CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
Philly Live I continued into its second day of action on Saturday, with dozens of teams playing one or two games on the four courts at St. Joe’s Prep in front of a strong turnout of college coaches.
Here’s who stood out in front of our staff during Saturday’s action:
Denver Anglin (above) had another strong performance in the second day of Philly Live. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Denver Anglin (2022 | Gill St.Bernard’s, N.J.)
In the 71-60 win against Imhotep Charter, he set the tone for the Knights’ offense as he started off by going 5-5 from the field and finished with 18 points which included being 3-6 from downtown. Aside from his ability to shoot the ball efficiently, the 6-2 rising senior combo guard has the ability to get in the lane at will and weave his way through traffic. His off the dribble package also includes being able to shoot off the bounce from mid-range or from beyond the arc and even with a hand in his face his shots will still find the bottom of the basket. As the live periods continue throughout the summer, he will also have more opportunities to showcase his abilities in July with the New York Renaissance on the EYBL and holds offers from a variety of high majors.
Alphonzo ‘Fatts’ Billups (2022 | Varina, Va.)
When Billups stepped onto the court against East Catholic (Conn.), his presence was felt. The 6-8 shooter has received numerous offers from high major programs such as Temple, Clemson, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State. Against East Catholic, Billups showed an array of skills: high flying dunks, long-range threes, and backboard rejections. In the first minute and a half of the 59-44 win over East Catholic, he had amassed 8 points (two made three-pointers) and 3 rebounds… he is certainly efficient. In addition, he has overall good shot selection.
Julian Brown (2022 | Bergen Catholic, N.J.)
In both games against Roman and West Catholic, he gave defenses headaches. The 6-0 rising senior point guard is quick, has a good feel for the game, and knows how to set up his teammates as well as where his shots come in the framework of the offense. With a couple of dribble moves in his bag that allow him to break down defenders and get into the paint to create for either himself or his teammates and also has the ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc.in both games, he scored from all three levels, combining for 28 points in both games and dished out multiple assists to generate the Crusaders’ offense.
Elliot Cadeau (2024 | Bergen Catholic, N.J.)
After impressing at the Pangos All-American Camp last week as one of only five members of the Class of 2024 who were in attendance, expectations were sky-high for the young guard coming into Philly Live I and he more than delivered. The most apt description for his game would simply be ‘advanced.’ Court awareness, vocal leadership, body language on the floor, are all facets of his game that are much more developed than expected to be for his age. His passing ability is easily the most noticeable and impressive part of his repertoire, but he also had no trouble taking defenders off the dribble against four or five of the best defensive guards the Philadelphia Catholic League has to offer. So far, Seton Hall, TCU and Siena are involved; his stock is in store for a big jump this summer.
Jadin Collins (2023 | Rutgers Prep, N.J.)
A smooth 6-1 guard, Collins had offers from Rider and Radford prior to Rutgers Prep's matchup against Archbishop Wood. Afterwards, he added the La Salle Explorers to his list. He has garnered interest from Temple, Fordham, Colgate, Air Force, Albany, Drexel, NJIT, and almost every Ivy League school in recent months — it is relatively easy to see the reason. Against the 2021 Philadelphia Catholic League champs, Collins nearly matched Wood in first half points (14 points to. 19 points). He finished the contest with 26 points, 4 assists, 7 rebounds, 6 steals, and a win. As the July live period approaches, Collins will continue to attract the eyes of coaches.
Naasir Cunningham (2024 | Gill St. Bernard, N.J.)
Standing a wiry 6-8, Cunningham had the play of the game vs. La Salle College High School Saturday afternoon. After a seven-point GSB lead was erased by a La Salle 3-point barrage, Bernards needed a spark. They found it on an inbounds play from the baseline. GSB called the play, Cunningham cut from the top of the key into the lane where he was left wide open for a highlight-reel dunk that put an exclamation point on a great 13-point effort for the Class of 2024 wing. Cunningham is a rapidly ascending 3-and-D archetype player, evidenced by the trio of 3-pointers and blocks he contributed during the game. Recruiting-wise, things have been quiet since his last offer from Creighton, but he is still just a rising sophomore. Other schools that Cunningham said have offered so far: LSU, Maryland, DePaul, Rutgers, St. Johns, and TCU.
Khalil Farmer (2022 | Roman Catholic, Pa.)
Against Bergen Catholic, the 6-3 rising senior did what he does best; score the ball. In the 75-74 overtime win, he paced the Cahillites’ offense with 17 points with eight of those points coming from him pulling up in the lane or short corners, displaying his touch from the mid range. Down the stretch as defenders began to arrive with better closeouts, he countered by going by the defender if they left their feet and attacked the basket, finishing through contact on one or two occasions, giving him the chance for extra points which he converted. Currently holding offers and interest from several low majors,along with his backcourt mate Xzayvier Brown, forward Dan Skillings, and the rest of the Cahillites are poised to once again make a run at the Catholic League crown.
Christian Fermin (2022 | Pocono Mt. West, Pa.)
One of the best players in not just Northeast Pennsylvania but the entire state, Fermin is a still-improving young forward with a lot to like about his game. A bouncy, physical specimen of a big man, Fermin stands 6-9, 220 and puts all of it to good use. He’s competitive on the block on both ends, and does a great job of establishing positioning and demanding the entry pass, where he knows how to score in a variety of ways; he’s also flashing a little bit of perimeter shooting ability. He’s also a vocal defender and aggressive rebounder and rim protector. VCU, Temple, St. Joe’s, Penn State and more are heavily involved.
Rasheer Fleming (2022 | Camden, N.J.)
