By Amauro Austin Sr
The Philadelphia region has long been a hotbed for recruiting. From Coast to Coast, colleges at every level crave “Philly kids.” I can personally attest to this as a guy whose been a part of the recruiting process round these parts for almost a quarter century. (My how time flys.. I’m getting old..)
In today’s recruiting installment we’ll look to highlight whose available amongst the high school Seniors I’ve had the pleasure of evaluating. We will list and profile the 20 best available prospects according to my scout’s eyes..
One disclaimer: At the date of Publishing, there are a few teams I still have yet to see and a few players that I still don’t have a complete Evaluation on.. No need to fret, I can always update my article when I get to those teams/players. Off the top of my head I’d like to get a look at Upper Darby, Chichester & Henderson. I know they all have some seniors who can play somewhere in college.. And I need to get a 2nd look at Wood’s new face in senior Guard Gus Salem (I never complete an eval after only 1 look)..
Here again is how we break things down.. 4 positions: Point/Combo guards.. Wings.. Forwards.. Bigs..
Nasir Washington 6-3 175 2/1 Penn Wood — explosive, athletic 2-guard who can slide over to the point in a pinch.. Mad Bomber from deep.. Plays stingy defense.. D1 Talent who’ll possibly opt for a post-grad year to get there..
Shemar Wilbanks–Acqui 6-2 180 2/1 West Catholic — rugged lefty combo guard.. Plays at a great pace.. Plus outside shooter.. Priority Recruit for PSAC & CACC D2 conferences but could get a look from Low D1s with a strong winter..
Darrien Grady 5-10 170 1G Shipley — Veteran lead guard is a 4-year starter in the FSL.. Dead-eye shooter with deep range & Crafty scorer.. Tough on-ball defender.. High academics.. Solid D2 prospect..
Jermai Stewart-Herring 6-4 190 2G Roman Catholic — high level athlete with high motor.. Runs and jumps all day.. Versatile defender.. Becoming an Elite catch and shoot guy.. True Worker has gone from mostly just an athlete to a very skilled, multi-faceted offensive player.. Recently named MVP of the prestigious Beach Ball Classic which instantly makes him one of the top Unsigned prospects in the mid Atlantic region.. Should get plenty of MAAC/CAA action coming his way..
Dean Coleman-Newsome 6-3+ 195 2G Archbishop Carroll — Very intriguing prospect.. Some say he’s a point guard.. I see more of a playmaking wing who can play 3 positions.. Chiseled, college ready frame.. (Built like an outside Linebacker).. Improved shooter.. Gives high effort on defense.. Eats contact in the lane.. Stat sheet guy.. D1 Talent whose a high priority for high D2s.. Should be rewarded if he continues to perform this winter..
Kyle Jones 6-3 175 2G Father Judge — very talented offensive player.. Deep Range off the catch and off the bounce.. Makes plays off the dribble.. Finishes in traffic.. Another D1 talent in the deep Catholic League.. Could opt for a Post-Grad year to improve strength and polish up on some things..
Lucas Orchard 6-4 177 SF Devon Prep — Catch & Shoot sniper whose range starts in the lobby outside the gym.. Very awkward yet highly effective.. Makes plays off the bounce and likes contact.. Had an offer from Monmouth this summer.. There’s always a place on a roster for guys with the requisite size and who shoot it like Lucas..
Trey Shinholster 6-2 180 2G Penn Charter — finishing up the last lap of a very good high school career at PC.. Catch & Shoot Sniper with improved off the dribble game.. Dad played at Jefferson U back when the school was known as Phila Textile.. Could we have a legacy kid situation here?
Kareem Diaz 6-4 180 2/3 Dobbins Tech — as raw a talent as there is on the list.. Big guard who lives for paint touches and drives all the way to the rack.. Creates contact.. One of the hidden gems of the Public League.. Scholarship talent for sure.. Best days ahead..
Erik Oliver-Bush 6-4 185 SF Roman Catholic — Ultimate Team & Glue guy.. Does whatever it takes to win.. Athlete.. High end wing defender.. Underrated 3pt shooter.. Coach’s Dream.. CACC & CIAA type.. Jersey kid so not recruitable for every PSAC situation..
Josh Cameron 6-7 220 3/4 The Hill School — NYC native.. Ball handling, play making forward.. Finishes in traffic.. Shat sheet guy.. Offers & Interest from the Low to Mid D1 levels..
Charlie Thornton 6-5 183 3/4 Radnor HS — wiry strong and as tough as they come.. Flat out gets things done.. Gives max effort every time he steps on the floor.. Coach’s favorite.. Also High IQ guy and matchup problem, takes bigger guys off the dribble & punishes smaller guys with power game.. High Priority for High D2s.. Hearing he’s even considering defending D3 National Champion, Randolph-Macon.. And if this Scout was a coach at an America East, NEC or MEAC school and I needed a small forward, main man would have an offer on the table.. Simply put this guy positively impacts teams winning basketball games..
Andrew Phillips 6-4+ 205 3/4 Malvern Prep — plays big dog basketball.. Scores at every level but lives to mix things up in close quarters.. Tough finisher around the rim.. Warrior/Winner.. Comes from a pedigreed basketball family.. Owes it to himself to play the next 8-9 weeks out to see what can happen for him.. Does many things that college coaches not only like but covet.. Definite scholarship level talent..
Qudire Bennett 6-4 215 3/4 Plymouth Whitemarsh — Arguably the best jump shooter in the area.. Entrenched in the top 5 for sure but also scores at a high clip around the basket.. What he lacks in lateral movement, he makes up for with a high IQ and great feel.. Grown Man’s Strength.. 4 year Varsity contributor/3 year starter.. Matchup nightmare in high school at the combo forward spot and will be in college too.. PSAC/CACC Recruitable..
Logan McKee 6-6 210 4/3 Garnet Valley — SLEEPER ALERT!.. Big, strong combo forward with high upside, sugar-sweet jump shot, does all the grunt work around the basket.. The word is he has already decided to do a post-grad year to increase recruiting interest, smart move that’ll pay dividends..
Mel Lindsay Jr 6-6 215 Str4 Holy Ghost Prep — Rugged forward with a High IQ.. Pick and Pop king.. Feathery 3pt stroke.. Battles on the boards.. D2 Prospect right now but could opt for a postgrad year to take a shot at increasing recruitment..
Duce Jackson 6-6 190 3/4 Collegium Charter — 4 year Varsity contributor.. Monster in the Mid Post area.. Uses both hands well around the rim.. Efficient.. Decent Athlete.. Should be receiving widespread PSAC & CACC interest..
M.J. Branker 6-4+ 195 4/3 West Catholic — Team Glue guy.. Does all the dirty work.. Operates well along the baseline, in the dunker spot and in the corners.. High flyer.. Prototypical D2 “4-Man.”
Sultan Adewale 6-8 215 4/5 Neumann-Goretti — London, England native.. Shot blocker/Contester on defense.. Rim Runner on offense.. Finishes with authority.. Nationwide D1 interest starting at the Mid Major level..
Michael James 6-7 195 4/5 Overbrook HS — Live body.. Long arms and legs.. Take and develop, could yield large return.. Currently under the tutelage of former NBA lottery pick, Bo Kimble..
—- Amauro Austin Sr