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2024 Philly Live Recap: Impressive Underclassmen

07/08/2024, 1:15am EDT
By CoBL Staff

CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)

The 2024 Philly Live weekends have come and gone, giving the CoBL staff our first real look at the area’s high school scene as it begins to prepare for the 2024-25 season. 

Here’s a look at some 2027s and 2028s who caught our eye with their play over the last two weekends of June, whether we’d heard of them beforehand or not: 

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Lansdale Catholic (Pa.) 2028 G Melo Alymer. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Melo Alymer (2028 | Lansdale Catholic)
New LC coach Torre Harrison is building from the ground up, and it starts with a couple of talented 2028s listed here. Alymer is a 6-2 guard with high-scoring ability, a solid outside shooter who can also get to the bucket and finish with a high degree of difficulty. He can play on or off the ball, showing promise as a catch-and-shoot threat with range, but will likely be LC’s primary ball-handler from the get-go. 

Jaylin Avery (2028 | Archbishop Ryan)
A 6-6 combo forward, originally from the Baltimore area, Avery was a big help on the glass for the new-look Raiders. With no more Thomas Sorber (Georgetown) or Jaden Murray (East Stroudsburg), he rebounded well on defense and offense, where he got second-chance points. His skill on that end shined too as he stepped out on the perimeter for dribble handoffs and to knock down threes. In all, he'll be able to contribute in a variety of ways from day one. 

Keron Booth Jr (2027 | Phoenixville)
Coming on late in his freshman year as a spark plug off the bench, Booth Jr is now a pivotal player for the Phantoms. The 5-5 point guard got to the basket at-will and used his craft at the rim to keep his shot from being blocked. His paint touches also collapsed the defense and generated openings for his teammates on the perimeter. Phoenixville lost most of their production from a season ago. So now it's up to Booth Jr to shoulder a lot of responsibility, which he welcomes.

Jayvon Byrd (2027 | West Catholic)
Byrd was West Catholic’s fourth-leading scorer a year ago, but will now be counted on to be one of the Burrs’ go-to bucket-getters despite his youth. A confident 3-point shooter, Byrd will let it fly from anywhere within 30 feet, but he’s a speedy ball-handler who can also burst to the hoop if defenders start closing out too hard; he can also play point and be a distributor, similar to many of West Catholic’s interchangeable backcourt pieces.

Brayden Erfle (2027 | La Salle College HS)
Consider this one a bit of a sleeper addition. Erfle might not play major minutes for La Salle this year; the 6-3 wing still has a lot of growing into his frame to do. But based on his long arms and legs, he’s going to keep growing quite a bit, and he’s already got a knockdown 3-point shot which he can get off in a hurry. That shooting ability alone should get him some minutes; how much he plays this winter will depend on what else he can contribute. But remember his name. 

Cooper Fairlamb (2027 | Devon Prep)
All of the attention this year is going to be paid to Devon Prep’s rising senior class, which will play a majority of the minutes and produce most of the scoring, rebounding, etc., for Jason Fisher. But Fairlamb fits right into the mold of all of those versatile wings, the 6-3 rising sophomore a capable 3-point shooter who also crashes the glass and defends multiple positions. He should be one of their featured pieces as a junior, but we’re curious to see what he does as a sophomore.


Bonner-Prendergast (Pa.) 2027 SG Korey Francis. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Korey Francis (2027 | Bonner-Prendergast)
Bonner’s got a quality group of 2027 guards, but Francis has quickly become the one to watch, especially for Division I coaches over the weekends — quite a few of whom were asking “who was that?” when watching the Friars. A combo guard with great size (6-3), a smooth athleticism and three-level scoring ability, Francis is maturing into a name to know, no longer quite looking like a baby-faced freshman, but now an experienced guard with a year of varsity starts under his belt. 

Keyshawn Franklin (2027 | Archbishop Ryan)
Franklin flashed promise as a freshman at Eastern (N.J.), with a few double-digit scoring outings, but now he’s playing at a whole different level in the PCL. The bouncy 6-2 guard is a wiry athlete who scored in a variety of ways: hitting 3-pointers, slashing to the hoop, second-chance points, some junk baskets too. Part of a talented young Raiders core that bodes well for Ryan’s future.

Colton Hiller (2028 | Coatesville)
Hiller might have been one of the youngest players in the event and one of the most compelling as a prospect. He went from standstill jumpers from deep in session one to step-back threes in session two. At 6-4, his presence and maturity also helps transition the Red Raiders from a guard-heavy, four-out team a season ago to a potential defensive juggernaut with 6-7 junior forwards, Larry Brown and Jonas Chester. The incoming freshman will likely hit some stumbling blocks, but he's ready to contribute now.

Patrick Jajua (2028 | Pennsbury)
The 6-foot-2 guard has an in-control game that appears ready to make an impact right away for the Falcons this season. He’s got some range and length that will help him be affective off the ball alongside some veteran guards in the rotation. But the playmaking and vision from the young guard have stood out to coach Wes Emme already this season as well as those who saw Jajua during the Philly Live sessions. It was hard to believe he was a freshman until taking a glance at the roster sheet.

Jaydn Jenkins (2027 | Archbishop Wood)
His numbers didn't show it, but Jenkins covered up a lot for the Vikings on defense. The only player in their rotation over 6-4, he is already one of their most impactful pieces after spending his freshman year on JV. His June was spent defending more experienced centers who also outweighed, while still helping deter shots in the paint from other opposing players and crashing the boards. It's still early, but the 6-9 sophomore has as much raw talent and potential as anyone in the area.


