We are just two weekends removed from the first high school live periods of the summer. Post & Pivot hosted the Pre-Live High School Team Camp this weekend to give some of the local squads some good runs to get ready for the big event.
After a few weeks full of grassroots hoops with some spring leagues mixed in, it was a good opportunity for the CoBL staff to check in on some of the local squads. Here's the second part of our notebook from Saturday and Sunday's action at Jefferson University:
Archbishop Carroll sophomore Ian Williams is one of the key pieces for a sophomore-laden Patriots' squad. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Carroll sophomore core taking the reins
Archbishop Carroll’s 2026 class is one that’s had Patriots coach Francis Bowe and area hoop fans were excited for a little while now. Guards Ian Williams and Nasir Ralls got their feet wet in the Catholic League last season, while center Drew Corrao and wing Luca Foster were both promising pieces waiting in the wings.
This weekend, that group became even more intriguing.
With former Carroll 2025 guard Jake West announcing his transfer to George School, Bowe had all four of those rising sophomores starring in his starting five on Sunday.
“It’s just a fun experience, being around them everyday during school, out of school, it’s like playing with my brothers for real,” Williams said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of learning to do, but it’s going to be a fun experience doing it with my brothers.”
It’s certainly a young group, one which will have to adjust to life without a number of key pieces from last year, but it’s one with a lot of upside.
All four are potential Division I prospects, led by Williams, who’s quickly establishing himself as one of the best point guards around. With West gone along with Dean Coleman-Newsome (Chipola College), Williams will have the ball in his hands a lot more as the team’s point guard— a job he is looking forward to.
“I think for me for the most part, I can go back to being a primary playmaker. That’s what I like to do, get my teammates involved,” Williams said. “Just making sure I’m keeping my teammates involved, keeping their confidence up because the ball is coming to them.”
Depth development will be key for Bowe this offseason, and physicality will be an area for improvement, but it’s certainly a group to watch as they grow over the next three seasons.
The young Patriots will lean on Williams and Ralls in sharing their experiences from last season as they spent the offseason preparing for the rigors of the Philadelphia Catholic League.
“That PCL is different, man,” Williams said. “The intensity, the guys, everybody in the PCL, it’s a dog fight. Just playing against the top guys in the city all-around, it’s a dog fight. You just got to be mentally locked in everyday.”
“Drew, Luca, all the new guys, that’s coming up from JV, I just tell them keep your confidence, everything’s not going to go your way,” Williams said. “Even with me playing badly in that first game, they always have my back, so I just want to give them that same confidence on the way back. … It’s a learning experience.” — Owen McCue/Josh Verlin
Cristo Rey 2025 guard Devin Booker is hoping to continue the Blue Pride's rise next season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Booker next up for emerging Cristo Rey
The future is bright if you have a player like Devin Booker in your program. And for Cristo Rey this is the case. Booker, a 6-4 guard, had a huge impact in Cristo Rey’s run for their first Penn Jersey championship ever and now he is showing off his talent in the spring.
Booker, who transferred from Imhotep entering his sophomore year, is running the show on the AAU courts with K-Low Elite 16U and this past week. He was named MVP in the sophomore game at the Boys All-City Classic on Friday and had his Cristo Rey jersey back on Sunday where he stood out again.
The athletic Class of 2025 guard, who has always been a natural scorer, especially through layups and dunks, is now looking incredibly comfortable with his 3-point shot.
“It’s something I’ve been working on a lot lately [...] with some of my teammates,” Booker said about his shooting improvements. “It helped my game a lot because I'm also athletic, so when I'm shooting I can just pump fake or go right past somebody, probably dunk on somebody or get an and-one.”
Booker is looking to start a trend at Cristo Rey. Former teammate Josh Wyche, the Penn Jersey MVP this past season, is headed off to Lafayette as the Blue Pride’s first D1 recruit. Booker hopes to follow him one day and become the second D1 player in program history.
The emerging guard already has offers from Mississippi State and Fordham. Temple, Saint Joseph’s and pretty much all the other BIG 5 schools are showing interest. With the live period coming up and the college coaches now allowed to reach out directly to Class of 2025 players, Booker said he is looking forward to more calls.
