Jaden Arline (above) was one of many impressive youngsters at last Saturday's CoBL Underclassman Exposure Camp. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
The latest CoBL Underclassman Exposure Camp brought nearly 120 ballplayers from the 8th, 9th and 10th grades to the courts at Friends’ Central for a day of skill training and games this past Saturday.
Here are the staff picks for standouts:
Allyson Amadou (2022/Quakertown, Pa.)
One of the breakouts of the entire camp was the 6-foot-7 Amadou, who despite having only played basketball for two years looked like a highly intriguing long-term prospect. Possessing ridiculous length and fluid athleticism, he was a consistent presence on the defensive end as a shot-blocker. Offensively, his game is mainly limited to converting offensive rebound chances or dump-off opportunities, but he showed good touch around the rim as well as shades of a perimeter jumper. Amadou certainly has plenty of work to do in the coming years, but he possesses natural gifts that no one can teach and already looks to be developing a nice skillset for a modern big man.
Jaden Arline (2022/Paul VI, N.J.)
A solidly-built 5-foot-10, 160-pound lead guard, Arline excelled at getting to the hoop, even in half-court sets, utilizing a terrific first step to blow by his man, splitting defenders on multiple occasions and using a solid bounce to get up near the rim and finish with both hands; in three camp games, he averaged just north of 17 points. If the defense was able to rotate in time, Arline showed off plus court vision to find shooters on the perimeter. He also made his mark on the defensive end, picking up the ball the length of the court and bothering bigger opponents. Looks ready to play varsity ball from the get-go.
James Ashford IV (2021/Bensalem, Pa.)
One of several previously-unknown prospects who certainly opened eyes, Ashford IV is a 6-1 guard with a smooth athleticism, playing a step faster than most of his competition the whole day long. Displaying great body control in the air and feel around the rim, he finished several difficult, twisting layups through contact, and knocked down a few jumpers along the way. He also didn’t mind crashing the glass, grabbing his share of defensive boards but also chipping in offensively, either drawing contact or resetting the offense.
Denzel Boyer (2021/Penncrest, Pa.)
In a Central League that doesn’t have much in terms of true big men, Boyer could be ready to break out this season for the Lions. The lanky 6-7, 175-pound post is especially effective on the defense end, where he uses his length well to alter shots around the rim, and also tends to reel in everything he gets his hands on. Offensively, he’s not useful for much more than put-backs, but he displays good body fluidity and should be able to become more of a scoring threat as his high school years continue.
Gabe Dorsey (2021/The Hill School, Pa.)
One of the better scorers in the area’s 2021 class, Dorsey continues to add to his game as he’ll be expected to make significant varsity contributions for the first time this season. Known previously to be primarily a jump-shooter, the 6-foot-5 Maryland native who preps at The Hill displayed some enhanced slashing ability, a new dimension that really opened up his game. Dorsey still showed off his ability to fill it up from deep, hitting eight 3-pointers on the day with several coming off the bounce and/or with a hand in his face. With his combination of size and shooting on the wing, Dorsey will have a chance to garner high-major attention in the coming years.
Khalil Farmer (2022/Shipley School, Pa.)
An advanced scorer with plenty of skill to spare, this former member of the 2021 class looks ready to make an impact from day one at the varsity level after repeating 8th grade at Shipley last year. With Sam Sessoms and his 2,000-plus points graduated and off to Binghamton, Farmer showed off shot-creation ability and an off-the-dribble game that could have him leading the Gators in scoring as soon as this season. Farmer scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, before having to miss his team’s third game showing an ability to play at three levels as well as function either on or off the ball.
William Humer (2021/Bishop Eustace, N.J.)
Likely an unknown to most in the area is the 6-foot-7 Humer, a native of Sweden who made a cameo with Bishop Eustace at St Joseph’s team camp in June but then missed the July AAU season to go back to his home country. But at camp, Humer left little doubt that he’ll be a major contributor his first season in America. He was at his best in transition, where despite his size he functioned as both a ballhandler and a lane-runner, showing equal proficiency at both. Humer’s best skill right now is likely his passing, either on the break or in the halfcourt, as he has impressive vision and ballhandling ability for a player his size. If he can prove to be a consistent perimeter shooter, Humer will have a chance to garner mid-major attention, at least.
St. Augustine Prep's Elmarko Jackson (above) was one of the top prospects at the camp. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Elmarko Jackson (2022/St. Augustine Prep, N.J.)
Likely the best lead guard prospect at camp, Jackson proved he should be considered early on as one the premier 2022 prospects in the area. Standing 6-foot-2 already--at just 14 and a half years old--with long arms and a naturally strong frame, he showed that he has the game to go along with his physical gifts. Jackson displayed a high basketball IQ and played with great pace, probing the defense for buckets at all three levels and also getting his teammates involved in both transition and halfcourt situations. Despite a senior-laden roster and some talented sophomores, longtime St. Augustine coach Paul Rodio will be hard-pressed to keep the precocious Jackson off the floor as the Hermits look to contend for league and sectional titles.
Elijah Jones (2021/Pleasantville, N.J.)
The revelation of the entire camp was undoubtedly Jones, a lanky 6-foot-8 forward who is just barely 15 years old and is clearly just scratching the surface of his potential. Jones saw just occasional minutes for Pleasantville last year, but the proverbial light is clearly coming on, as he dominated the camp competition en route to 23 points per game, including a 37-point outburst. He was unstoppable in transition, running the floor for dump-offs but also pushing the break himself and finishing with impressive body control. Jones even showed off some iso scoring ability out of the triple threat. The sky's the limit for the Cape-Atlantic product, who has officially announced himself as one of the top long-term prospects in the area’s 2021 class.