Lenape (N.J.) 2027 SG Caleb Lundy. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Caleb Lundy (2027 | Lenape, N.J.)
A smooth 6-3 wing, Lundy is lanky but has a wiry strength to him, and he looks like he’s gearing up for a breakout season at Lenape. A strong outside shooter who will let it rip from deep as soon as he has room, Lundy’s developing his on-ball skills, able to create with both his left and his right hand, and he showed he can pull up in the mid-range to keep defenders honest as he gets downhill. If he keeps growing and continues to get stronger, Lundy’s pretty close to a lock for some scholarship looks before long.

Julian McKie (2028 | St. Joseph’s Prep)
The younger brother of Prep senior and sharpshooter Jaron McKie, Julian and his twin Justin are both incoming freshmen for the Hawks. At 6-5, Julian Was has a good four or five inches on his brother, and that height has him a bit higher up in a rotation full of guards and wings. He showed at Philly Live that he’ll immediately help them on the boards, coming up with solid numbers off the bench, and also made the most of his limited shots by showing he’ll put back whatever he collects. 

Rowan Phillips (2028 | Archbishop Wood)
Perhaps the brightest 2028 around, Phillips is a smooth 6-4 guard with a ton of upside, though he’s already quite talented. With a frame that suggests he’ll still grow a couple more inches, Phillips is a solid outside shooter on the catch or pulling up, and he’s shown some nifty moves when he’s able to get into the lane, like a floater and finishes with both hands at the rim. It seems like the Vikings will be his team by his upperclassman years. 

Justin Ragsdale (2027 | Upper Dublin)
Upper Dublin’s going to be bigger this year, and Ragsdale’s going to be a reason why. The 6-5 wing/forward came off the bench for Derek Brooks at Philly Live but saw plenty of run, giving the Cardinals rebounding, defensive length, and inside scoring ability. Ragsdale is bouncy and energetic, and will be able to guard multiple positions in the SOL, while also helping give starting forward Idris Rines a breather (or playing alongside him). 

Wayne Ruffin (2028 | Roman Catholic)
Lots of buzz will be around one Roman newcomer (see: Sutton, Tyler) but Ruffin showed a lot of poise in his public varsity debut. The 5-9 point guard was a tough defender against some high-level guards, using his feet to keep ball-handlers in front of him, and that trait — combined with quality ball-handling and limiting turnovers — earned him a good bit of minutes for Chris McNesby


West Catholic (Pa.) 2027 G Eric Scott. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Eric Scott (2027 | West Catholic)
A transfer from New Foundations, Scott fit right in amongst Miguel Bocachica’s already-deep 2027 backcourt, and he looks like he’ll be a starter from the get-go for the Burrs. The talented 5-9 combo guard has a quality handle and most notably showed himself to be a quality outside shooter, a trait that could really keep him on the floor, hitting from deep on multiple occasions. He doesn’t have to be the leading scorer for this group but he’ll be another curveball for Bocachica’s deep, young squad.

Ian Smith (2028 | Imhotep Charter)
The Panthers already had all the pieces they needed to be the overwhelming Public League favorites yet again. But despite an already-deep rotation filled with returning pieces from a year ago, Smith looks like he’s going to find his way into some minutes from the get-go. The 5-10 guard is built to handle the physicality of national-level high school hoops already, and he showed himself to be a quality defender, rebounder and facilitator at Philly Live. 

JoJo Smuda (2027 | Downingtown East)
One of three East rising sophomores who caught our eye — Sergio Hunt and Holland Neff deserve mention here, too — Smuda is a big part of the Cougars’ future. The 6-3 wing/forward, whose older sisters both play college hoops, is a quality finisher and rebounder who looks like he’ll be quite productive in the Ches-Mont League, with a strong frame and defensive versatility; we didn’t see him take many jumpers, getting a lot of his production at the rim, but if he develops that part of his game, he could be a real problem for defenders.

Chase Stevens (2028 | Lansdale Catholic)
Like Alyer, Stevens looks like he’s going to make a big impact right away for Lansdale Catholic as the Crusaders begin their rebuild. But the two are very different players; Stevens is a high-upside 6-4 wing who looks like he’s just scratching the surface of his potential both in terms of his basketball abilities and his physical maturity. A versatile slasher who doesn’t mind sticking his nose in on the boards, Stevens also showed he can knock down the 3-ball too. 

Tyler Sutton (2027 | Roman Catholic)
After spending his freshman year at the George School, Sutton looked like he was fitting in just fine with his new Roman teammates. The highly-touted 6-2 guard impresses even when he’s not at his best, thanks to his abilities on the ball, his defensive intensity, his basketball IQ and his absolutely ridiculous athleticism, which allows him to hang in the air and finish all sorts of tough shots around or away from the right, with deep 3-point ability as well.  

Sunny Tummala (2027 | Conestoga)
Conestoga’s got talent in all four classes as the Pioneers’ roster looks as promising as it’s been in quite some time. Tummala, a 6-3 rising sophomore who plays with Philly Pride, is a lanky wing and shot-maker who provides good defensive versatility and a good bit of upside. Tummala might not need to be one of the Stoga’s leaders this year with a strong returning upperclassman core, but he could be a real X-factor for head coach Sean Forcine

Jamieson Young (2028 | Cherry Hill East, N.J.)
The son of new Villanova assistant coach (and former 76ers assistant) Jamie Young has plenty of game of his own. The 5-10 guard has a solid foundation physically with a strong lower body, and that’s helped him adjust to the nature of the high school game immediately; he’s skilled with the ball in his hands, able to be a one-man press break, and he’s got no hesitation to shoot from deep, with a high-arcing jumper. Certainly looks like the best East guard since Jake Silpe’s freshman year in 2011-12. 


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