seems too daunting for Jolly.