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All of the Eagles
by Andrew Force, Future150 (8:33 PM CT, Wed May 13, 2015)
Cook and Eagles eye college
Cook and Eagles eye college
Andrew Force
Andrew Force:

Future150 National Analyst. Covering High and Middle School basketball.

St. Louis, MO (Future150) -- The St. Louis Eagles (9-3) need just one win to clench a spot in the NIKE EYBL Peach Jam.  Almost certainly that win will come May 24th in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

While the spotlight has deservedly illuminated Jayson Tatum and occassionaly Tyler Cook, there are other college-bound Eagles in the convocation.

In fact, just last week the Eagles called up three youngsters to the big leagues.


David Sloan, Reggie Crawford, and Jordan Goodwin saw minutes during the Houston leg of the EYBL.

"Those guys played extremely well," said St. Louis Eagles Director Tim Holloway.  "They make it tough for us to make a decision on what we are going to do."

Sloan pumped in eight points in just nine minutes.  The guard (5'9") from Kentucky creates problems off the dribble.  Six of his points came in the paint.

How strong and hungry is Goodwin?  He clawed for 21 rebounds in 42 total minutes.  Goodwin's 12 rebounds against Elfrid Payton Elite  included and astonishing six offensive boards.  Oh yeah, he plays shooting guard.

"We love Reg," said Director Holloway.  "He is a great defender, just a fireball.  You talk about someone who is going to compete...He is going to compete every second he is on the floor.  He will take on the challenge of defending the other team's best player every night."

Two Sports

From the class of 2017, the Eagles have Alonzo Verge Jr., Goodwin, Sloan, Jeremiah Tilmon, and Crawford.

Crawford appears to be capable of playing both college basketball and football.

"He plays both," said mother Roxanne Crawford.  "We are discovering though that there is a lot more interest in him becoming a wide receiver.  He has a great set of hands, great eye-hand coordination. 

Which sport will he ultimately pick?

"We haven't decided yet," said Mrs. Crawford.  "Increasingly, people are inquiring.  We are just going to ride this out."

Crawford will head to a prestigious NIKE Combine in June.  From that event dozens of players blow up.  He also will camp with Northwestern football.

You get your month off in June, from high school basketball.  He has been invited to NIKE camp at Ohio State university.  In June he is going to Northwestern football camp.  We might try to squeeze another one.  

It is becoming very difficult to balance them both during the summer. 

Despite the newfound interest from football recruiters Crawford maintains basketball is his passion.  He started at a very early age.  Right now the young man is 6'4" and 180 pounds.  Weight training has just begun for the dual-threat athlete. 

With two more years of high school athletics there is plenty of time for physical maturity.  On the court he has shown defensive commitment, rebounding hunger, and the ability to hit outside shots despite originally playing a post spot.

"He is very efficient," said Mrs. Crawford.  "He is patient.  He doesn't usually take forced shots.  He passes.  With Chaminade that was moreso his role.  He doesn't turn the ball over much.  Not really big at dribbling.  He is going to advance the ball."

Both his mother and AAU Director agree that Crawford's greatest value is on the defensive end. 

"His assignment was to face guard the other team's best scorer," said Mrs. Crawford.  "We played Malik Monk and a number of the high caliber kids.  He is battle tested.  That kind of contributes to his easy demeanor on the floor."

Crawford's mother played both basketall volleyball in college.  Now she works for the Boys and Girls Club.  Basically Reggie grew up around the sport of basketball.  As soon as he could walk there were buckets to be made.  Dribbling surrounded him.  The sound of basketball's bouncing probably has a calming influence on the nearly full-grown man.

"I am very interested in how this all shakes out," said Mrs. Crawford.  "He brings a lot to this game."


High school athletes need to juggle two worlds though.  Perform on the weekends and then field calls/texts during the week.  Appeasing the inquiring coaches can be at once exciting and time-consuming.

Who is chasing behind the eagle's tails?

Tatum cut his list to four: Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, St. Louis. 

