CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
OAKS, Pa. — The Big Shots Philly Pride tournament took over one section of the Greater Philadelphia Convention Center this weekend, as the Under Armour-backed program put its bevy of teams on display in bracket play against several dozen other programs from the Northeast throughout the three-day event.
Here who played well in front of the CoBL staff this weekend, in alphabetical order:
Colin Ackerman (above) was one of the standouts from this weekend's Big Shots Philly Pride tournament. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Colin Ackerman (2022 | Jersey Shore Predators | Manasquan, NJ.)
Ackerman, a 6-foot-2 guard who hails from northeast Jersey, led the Jersey Shore Predators 17U group on both ends of the floor. An athletic point guard, he showcased his ability to run an effective offense and get after it on the defensive end. Ackerman’s excellent court vision and handle were on full display, but he also showcased his ability to get by his defender and finish hard at the rim. On the defensive end, he brought tough pressure for 94 feet. Working to get steals, tips, and rebounds, Ackerman’s hustle on the defensive end often translated to his buckets on offense.
Jalil Bethea (2024 | Philly Revolution | Archbishop Wood, Pa.)
The first of a couple young Wood guards who played well this weekend, Bethea looks like he’s ready to be a varsity contributor in the Catholic League as a sophomore. A 6-3, 155-pound guard, Bethea is a terrific outside shooter, which he showed knocking five 3-pointers in a win over East Coast Power, and then used that range to start attacking the rim, where showed solid decision-making on the move to dish or score. A smooth, athletic guard, Bethea still has a lot of growing to do to fill out his frame and get stronger on both ends of the floor, but the upside is certainly there.
Sam Brown (2023 | Philly Pride Gold | Lower Merion, Pa.)
The son of former NBA head coach and Boston U guard Brett Brown, Sam Brown is definitely on track to play at the Division I level like his father. A 6-3 guard with a basketball IQ that is off the charts for his age group, Brown made numerous passes that really displayed his high IQ, showing he’s much more than just a long-range shooter. Brown made everyone on his team a better player, and he would have filled the stat sheet with assists if a few more shots had fallen. Along with his passing, Brown showed that he has the ability to hit shots even with a hand in his face. While Brown had a strong offensive weekend, he also made some crucial defensive plays for his team, and he’s a good athlete with length.
Brett Byrne (2022 | East Coast Power | Methacton, Pa.)
Byrne’s got about as much experience as you can have as a high school rising senior, having been a contributor on high-level Methacton squads since his freshman year, playing a huge role on a state title contender as a sophomore, and he game is certainly under control. A 6-1, 175-pound shooting guard, Byrne’s best asset certainly is his ability to knock down shots from deep, whether that’s pulling up in transition or off the catch, with consistent and smooth form and a quick release. He’s also tough off the dribble, taking advantage of mis-match situations to get to the hole. High-level D-IIs and D-IIIs are already involved.
Jeremy Clayville (2024 | All In | DePaul, N.J.)
Playing up with the 16U champions this weekend, Clayville certainly showed no fear from the outset of the title game, knocking down two deep 3-pointers in the game’s first couple minutes, setting the tone for an impressive all-around outing. A 6-0 combo guard, Clayville ran point for the talented squad from N.J. but also moved well without the ball, constantly getting free for open looks even once it was clear he could connect from NBA range; he finished with three 3-pointers and 20 points, plus three boards and three assists in the win over SJ Hoops Elite. Looks like he’s still got another growth spurt in him, which would help tremendously, but definitely a youngster to watch moving forward for his shooting and competitive mentality alone.
Mel Copeland (2021 | Running Rebels | William Allen, Pa.)
Mel Copeland was a significant part of the L and L Running Rebels Open 68-43 blowout win against the Carolina Gators Red 2022. The 6'1 guard was the team's leading scorer with 18 points. He mostly got his buckets from mid-range shots and his will to attack the basket. In addition to his 18 points, Copeland had a handful of assists due to his unselfish playing style. On the defensive end, Copeland was quiet, but it didn't matter since the Rebels only gave up 43 points. In his senior year at William Allen, Copeland played a key role in bringing his team to the playoffs by averaging 11.5 points per game.
Marquis Ferreira (2022 | LA CATS | Lebanon, Pa.)
