St. Joe's Prep product Ed Croswell (above) is now at Providence after two years at La Salle. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
The Philadelphia Catholic League, Inter-Ac League, Friends' School League, and various public school leagues in the surrounding Philadelphia suburbs have been churning out Division I hoops talent for a long time, and there's no signs of slowing. There are more than 90 current Division I players from the immediate Philadelphia area, not even counting those from the Lehigh Valley, and Harrisburg/District 3 regions, or all the Jersey kids.
In fact, there's so many local kids playing D-I hoops, we've had to split the roundup into four parts. Here's the second of four below, featuring kids from the immediate Philadelphia area and a couple from juuuust over the bridge in South Jersey.
Zach Crisler (Soph./Fairfield)
The former La Salle College HS big man may have to wait a season after transferring from Rice but he showed glimpses of what he can do in his freshman campaign. The face-up 6-foot-9 forward played in 23 games (seven starts) avg. 2.4 points and 1.7 rebounds, which included an 11-point game against North Texas. As a senior with the Explorers, he helped them reach the Philadelphia Catholic League title game and PIAA Class 6A semifinals while being named Second Team All-Catholic.
Ed Croswell (Jr./Providence)
After averaging 10.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore for La Salle, Croswell transferred up to Providence to play in the Big East under head coach Ed Cooley. The 6-8 forward, with broad-shoulders is known for his old-school style of play on the block. Croswell is regarded as one of the best offensive rebounders in the country ranking third in the nation in offensive rebounding rate at 18.5 percent. The St. Joseph’s Prep alum received a waiver from the NCAA and will be immediately eligible this season.
Mike Cubbage (R-Sr./Marist)
A South Jersey native and Winslow Twp. product, Cubbage arrived at Marist after going the JUCO route through Paris College (Tx.). After taking a redshirt year, he jumped right into a starting role this past season, averaging 9.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 3.1 apg while starting all 30 games for the Red Foxes. The 6-4, 180-pounder hit his high-water mark in the season opener with a 19-point effort against VMI, one of 16 double-digit scoring efforts on the year; he also had two double-doubles and flirted with a few triple-doubles.
Ryan Daly (R-Sr./Saint Joseph’s)
A 6-5 wing guard, Daly has been an absolute stat-sheet stuffer, first in his days at Archbishop Carroll, then in two years at Delaware—where he averaged 16.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg and 2.2 apg—and now at St. Joe’s, where he’s once again poised to be a one-man tour de force for the Hawks. As a redshirt junior, Daly averaged 20.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg and a career-best 4.3 apg, but he’s got a lot more support around him this season. Don’t be surprised if his points drop but his auxiliary numbers rise, though he’ll almost certainly surpass 2,000 points for his college career if the season plays out.
Mike DePersia (Soph./IUPUI)
It certainly seems like DePersia has found a spot to stay out in Indiana, as he was named a team captain heading into his sophomore season. The 5-11, 170-pound guard out of Haddonfield Memorial (N.J.) started 10 games last year and appeared in 32 total, averaging 2.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.7 apg and had an assist-to-turnover ratio better than 2-to-1. The Jaguars’ starting backcourt of Marcus Burk and Jaylen Minnett are both back for one more season, but it’s clear that DePersia will take over the reigns at some point for the Horizon League program.
Eric Dixon (R-Fr./Villanova)
Dixon enters his redshirt freshman season for the Wildcats, hoping to be the latest player under Jay Wright to benefit from the redshirt year like Omari Spellman, Mikal Bridges and Donte DiVincenzo, to name a few. After shedding nearly 25 pounds over the past year, Dixon is in the best shape of his career and his unique ability as an inside-out scorer will allow him to see a lot of minutes this season next to Jeremiah Robinson-Earl in the Villanova frontcourt. The former two-time PIAA Class 6A Pa. Player of the Year is expected to be a major X-factor for a team with national title expectations.
Caleb Dorsey (Fr./Penn State)
A Maryland native, Dorsey played his four years of high school ball at the Hill School, where the 6-7 wing drew all sorts of college interest for his two-way abilities and intriguing frame. He ended up at PSU, where he’ll back up a number of other local products on the wing, including Roman’s Seth Lundy and Ryan’s Izaiah Brockington. There’s minutes available for Dorsey if he earns them, but PSU interim head coach Jim Ferry has enough other options to go to if Dorsey needs another year to be ready for serious production in the Big Ten.
