Reid Travis (left) set a screen while Tyus Jones (dribbled) during practice for the Howard Pulley AAU basketball team at High Performance Academy in Eagan

Star Tribune file, Kyndell Harkness

Apple Valley’s Tyus Jones, playing for the Howard Pulley team, has been tearing up the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit.

File photo by ELIZABETH FLORES •,

This weekend in Eagan: Tyus, Travis and Vaughn in national AAU play

  • Article by: Jason Gonzalez
  • Star Tribune
  • May 24, 2013 - 6:54 AM

The Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, which has earned a reputation as the nation’s best AAU circuit, is coming to Eagan this weekend. One hundred games will be played, featuring eight of the top-10 ranked juniors and 45 of the top 50.

Even some top-rated sophomores and freshmen can be spotted. The players include local standouts Tyus Jones (Apple Valley), Rashad Vaughn (Cooper), and Reid Travis (DeLaSalle).

Nike Elite Youth Basketball League

–9 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Monday, 9–10:30 a.m.

Where: High Performance Academy, 2950 Lexington Av., Eagan

Courts in use: Five

Cost: Adults $10/day, students/seniors $5

top juniors on display, as rated by ESPN

1: Jahlil Okafor, Mac Irvin Fire (Chicago)

2: Tyus Jones, Howard Pulley (Minneapolis)

3: Emmanuel Mudiay, Texas Pro (Houston)

4: Trey Lyles, Spiece Indy Heat (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

6: *Chris McCullough, Team Scan (New York)

8: Cliff Alexander, Mac Irvin Fire (Chicago)

9: Rashad Vaughn, Wisconsin Playground Elite (Milwaukee)

10: Justise Winslow, Houston Hoops

* committed to Syracuse

Local connections

Howard Pulley, which includes Jones, Travis and Jarvis Johnson of DeLaSalle, is tied for second place in Division D. Games this weekend include:

Saturday: 9 a.m. vs. ICP Elite; 3:30 p.m. vs. Basketball Travelers

Sunday: 8 a.m. vs. Seattle Rotary; 2 p.m. vs. Team United

Monday: 10:30 a.m. vs. All Ohio Red

one more playing next door

Playground Elite, a Milwaukee team that includes Vaughn, is tied for fifth place in Division B. Weekend games include:

Friday: 7:30 p.m. vs. Team Texas Elite

Saturday: 12:30 p.m. vs. Georgia Stars; 6:30 p.m. vs. Team Penny

Sunday: 11 a.m. vs. CP3; 5 p.m. vs. NJ Playaz

The entire weekend schedule is here.

‘Big Three’ on the circuit

Vaughn: “You can’t take any breaks. You don’t get any off games [in this league].”

Travis: “When you get out on the circuit, everyone is fighting for wins. It opened my eyes to what’s out there around the country.”

Jones: “Any win you can get on the circuit is a big win.”

How they stack up

Jones: Leads league in points (301, 23.2 points per game), assists (89, 6.8 apg), steals (39, 3 spg) and minutes (400, 30.8 avg). Second in baskets made (100, 7.7 avg.). Fourth in free-throw percentage (81-for-91, 89 percent). Fifth in free-throw attempts (91, 7 avg.)

Vaughn: Fourth in points (249, 19.3 ppg), second in field-goal attempts (210, 16.2 avg.), fifth in baskets made (89, 6.8 avg.), fifth in free throws made (48, 3.7 avg.), fourth in minutes (376, 28.9 avg.)

Travis: Eleventh in points (227, 17.5 ppg), fourth in free-throw attempts (94, 7.2 avg.). Has 106 rebounds (8.2 rpg)

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