Take your eye off Ferreira for a second, and he’s going to beat you — that’s something defenders learned plenty throughout the course of the weekend. A 5-9, 155-pound combo guard, Ferriera is also a track star for Lebanon, and it shows: he’s super-quick on his feet, whether that’s using his handles to get to the rim, pushing the pace in transition, or bothering opposing guards with quick hands. A hard worker without the ball, he’s also a great decision-maker with it, seeing the floor and making snap decisions on whether to pass, dribble, or shoot. Didn’t miss a shot in a 20-point outing Friday night (7-7 FG, 3-3 3PT). Multiple D-III programs already involved.
Vaughn Foster (2023 | All In | Dwight-Englewood, N.J.)
Another reason that All In won the 16U championship was due to this impressive young big wing, who scored 19 points in the championship win. A 6-6, 200-pound forward, Foster has a solid frame that allows him to bang around inside (eight rebounds), but he’s a skilled ‘3’ man who can step out and shoot (2-4 3PT), and he also picked up three assists and a steal during the win. As he continues to refine his body and work on his athleticism, he’ll become an even more effective defender and glass-crasher. A strong student at one of the better private schools in North Jersey, Foster will be all over high-academic D-I radars (and more) before long.
Cardinal O'Hara guard Hunter Johnson (above) looks primed to become one of the better guards in the PCL. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Hunter Johnson (2024 | WeR1 | Cardinal O’Hara, Pa.)
Part of a talented WeR1 15U squad, Johnson led the way on Saturday during an 81-54 win over Pro Youth (Pa.), dropping in 18 points. A muscular lead guard at 6-2 and 175 pounds, Johnson was generally in attack mode, taking his defender off the bounce and getting to the hole, but he also showed range with a pair of 3-pointers. Defensively, he was part of an aggressive on-ball effort from WeR1, coming up with four steals, several of which he turned into easy buckets going the other way. Johnson was O’Hara’s second-leading scorer (8.9 ppg) as a freshman, so it looks like a bright future is ahead in the PCL for this young guard.
Matt Mayock (2023 | East Coast Power | Westtown School, Pa.)
If this weekend was any indication, this could be a breakout summer for Mayock, who transferred from Conestoga to Westtown a year ago and reclassified into 2023. A 6-6, 190-pound wing guard, Mayock plays everything from the ‘1’ to the ‘4’ for East Coast Power, a far cry from the spot-up shooting abilities he flashed at ‘Stoga. He’s still a gunner, with the size and ability to get shots up just about whenever he wants, but he’s also become a much-improved driver, finishing on a couple strong reverse layups in transition and in the half-court, and he’s a good athlete who can defend multiple positions. Mayock looked great in a Saturday night win over the Hudson Valley Panthers, scoring 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting (2-4 3PT), with six rebounds and two assists.
Jevin Muniz (2022 | Philly Pride | Executive Education, Pa.)
Speaking of shooters with size, Muniz had a confident weekend from beyond the arc. The 6-6 wing guard from the Lehigh Valley was spotting up and knocking ‘em down from all around the perimeter in multiple games, not needing to think twice about pulling up and releasing whenever he had some space, and he also hit a couple one-dribble pull-ups from the mid-range when the opportunity presented itself. A first team all-PIAA 3A selection, Muniz averaged 21.6 ppg and 8.7 rpg during his senior year at EECA; he’ll be doing a prep year at a TBD school this fall.
Lucas Orchard (2023 | SJ Hoops Elite | Devon Prep, Pa.)
Orchard is the definition of a “plugger” — a solid athlete but not a jump-out-of-the-gym type, the 6-foot-3 wing just plays hard and smart, and good things tend to come his way. Orchard likes to use his strength and handles to get into the mid-range, where he’s got a variety of moves to work himself free for a floater or jumper, though he’s more likely to dish to a cutting teammate or spot someone on the perimeter. Hard-nosed, he likes to crash the glass and can score around the rim through contact. Needs to continue to improve his handle to create against big guards, but he’s going to be in for a productive junior year at Devon Prep.
Fazl Oshodi (above) led Philly Pride to the 15U Championship. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Fazl Oshodi (2024 | Philly Pride | Friends’ Central, Pa.)