Che Evans (Fr./San Diego State)
The Neumann-Goretti product only appeared in one game (10 points vs. West Catholic) during his senior season due to injury after transferring in from Dulaney (Md.), but there’s a ton of upside for the Aztecs freshman. The 6-7 wing forward averaged 20.5 points and eight rebounds per game in helping Dulaney win the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) Class 4A North Region title as a junior.
Matt Faw (Sr./Holy Cross)
A long-armed forward, who stands at 6-9 and plays the role of a stretch big for the Crusaders enters his senior season coming off a year where he appeared in 30 games, starting 22 of them. Faw has developed into one of the better rim protectors in the Patriot League leading the league in blocked shots his junior season. Faw is a career 37% three point shooter and is coming off a season where he averaged a career best 8.6 points per game. The Patriot League is planning on playing a conference only schedule this year, beginning January 2, pending an official announcement.
Mark Flagg (Sr./St. Francis Pa.)
Flagg has put together a solid career for one of the top teams in the Northeast Conference, playing in 95 games with 23 starts, averaging 6.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg and a block in 17.9 mpg, with extremely similar numbers in each of those three years. The former Pennsbury big man hasn’t really shown the outside shooting ability he displayed in high school, attempting only 13 3-pointers thus far, but he’s converted from the floor at a 52% clip. With the team’s top two rebounders gone from the last few years, he’ll really be needed on the glass.
Jack Forrest (Soph./Saint Joseph’s)
After a standout career at Lower Merion High School where Forrest led the Aces to three Central League Championships and scored 1,209 points, Forrest played his freshman season in the Ivy League at Columbia. In his lone season for the Lions, Forrest averaged 8.9 points per game, including a season high 23 points against Cornell. The 6-4 sharpshooting guard is expected to redshirt this year after his transfer while rounding out his game as he prepares to make the jump to the Atlantic 10.
Simeon Fryer (Jr./Texas A&M Corpus Christi)
The third local product who ended up at Corpus Christi following a couple years at the JUCO ranks is Fryer, who originally played at Upper Dublin and then Rocktop Academy. The Beaver County CC (Pa.) product averaged 12.6 ppg and 5.2 rpg as a sophomore, alongside former and current teammates Rasheed Browne (Neumann-Goretti) and Cyrie Coates (Overbrook). The 6-5, 185-pound wing guard can play the ‘2’ or ‘3’ and was a 40.5% 3-point shooter as a sophomore at CCBC.
Andrew Funk (above) averaged 10.8 ppg as a sophomore at Bucknell. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Andrew Funk (Jr./Bucknell)
After his older brother Tommy graduated from Army as the all-time leader in assists in Patriot League history, Andrew is looking to become a Patriot League standout himself. The 6-5 guard out of Archbishop Wood was a starter for the Bison in 2019 and he will be counted on as one of the main scoring options this season. He averaged 10.8 points per game, despite only shooting 30.2% from 3-point range, a 4.5% decrease from his freshman season. Funk is one of the higher IQ players that you will come across on and off the floor as he was named to the 2020 Academic All-Patriot League Team.
Jalen Gaffney (Soph./UConn)
Head coach Danny Hurley has the Huskies primed for a big return to the Big East and one of the reasons for optimism is Gaffney, who took over the starting point guard role for the final 12 games of his freshman season (UConn was 9-3 in those contests). He posted a career-high 13 points against SMU then added a 12-point, nine-assist outing vs. Temple two games later. In year one, he avg. 3.9 points and 2.1 assists while posting a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio in 19.1 minutes per game. The 2018-19 Pa. All-State Class 3A Player of the Year led the Westtown School to PAISAA title game as a senior and he’s looking to add more success to his name in year two in Storrs.
Collin Gillespie (Sr./Villanova)
Over the past two seasons, the Archbishop Wood graduate, who was not highly-ranked coming out of high school, has been one of the Wildcats' best players the last couple years, averaging 12.9 ppg on 40.7% shooting from the field and 36.8% from behind the arc, 3.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, and 1.2 spg in his career thus far. If he continues on his pace, Gillespie should make an appearance on an All-American team, and will be in the running for national player of the year during his senior season. Gillespie is the undisputed leader for the AP’s No.3 ranked preseason team and is looking to add one more ring to his resume before he graduates.
Quade Green (Sr./Washington)
The number two all-time scorer in Neumann-Goretti history with 1,853 points started off his collegiate career with the Kentucky Wildcats, but transferred to Washington after his sophomore year. Green had a solid season last year averaging 11.6 ppg on a ridiculous 51.4% shooting from the field and 44.7% shooting from the 3-point line, along with 5.3 apg, 2.6 rpg, and 1.1 spg. Green will look to build off of his junior year and hopefully increase his stock enough to play at a higher level when his college career comes to an end.