He’s also looking forward to guiding the way for Cristo Ray throughout the offseason and into next winter.
“Just playing hard, just trying to blow every team we play out, just like trying to figure out how things were, how we can come together after losing like a big piece in Josh Wyche,” Booker said on how important this pre-live period is to raise the bar. “We just gotta come together. We gotta build more chemistry since him leaving, but he was a big part. So more people got to step up.”
Cristo Rey assistant coach Mike Jolaoso, who is also at K-Low with Booker, knows the importance of the offseason as well for the team’s success. While the older guys help the younger guys to improve, they also work on those areas where they lacked and also build a little bit of team chemistry.
“Our culture is pretty much communication and having that intensity and defense, we want our defense to translate into our offense. So if we could communicate, which is always the biggest piece on defense, then our offense is gonna take care of itself,” Jolaoso said on the importance of defense for the team’s chemistry. “We can't ever have lapses and lows where guys are trying to be traffic cops and point guys in directions. The game doesn't work that way. If we don't communicate as a team, then you kind of lose games like that.”
Booker, who averaged 23 points a game the last season, will have the support from guards Amari Dow and Amir Nelson, and also from rising sophomore Tyler Tolbert, a point guard that can score in multiple ways but is also a great defender. With this talented group, the Blue Pride is looking for higher achievement next season.
“Like Devin said, our goals pretty much don't change. We want to go 3 for 3 as a school. You know, win our league and our region as well as go far in the PAISAA,” Jolaoso added. “ Last year we came, we fell short at the first round of PAISAA, [...]. But I'm getting our first glimpse of that type of talent. We know where we got to get better at it and we’re good enough for that this time of the season. So our goals don't change. It's just we're only trying to just get better from players to coaching staff.” — Antonello Baggi
Devon Prep's Tyler Mishock is taking the next step. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Ty Mishock learning to lead Devon Prep
As a sophomore starter at Devon Prep in 2021-22, Ty Mishock was a pure point guard.
Sharing the court with the likes of Lucas Orchard, Jacen Holloway, IV Pettit and Allen Cieslak on the Tide’s Class 3A state title team, Mishock distributed to that quartet and let those other four starters shoulder most of the other responsibilities on the floor.
With Pettit and Cieslak gone, the 5-10 Class of 2024 guard elevated his game to another level this winter.
Mishock averaged 13.5 ppg, 4.2 apg and 1.6 spg, putting together one of the more under-the-radar standout campaigns in the Philadelphia Catholic League.
Holloway (USMAPS) and Orchard (Perkiomen School) are both headed to prep school before playing at the Division I level in 2024. Mischock knows he’ll have to take another leap.
“It’s all about growth, so I’m just hoping to be better than I was in March at the end of the high school season and hopefully at the end of the AAU season, I’ll be much better heading into senior year,” Mishock said. “Definitely things like being able to shoot the ball off the dribble, off the catch and shoot. Being able to read defenses, pick ‘n’ roll type of stuff. Just being more of a floor general.”
Without the gravity of players like Holloway and Orchard on the floor with him, Mishock said he felt the extra attention of opposing defenses throughout the spring and early summer suiting up for Devon.
“Definitely shooting off the dribble because just so far in the spring and moving into the summer, they deny me the ball, they don’t let me get it back once I get rid of it, so I’ve gotta be more lethal off the dribble,” said Mishock, who said he’s heard from schools in two of the top D-III conferences, the Centennial and NESCAC. “That’s definitely the big thing I’ve gotta get better at.”
The emergence of Zane Conlon and Shane Doyle, who both played role player roles as sophomores has helped alleviate some of that burden and will continue to do so moving forward as they continue to mature.
“Zane and Shane both, they went from being the youngest kids on the team last year. … They’re growth from December until now is awesome,” Mishock said. “Confidence level, Zane thinks he’s the man out there, which we need. He’s gotta be that guy. He’s gotta be the guy to get rebounds, be a force in the paint. Both of them. I want the best for them, so I try to get them in the gym as much as possible but sky’s the limit for those two.” — Owen McCue
Haverford School rising senior Billy Rayer will be a veteran guard for the Fords next season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Rayer readying for role with young Fords
Haverford’s Billy Rayer will bring his leadership and experience into his final year with the Fords as the young group wants to compete for the Inter-Academic title. Rayer, a 5-11 point guard, scored eight points per game as a starter his junior year.