Though his father played for SLU conventional wisdom is that he only included them as a gesture of goodwill.  UNC is dealing with an NCAA investigation, but would love to have Tatum. 

Duke has a great chance.  With the Blue Devils Tatum would be able to spell Thornton at point guard.  Right now Duke has no PG depth and Tatum is fully capable of running an offense for long stretches. 

Cook also recently cut his list (May 3rd).  Cook's list has six teams involved, including Missouri, Iowa State, Iowa, Arkansas, Virginia, and Florida.

Cook was considering Florida before Billy Donovan left for the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

"We have talked to them once since Billy Donovan left, so they are still on his list," said Mrs. Weaver-Cook.  "We will have to see how that pans out."

Missouri basketball reached out to St. Louis Eagles 17u Head Coach Corey Tate to help their in-state recruiting.  Even though Cook has played Tate as recently as two weeks ago that might not be integral.

"That won't impact his recruitment or his decision," said Mrs. Weaver-Cook.

Just as quickly she did share some kind words about the Mizzou basketball program.  Both she and Tyler believe it is a program on the upswing.  The coaching staff has a better handle on the rudder and she thinks year two will be better than year one for Kim Anderson.

"We have been to Iowa twice," said Mrs. Weaver-Cook.  "We have been to Iowa State.  We have gone to Purdue.  That was one of the very first schools.  And we have also been to Michigan."

The Cook family is planning two unofficial visits in June.  They will wisely take officials when school is in session.  According to Cook's mother Iowa State will get another visit.

Arkansas has already taken an in-home visit.  They wanted to offer in person, which resulted in a nice chat.

"That is on our list of schools to go back to," said Mrs. Weaver-Cook.  "Tyler has a really good relationship with Coach Hoiberg.  That is definitely one of the programs that he is really, really inerested in.  There are also rumors that Coach Hoiberg will go to the NBA like Billy Donovan."

Imagine that.  A player has six favorite schools, but loses two coaches to the NBA before he even commits.  The fickle world of college basketball recruiting can have an impact with many families.

No complaints from the Cooks though. 

"It has been a great ride for us," said Mrs. Weaver-Cook.  "Many kids played AAU since they were in fourth grade.  Tyler didn't get started until he got to Chaminade.  He is kind of a late starter."

Scorers Everywhere

From Jordan Barnes to Jordan Goodwin there are almost a dozen guards with scoring skills with St. Louis Eagles 17u. 

Goodwin told @ScottyBScout he wants to play close to home.  As a freshman Goodwin listed Kansas and Kentucky as his favorite schools. 

Illinois offered Goodwin as April ended.  The Illini also offered Verge Jr.

"Alonzo Verge Jr. is a dynamic player," said Director Holloway.  "He is one of those kids you have to let him play.  Enjoy the ride.  There will be some mistakes because he is a young player."

One player with great size and underappreciated skills is Will Gladson

"Will is doing great actually," said Director Holloway.  "After Lexington he got a couple offers, one from IUPUI, one from Southern Illinois Edwardsville.  I anticipate, when it is all said and done, he will have several more offers by Peach Jam."

Gladson stands 6'8" and generally disrupts.

"He is an immediate physical presence in the paint," said Director Holloway.  "When he is in the game you know he is in the game.  He is going to battle for every rebound.   Coming back from knee injury he didn't have a chance to play last year."

Perhaps no one has more to gain this AAU season than Gladson.  Tatum and Cook are in the final stages of their recruitment.  Crawford, Verge, Goodwin, Sloan, etc. have another year of AAU.  For Gladson the time is now.  July will be enormous.  In those short weeks he has to demonstrate on-court value. 

His grades are exceptional.  The A-student is fully prepared for the rigors of the college classroom.

Even though the AAU season motors on with another EYBL stop in 10 days keep an eye off the stats and on the offers.  Many of the Eagles are angling for high major offers.  Even beyond Cook and Tatum the opportunities are very encouraging.


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