Shortly after Camden’s 11-point victory over Centerville (Ohio), Rasheer Fleming earned his first Division I scholarship to Siena College. Fleming, one of the less-heralded players featured on Camden’s loaded roster, played with grit and intensity every second he was on the floor. Crashing the boards, blocking shots, deflecting passes, using his 6-8 frame to bruise his way through the lane, these were just a few of the key takeaways from his game on Saturday. Expect his stock to rise this summer as he runs with the NJ Scholars on the EYBL Circuit with several of his Camden teammates.
Anthony Finkley (2023 | West Catholic, Pa.)
Coming off of a solid performance on Friday against Salesianum, he continued to make his presence known at the Prep on Saturday. Despite a 56-53 loss, he once again made his mark in every area of the game.The 6-7 rising junior got a good amount of post touches, drawing attention from the defense, going to work for eight points and also finding shooters on the perimeter for five assists. On the defensive end, he corralled seven rebounds and also blocked two shots to anchor the Burrs on the defensive end.
Moses Hipps (2024 | Archbishop Carroll, Pa.)
Hipps went off against East Catholic (Conn.), dropping 33 points in a win for Carroll. The 6-3 guard knocked down eight triples over the course of the affair, showcasing his smooth form and high-arcing shot every time. Already with a La Salle offer under his belt, Hipps is part of a great trio of Carroll sophomores who will form the core of the Patriots’ offense for the next three years, and his shooting ability should help him pull in quite a few more offers by the time it’s all said and done, especially if he grows into his lanky frame. Hipps is an improving driver who also plays unselfish and knows when to give up a good shot for a better one.
Mackenzie Mgbako (2023 | Gill St.Bernard’s, N.J.)
The rising junior wing was active on both ends of the floor in Saturday’s win vs Imhotep. At 6-8 with the ability to play inside and out, Mgbako is comfortable with the ball in his hands and confident in taking defenders off the dribble, and he displayed that against Imhotep, finishing with 19 points and through contact on several baskets, showing off his strength. Defensively, he played the passing lanes well getting a couple of deflections and two steals of his own that turned into run out layups. He currently holds offers from Auburn, Georgetown, Maryland, Ohio State, and UCLA among others, and picked up an offer from Xavier at the end of the day.
Horace Simmons (2023 | La Salle College HS, Pa.)
La Salle had a tough draw Saturday afternoon when they played Jersey powerhouse Gill St. Bernard’s (N.J.). However, La Salle, without head coach Mike McKee and starting point guard Sam Brown, were more than up to the challenge. A seven-point defeat doesn’t tell the whole story; the guard play was impressive and some young forwards made promising contributions, but the player who most stood out was easily 6-6 wing Horace Simmons. His 3-point shooting stroke is pure; it found itself at the bottom of the net four times in a row on Saturday during their battle with GSB. On defense, Horace picked up the defensive assignment of Mackenzie Mgbako, one of the highest ranked players in the Class of 2023, and he more than held his own. Simmons has a growing number of pursuers since the dead period ended and schools have been able to contact 2023s. So far he’s collected scholarships to St. Joe’s, Albany, Bryant, Fairfield and Drexel.
Mike Walz (2022 | Conestoga, Pa.)
The counterpart to Fermin’s big game was Walz, as the Conestoga big man was right there every step of the way. Walz is a physical post at 6-10 and 225 pounds, and while he doesn’t have the vertical athleticism of Fermin, he’s got every bit the strength and basketball IQ. Walz is a strong passer out of the post who knows how to get defenses moving when they collapse in on him, and he showcased a reliable right-hand hook shot, as well as the ability to step out and knock down 3-pointers with a smooth, high-arcing shot. Against a high-level opponent, Walz more than held his own.
Akil Watson (2023 | Don Bosco Prep, N.J.)
Don Bosco Prep took the floor twice Saturday at Philly Live I. During both games, Watson showcased that his game matched his top-50 recruiting status in the latest edition of the Class of 2023 Rivals150. Watson lives on the offensive glass; this, coupled with his unwillingness to take plays off, makes him a menace to opposing teams who aren’t committing to boxing out. Another impressive feature of his game is his handle in the open floor. He was comfortable running the length of the court every time he got the ball in transition. Every chance he got he displayed advanced awareness on the fast break, finishing at the rim himself, or setting his teammates up for easy scores. The 6-9 five-star has a dizzying number of pursuers, most notably Auburn, UConn, Seton Hall, St. Johns and Georgetown.
Rahmir Barno (2023 | Imhotep Charter, Pa.), Chase Coleman (2024 | Archbishop Carroll, Pa.), Terry Copeland (2024 | Bergen Catholic, N.J.), Justin Edwards (2023 | Imhotep Charter, Pa.), Dylan Harper (2024 | Don Bosco Prep, N.J.), Maasai Harris (2022 | Cardinal O’Hara, Pa.), Kyle Honore (2022 | Potomac, Va.), Carson Howard (2023 | Archbishop Wood, Pa.), Nicholas Mate (2022 | Florida Christian, Fl.), Justin Moore (2022 | Archbishop Wood, Pa.), Dayon Polk (2023 | Sanford, Del.), Matija Radunovic (2022 | Roman Catholic, Pa.), Naji Reid (2022 | Imhotep Charter, Pa.), Will Richardson (2022 | Bergen Catholic, N.J.), Dan Skillings (2022 | Roman Catholic, Pa.), Zion Stanford (2023 | West Catholic, Pa.), Janye Stanley (2023 | Harrisburg, Pa.), Nix Varano (2022 | La Salle College HS, Pa.), Kaseem Watson (2023 | West Catholic, Pa.), Chris Williams (2022 | La Salle College HS, Pa.)