The Fords ended with a 4-6 record in the conference and 13-13 overall but they are ready to take a step further. They will only lose 6-8 wing Luke Rasmussen from the starting lineup, while the other four starters will return and other players from the bench will have a bigger role.
“As a team we're just trying to get better step by step,” Rayer said. “Next year we want to compete to win the Inter-Ac like every year. But we're really trying to just take it day by day.”
In a few games this past season, Rayer led the team in scoring and even had a buzzer-beater three pointer to get a 58-56 win over Pennington. But making buckets is not his primary focus. He finds his teammates with assists and also controls the game with patience, and when he is open he fires 3-pointers.
The Fords’ head coach Bernie Rogers can count on Rayer’s discipline but also on growing talents such as rising sophomore forward Emmanuel Butts, who is dominating the courts this spring season, rising juniors KJ Carson and Duke Cloran. Silas Graham, son of Penn assistant Nat Graham, already made an impact as an 8th grader and will play a huge role for the program’s success in the next four years.
“I think this group is resilient and I think we're gonna battle it out and again take it day by day and compete for a championship,” Rayer said. “My goal is just to win. I want to win. Last year we were .500. The year before that we had a losing record, and I think this group, we can be better than that.”
Rayer said that the team has been working hard in the gym every day and the pre-live and live periods will help them get ready for the next season. At Jefferson this past weekend Haverford competed against some of the best teams in Philly and they were not holding back as they are building a team of college-level prospects.
Rayer added he will play in college. He is not 100% sure where yet. He talked to schools in D3 and some in D1 but he will explore more options this summer.
“I’m gonna try to get bigger, stronger, faster and then try to get my handle tighter,” Rayer said on what he is going to work on this summer. — Antonello Baggi
MCS rising senior Nasseem Wright continues to ascend. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Nasseem Wright continues to improve for MCS
It’s sometimes easy to forget Nasseem Wright is still relatively new to organized hoops.
The 6-5 wing didn’t play his freshman year at KIPP DuBois. His first season of high school hoops came when he was at Lincoln in 2021-22. Things really started to come around for him that season until a game against West Philadelphia in late January.
With a whole offseason in the books and a season of varsity hoops under his belt, Wright emerged as one of the top players in the city at Math, Civics & Sciences this season. He earned first team All-Public League honors to back up that claim and his ability to continues to improve every time out.
“Things really started to click for me (this season),” Wright said. “Everything started to come together and get rolling.”
Wright led MCS in scoring (14.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) this past season as the team advanced to the PPL quarterfinals. The team’s other four starters were seniors who all averaged more than eight points per game, so Wright will have even more on his plate in his senior year.
He’s grown a lot in the last two years, and looked ready to be an even more featured player for the Mighty Elephants as a senior during Saturday’s action.
“I just gotta be ready for anything that comes my way,” Wright said. “A lot of teams, they send doubles, set up defenses to stop me, but I just gotta be prepared to make the right basketball play at that moment.”
There’s always been a lot of natural ability to Wright’s game. He’s got size, length and some bounce. Now some of the other aspects of his game are smoothing out, which he credits a lot to his work with former Lincoln coach Jamel Lindsey.
“I feel like my playmaking and IQ grew as the year came,” Wright said. “My coach always told me you gotta look at the game from a coach’s perspective when you’re on the court. I can’t always hear him while he’s coaching, so I gotta be able to take over the game.”
Wright said he realized his talents could take him to college during the Public League semifinals against MCS during his sophomore year. College interest picked up this past season, including a Division I offer from Hampton.
He didn’t want to get in the details of his recruitment, but Wright noted the goal is definitely to play at the next level.
“When I got to high school, I always knew I wanted to go to college,” Wright said. “I just didn’t know I wanted to go to college for basketball. Once I started playing ball and I started getting interest from colleges, I knew I gotta go 100 percent so I can take that weight off my mom’s back and get that full scholarship and go to school. That’s the goal.” — Owen McCue