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Syracuse commit McCullough stands out in Nike EYBL

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FRISCO, Tx. — With the overall abundance of talent in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League — commonly known as the EYBL — it might be easy to overlook even the most talented players in the country. Since Syracuse commit Chris McCullough is currently the highest rated 2014 prospect with a verbal commitment, it’s easy for some to forget about the 6-10 forward from the Bronx.

But there’s a reason McCullough is regarded as the nation’s No. 9 prospect in the 2014 class: He’s very versatile with a ton of upside. There just aren’t many things Chris McCullough can’t do on a basketball court.

Playing with Team Scan, McCullough has helped the group to a 7-3 start and has played with many of his teammates for quite some time.

“It’s cool to play with this team,” McCullough told NBC Sports. “Everybody has known each other since sixth grade so we’re all used to playing with each other and hanging around each other.”

That kind of cohesiveness has helped Team Scan in the loaded EYBL. Team Scan picked up a huge 68-50 victory over Expressions Elite on Friday night — the first loss of the EYBL for Expressions.

“There’s a lot of good teams out here and a lot of highly ranked teams and players so we just try to come out and win,” said McCullough, who finished with 10 points in a balanced scoring effort for Team Scan.

McCullough has a lot of things he does well, including passing, ball handling, and rebounding, but he’s also focused on staying in the discussion among the class of 2014’s elite players.

“My goal is to remain a top-5 player and to just get better overall,” McCullough said.¬†“I’m just trying to work on my overall game and trying to improve everything.”

That kind of commitment to remaining among the best in the class must be music to the ears of the Syracuse coaching staff, who keeps in touch with Chris on a regular basis.

“(The Syracuse coaching staff) tells me to keep playing and keep getting better and do what I do,” McCullough said. “Coach Boeheim just tells me to keep getting better and to play my game.”

Before the third session of the EYBL began on Friday, McCullough averaged 11.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for Team Scan through nine EYBL games.

Scott also writes for NY2LA Sports and can be followed on Twitter @sphillipshoops

WATCH LIVE: James Madison battles UNC-Wilmington on NBCSN

James Madison guard Shakir Brown, left, drives past Hofstra forward Denton Koon (12) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game in Harrisonburg, Va., Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)
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Two of the top teams in the CAA battle on Saturday afternoon as James Madison travels to UNC-Wilmington. You can catch this matchup live on NBCSN at 3 p.m. EST.

UNC-Wilmington (19-5, 11-2) is currently the class of the conference as they hold a two-game lead over James Madison, William & Mary and Hofstra. The Seahawks have won 10 consecutive games and they’re led by guard Chris Flemmings, who is averaging 16.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game.

James Madison (19-7, 9-4) has won three consecutive games as they try to make up ground on UNC-Wilmington. Guard Ron Curry leads the Dukes in points (16.8 ppg) and assists (3.9 apg) as he’s having a very solid season.

These two teams played on Jan. 28 with UNC-Wilmington winning 78-73 on the road.

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Saturday afternoon.

VIDEO: Winthrop’s Keon Johnson goes coast-to-coast for buzzer-beater

Winthrop's Keon Johnson (5) shoots a layup while defended by Coastal Carolina's Warren Gillis during the first half of the Big South Conference Championship college basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina won 81-70. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
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Winthop earned a Big South road win at Radford on Saturday afternoon as junior guard Keon Johnson raced coast-to-coast and buried the game-winner at the buzzer.

The 5-foot-7 Johnson erupted for 32 points in the win and he’s been one of the most potent mid-major scorers in the country this season. The win moves Winthrop to 18-7 on the season and their 10-4 mark in the Big South ties them with UNC Asheville atop the conference standings.

(H/T: LiveonASN)