St. Joe's freshman Jordan Hall (above) is expected to start after a standout senior year at Neumann-Goretti. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Jordan Hall (Fr./Saint Joseph’s)
After leading Neumann Goretti to a 45-13 record over his junior and senior years, including the PCL Championship as a senior, Hall is staying local and will be playing for Lange on Hawk Hill. Hall, a 6-8 point forward, fits the positionless basketball style of play that the Hawks are trying to establish in the post-Phil Martelli era. Hall is an exceptional passer who excels in transition thanks to his next-level court vision, and he’s also a strong outside shooter. Expect the freshman to make an impact in year one.
John Harrar (Sr./Penn State)
A former tight end at Strath Haven High School, Harrar decided to stick with hoops and play for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Harrar started in 40 of the 90 games he played in during his career, averaging 3.2 ppg on a great 58.2% shooting from the field and 3.5 rpg. Harrar had his best year last year averaging career highs in every category except for steals (4.3 ppg/4.6 rpg). With forwards Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins both graduating, Harrar will most likely see an increase in minutes where he can try to build off of his junior season.
Marlon Hargis (Jr./St. Francis Pa.)
A St. Augustine Prep (N.J.) product, Hargis is a 6-7, 205-pound wing forward with an impressive wingspan who comes to St. Francis after spending two years at Holy Cross. Headed for a redshirt season unless a waiver comes through, Hargis played in 21 games with eight starts as a sophomore, averaging 6.0 ppg and 2.5 rpg, shooting 41.3% from the floor and 27.1% from 3-point range. He was a great foul shooter in his time there, going 28-of-32 (87.5%) from the stripe.
Zahree Harrison (Fr./St. Francis Pa.)
Harrison arrives at St. Francis having missed all but one game of his senior year at Cheltenham with a knee injury suffered in that game, but he’s back and medically cleared to go for the Red Flash. A solid-bodied 6-0, 190-pound point guard, Harrison averaged 17.5 ppg, 6.5 apg, 5.5 rpg and 3.0 spg as a junior. A strong outside shooter, Harrison is also adept at getting into the lane, and
Hakim Hart (Soph./Maryland)
Before committing to Maryland, Hart, a standout player at Roman Catholic was once a Saint Joseph’s commit, but after Phil Martelli’s departure the 6-6 guard decommitted from the Hawks and is now in College Park. Hart appeared in 18 games off the bench, averaging 1.6 points per game during his freshman season for the regular season 2020 Big Ten champions. Hart is a three-level scorer who scored over 1,000 points in just two seasons at Roman, and he figures to have an increased role during his second year under Mark Turgeon.
Robbie Heath (Soph./Pepperdine)
Heath, a graduate of Abington, will be sitting the year out after transferring to Pepperdine from division two West Chester University and having his waiver denied. Heath led all Division II freshmen in scoring at West Chester last year at 24.6 points per game, and figures to add a scoring punch for coach Lorenzo Romar’s backcourt in the years to come.
A.J. Hoggard (Fr./Michigan State)
The number 75 overall prospect in the 2020 class according to 247 Sports, Hoggard transferred to Huntingdon Prep in West Virginia to wrap up his high school career after starting off at Archbishop Carroll of the PCL. Hoggard suffered a knee injury during practice, but is expected to be ready for action once games tip off on November 25. Depending on his health, and whether or not the 6-3 guard is able to get acclimated to Michigan State’s culture under Tom Izzo will determine if he can receive some of the minutes left by Cassius Winston (1,969 career points) in his freshman season.
Tariq Ingraham (R-Fr./Wake Forest)
The talented 6-9 forward missed his entire freshman season with a torn Achilles tendon but looks to be pegged for big minutes in his first season of action under new head coach Steve Forbes. He began his high school career at the Salesianum School (Del.) before transferring to Bonner-Prendergast, where he averaged 12.0 points in two seasons that included trips to the 2018 Philadelphia Catholic League title game and the 2019 PIAA Class 4A championship game.
Christian Ings (Soph./Rider)
A super-athletic 6-2 guard out of Neumann-Goretti, Ings had an up-and-down freshman year, finishing out playing in 30 games (18 starts), averaging 4.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg and 1.7 apg. He had his best stretch from Dec. 3-Jan. 19, averaging 7.3 ppg in 25 minutes, but lost steam at the end, closing out averaging 2.2 ppg in his final 10 contests. But with the top five scorers all graduating or moving on, Ings is the team’s leading returning scorer, and he’ll be shouldering a much bigger workload this year. He’s good enough to handle it.