West Chester East's Chris Anderson (above, defending) was one of a number of standouts at Sunday's camp. (Photo: Brian Mermelstein/CoBL)
CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
The latest CoBL College Exposure Camp brought nearly 120 ballplayers from the 11th and 12th 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:
Chris Anderson (2019/West Chester East, Pa.)
An unassuming 6-7, 185-pound forward, Anderson isn’t the type to wow with athleticism or highlight-reel plays. But he just plugs away at both ends, and there’s no doubt that the result is consistent production: Anderson averaged 15.7 ppg in three games at the camp with at least a dozen points in each of his appearances, and he did well on the glass to boot. He showed off his ability to stretch the floor with a 3-pointer in each of his first two games, but got most of his scoring done around the rim, doing an excellent job of catching drop-off passes for layups and also showing off a reliable right-hand hook shot on multiple occasions. High-academic Division III types should be all over him before long.
Titus Beard (2019/La Salle College HS, Pa.)
It’s a difficult quality to define, but there’s something very mature and poised about Beard’s floor game; he doesn’t force the issue on many occasions, always seem to play at a controlled tempo and picks his spots to score at a high efficiency level. A combo guard with good size (6-2, 180), Beard can score the ball from inside and out, and though he doesn’t have the quickest release from deep, it’s smooth and generally on target; on the drive, he knows how to use his body to shield the ball from defenders and can finish with both hands, but doesn’t stop looking for kick-outs on penetration.
Tyler Crespo (2019/Manheim Twp., Pa.)
One of the hottest names among PSAC coaches this summer, Crespo used camp to show off a different dimension to his game. Primarily a score-first guard despite his 5-foot-9 frame--and he can fill it up with the best of them--Crespo actually struggled a bit to get his go-to pull-up jumper going. However, he displayed increased passing acumen compared to the AAU season, getting into the middle of the lane and diming up big men and shooters alike. He also had a number of impressive finishes, showcasing explosive athleticism to play amongst the trees. Look for Crespo to be among the more productive guards in the state this year for the Blue Streaks.
David Kamwanga (2020/Lancaster Catholic, Pa.)
The breakout prospect of camp, Kamwanga looks to be developing into a Division I forward since arriving from the Congo two years ago, shortly after he first picked up a basketball. Standing 6-foot-6 with an imposing frame and a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Kamwanga is surprisingly skilled and fluid with the ball in his hands for a player with his background. He’s primarily a slasher and interior scorer at this point, but also showed flashes of a fluid stroke that should eventually translate nicely to the 3-point line. Just now rounding into form as a perimeter-based player, look for Kamwanga to make plenty of noise in Lancaster County in the coming years.
Lakeem McAliley (2019/Mastery North, Pa.)
Perhaps the most physically impressive prospect at the camp, McAliley is a bruising wing forward who’s a freight train in the open court. There weren’t many guys willing to step in front of the 6-4, 210-pounder when he had a head of steam on the break, and though he’s certainly quite left-hand dominant, he’s got a variety of maneuvers to get around defenders and finish at the hoop. His 3-point abilities weren’t as on point as we’ve seen from him in the past, but he’s productive even when his outside shot isn’t falling. But if he wants to be as productive in college as he is at this level, he’ll need to make that a more consistent part of his repertoire.
Ryan McKeon (2019/Sanford School, Del.)
The best true big man in the camp, McKeon is a mobile 6-7 forward with a high-running motor. He’s especially active in post situations, going block-to-block and constantly working to establish position; once he gets the ball, he’s got a variety of post moves, including a useful duck-under and a right-hand hook shot, plus a jump out out close to the 3-point arc, making him a reliable offensive weapon; he scored at least 15 points in two of his three games on Sunday. Defensively, he does a good job of contesting shots and he also gets low enough to defend bigger wings and slower guards.
Sampson Nyankun (above) was attacking the rim all camp long, and few could stop him. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Sampson Nyankun (2019/Mastery Shoemaker)
A physical, attacking wing, Nyankun put in a strong effort from the day’s start to its finish. Never one to give up on opportunities, he was often there for his team for second-chance points or running the floor on the break to be rewarded with a layup, though he also showed he can attack the hoop off the rip and finish with ease. The muscular 6-3, 170-pounder had a nose for the glass on both ends, and was plenty capable of putting the ball on the floor to start the break, even though he doesn’t have a ball-on-a-string handle at this point.