Points were tough to come by for the vast majority of the 15U title game for just about everybody but Oshodi, who at one point was outscoring K-Low Elite by himself, finishing with 18 points in a winning effort. The 6-3, 165-pound guard, who just transferred from Roman to Friends’ Central and will repeat his sophomore year, was in attack mode the entire game, going 8-for-8 from the foul line in addition to finishing a couple layups through traffic. He also knocked down a couple 3-pointers, and grabbed three boards as well.
Josh Reed (2024 | Philly Revolution | Archbishop Wood, Pa.)
High school and AAU teammates with Bethea, Reed was taking turns making plays with his backcourt mate. A 6-1, 165-pound point guard, Reed is a smooth athlete with a lot of bounce, a slashing drive-and-kick guard who made some nice looks both to the perimeter as well as dump-offs to the Revolution’s forwards. Not afraid to put his head down and get to the rim, and absorbs contact well to get to the line. A more consistent outside shot will help those lanes continue to stay open on the high school level and beyond.
Jake West (2024 | Pro Youth | Plymouth-Whitemarsh, Pa.)
Playing with an unfamiliar group as his normal Team Final Red squad was off for the weekend, West had no trouble getting his teammates to like him, as he continually found them for open shots and easy layups. A slight, 5-8 point guard, West is certainly not the biggest kid on the court but his game more than makes up for it; he’s great with the ball in his hands, with a confident handle and drive-and-kick game, and he’s an active defender with quick hands. In a game against WeR1 on Saturday morning, West had 15 points, seven assists and three steals, going up against a much bigger WeR1 backcourt. One to watch for, especially as his body continues to mature to catch up with his game.
Luca Baratta (2022 | Philly Heat | Perkiomen School, Pa.)
Jackson Byer (2022 | Laurel Highlands Storm | Conemaugh Twp., Pa.)
Chase Coleman (2024 | Pro Youth | Archbishop Carroll, Pa.)
Dan Curran (2024 | Pro Youth | Archbishop Carroll, Pa.)
Khalil Farmer (2022 | Philly Pride | Roman Catholic, Pa.)
Tommy Haugh (2022 | Pride Gold | Perkiomen School, Pa.)
Jackson Hicke (2023 | SJ Hoops Elite | Radnor, Pa.)
Isaiah Hinson (2024 | WeR1 | Salesianum, Del.)
Jacen Holloway (2023 | SJ Hoops Elite | Devon Prep, Pa.)
Aamir Hurst (2022 | Philly Pride Select | Neumann-Goretti, Pa.)
Elmarko Jackson (2023 | WeR1 | Academy New Church, Pa.)
Matt Johnson (2022 | Pride Gold | Germantown Friends, Pa.)
Oliver Jones (2023 | Pride Gold | Sanford School, Del.)
Dior Kennedy (2024 | WeR1 | Coatesville, Pa.)
Deuce Ketner (2024 | K-Low Elite | Bonner-Prendergast, Pa.)
Tyler Koenig (2023 | All In | DePaul, N.J.)
Tate Landis (2022 | LA CATS | Warwick, Pa.)
Anthony Lilley (2024 | Philly Revolution | Father Judge, Pa.)
Demetrius Lilley (2022 | Philly Pride | Lower Merion, Pa.)
Kevin McCarthy (2024 | Pride Gold | Episcopal Academy, Pa.)
Ty Mishock (2024 | East Coast Power | Devon Prep, Pa.)
Muneer Newton (2021 | WeR1 | Archbishop Wood, Pa.)
Oladele Oladitan (2021 | Above & Beyond | Believe Prep, S.C.)
Trent Rozich (2022 | Laurel Highlands Storm | Richland, Pa.)
Reggie Selden Jr. (2024 | Philly Pride | Bishop Eustace, N.J.)
Joe Shields (2024 | Philly Revolution | La Salle HS, Pa.)
Jalen Snead (2022 | GBC Elite | Archbishop Ryan, Pa.)
Phil Urban (2022 | Above & Beyond | Pennington School, N.J.)
Darren Williams (2024 | K-Low Elite | Archbishop Ryan, Pa.)
Ryan Williams (2024 | Philly Pride | Malvern Prep, Pa.)