Brendan McCormack (2021/Pennsbury, Pa.)
On a young Pennsbury squad, McCormack looks like he’s ready to play some big minutes. The 5-10 sophomore has a strong frame for his age, and looks ready to handle the press and defenses he’ll see on the varsity level; on drives through the lane, he was almost never stripped, oftentimes muscling through defenders on his way to the hoop, and he’s got a smooth jumper as well as a usable floater. McCormack also was vocal as a point guard needs to be on both ends of the floor, playing with his head up and always looking for shooters.
Hysier Miller (2021/Martin Luther King, Pa.)
The next in a long line of scholarship-level guards to emerge from the Martin Luther King program under former NBA guard Sean Colson certainly looks to be Miller, a 6-foot-1 combo who showed off his microwave scoring ability all camp. Averaging 19 points on the day, Miller predominantly filled it up with his jumper, hitting 3s and midrange pull-ups alike. His day was highlighted by a go-ahead contested foul-line jumper to cap a 15-0 run for his team to close the game. After seeing minutes off the bench as a freshman and producing a few big scoring outputs, look for Miller to lead the way for the Cougars the next few years.
Dean Newsome (2023/Kings’ Christian, N.J.)
Though he’s a little undersized for an off guard, Newsome is no doubt a pure scorer at this stage, with plenty of room for growth, though he is repeating the eighth grade this season in order to move from 2022 to 2023. A 5-11 guard, Newsome has a quick release on his jumper, which he’s not afraid to unleash in any situation -- from deep or the mid-range, off the catch or the bounce, a hand in his face or not. His shot needs to develop a little more arc, and if he doesn’t get any taller he’ll need to work on his point guard skills, but there’s no doubt Newsome can fill up the box score in a hurry.
Hill School sophomore wing Daniel Nixon (above) can play numerous positions with impressive effectiveness. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Daniel Nixon (2021/The Hill School, Pa.)
One of the most physically advanced prospects in attendance, possessing a muscular and athletic 6-foot-6 frame as a true perimeter player, Nixon was able to score seemingly at will for most of the day. Nixon is extremely skilled with the ball in his hands, possessing the handle of a player several inches smaller, and used his craftiness and athleticism to the lane on just about every possession. Most important for his projection to the next level, Nixon showed that he’s continuing to improve his jump shot, knocking down threes both off the catch and the dribble. Also a high-level student, Nixon has earned his way to the high-major radar already and has the look early on of a potential national-level recruit.
Naim Walker (2021/Overbrook, Pa.)
There’s no doubt that Walker is just fun to watch with the ball in his hands. He’s small (5-8, 150), to be sure, but that low center of gravity helps him motor around the court and push the pace with ease. Not many guards in the camp could keep Walker in front of them 1-on-1, and in transition he’s the perfect guard to lead a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 opportunity, picking his spots to get to the rim but otherwise dropping off precision passes for layups. He’s a confident and capable scorer as well, and an elite athlete who easily rises up on his jumpers to get above the defender’s outstretched arms; he’s also a strong on-ball defender with quick hands.
Zaakir Williamson (2021/Woodrow Wilson, D.C.)
Making the furthest trip of anyone at camp, former West Catholic forward Williamson made a return to his hometown this weekend after moving to Washington, D.C. over the summer. Possessing a hefty 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame, Williamson has mastered being able to use his size to his advantage, punishing smaller defenders down low and using his ball skills and quick feet to take post players out to the perimeter. He was able to consistently get to his spots off the bounce, finishing at the rim with a soft touch. Perhaps most impressive was Williamson’s competitiveness, highlighted by a one-on-one battle with Humer that both were clearly taking seriously despite having nothing hanging in the balance based on the outcome.
Honorable mention: Allyson Amadou (2022/Quakertown, Pa.), Rob Carangi (2021/North Penn, Pa.), Allen Cieslak (2022/Haverford High, Pa.), Khalif Crawley (2022/Bishop McDevitt, Pa.), John Donahue (2021/Archbishop Wood, Pa.), Malik Edwards (2021/Bonner-Prendergast, Pa.), Michael Farley (2022/Central Bucks South, Pa.), Drew Greene (2022/Cherry Hill East, N.J.), Buzzy Hertz (2021/Kennett, Pa.), Matthew Johnson (2022/Germantown Friends, Pa.), Adrian Irving (2021/Cardinal O’Hara, Pa.), Jayden Jones (2021/Atlantic City, N.J.), Mohammed Khan (2022/Penndale MS, Pa.), Michael Katsikis (2021/Cherokee, N.J.), Zane Katsikis (2021/Cherokee, N.J.), Christian Kirkland (2022/Friends’ Select, Pa.), Jabari McKie (2021/Radnor, Pa.), Colin Merriman (2021/Bishop Eustace, N.J.), Tommy Mooney (2022/Haddonfield, N.J.), Milind Pulugura (2022/Pennbrook MS, Pa.), Bobby Rosenberger (2022/Quakertown, Pa.), Wisler Sanon II (2021/Paul VI, N.J.), James Sivley (2022/St. Joe’s Prep, Pa.), Shawnn Smith (2022/Bishop McDevitt, Pa.)