Gabe Perez (2019/Roman Catholic, Pa.)
Standing out for the Cahillites in a number of offseason team camps in June, Perez earned himself multiple Division II scholarship offers despite having just four varsity points to his name. A fluid 6-foot-3 wing, he was consistent at camp getting to the rim in transition, finishing deftly with either hand and showing a fair bit of craft. Perhaps most impressive about Perez is his energy, as he’s seemingly always around the ball and constantly communicates with his teammates. There will certainly be more prominent names in the Roman Catholic lineup this season, but expect Perez to be a valuable part of coach Matt Griffin’s rotation nonetheless.
Julius Phillips (2019/Archbishop Wood, Pa.)
The lone senior on the Vikings’ roster this year will have to shoulder quite a load for a program that’s just two years removed from its first Catholic League championship. And Phillips did just that in his three camp games, scoring over 20 points on two separate occasions, playing multiple positions and having an impact all over the court. When his 3-point shot is falling, as it did with decent consistency Sunday, he becomes a true three-level scoring threat, and his jumper opens up driving lanes.
Alex Podolski (2019/Sparta HS, N.J.)
One of the more physically built wings at the camp was Podolski, a 6-3, 200-pounder from Jersey who knew how to get to the hoop. Though he didn’t have the best handle in camp, Podolski continually got past his defender, even if it took a little patience and muscle, and was a consistent finisher at the rim who also knew how to pass if the defense rotated in time. Certainly didn’t mind doing the dirty work, guarding wings and bigs alike and hitting the glass with regularity.
Allen Powell (2019/La Salle College HS, Pa.)
One of the best pure lead guards in camp, Powell continues to approach Division I status as he awaits his first official offer. At camp, Powell impressed with his composure with the ball, routinely getting into the teeth of the defense and spraying passes to open teammates. If the defense didn’t rotate, Powell showed the ability to finish at the cup consistently despite a somewhat slim 6-foot-1 frame. As it stands, the plan is for Powell--who just turned 17 in August--to take a post-grad year at a to-be-determined prep school and enter the 2020 class, but it will be interesting to see if a Division I program decides to pull the trigger on him quicker.
Eli Smith (2020/Shipley School, Pa.)
After contributing to a young Cardinal O’Hara squad last season, Smith showed at camp that he’s ready to make a splash in the Friends League after transferring into Shipley for his junior year. A high-level athlete at 6-foot-1, Smith was looking to attack whenever he had the ball in his hands, and opponents found him tough to contain once he got going downhill. Once in the lane, he was able to use his strong frame and leaping ability to consistently finish despite contact. Smith will have to continue refining his jumper to keep defenses honest, but he did show the ability to stop on a dime and hit from the elbows with good elevation.
Bishop McDevitt's Robert Smith (above) was the leading scorer at the camp. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Robert Smith (2020/Bishop McDevitt, Pa.)
It should come as no surprise that Smith was perhaps the most well-rounded scorer at camp, given that the 6-foot-1 guard poured in nearly 16 points per game as a sophomore to lead McDevitt to the state quarterfinals. Possessing a shifty handle to go along with a knockdown shooting stroke and a crafty finishing package, Smith was a nightmare for opposing defenders all day, notching a camp-high 39 points in one and 29 in another. Once the lefty gets going, he can be pretty tough for any defender to contain one-on-one. One of the premier scorers in the city in his class, Smith is a surefire scholarship player and should be able to draw Division I attention as he continues refining his point guard skills.
Ethan Tarte (2019/Camden HS. N.J.)
Another of several attacking, score-first guards to really elevate their stock during camp, Tarte looked to come in with a chip on his shoulder and proved himself as a no-brainer scholarship-level prospect. With a muscular 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame to go with some top-notch athletic abilities, Tarte constantly bullied his way through defenders to get to the rim and finish. Far from a one-trick pony, he showcased impressive shot-making ability off the bounce while also using his athleticism to make consistent energy plays throughout the day. As one of the only perimeter shot-creators on a Camden team with lofty expectations, Tarte will be an important piece in the Panthers’ quest for an elusive state title.
Charlie Trey-Masters (2019/George School, Pa.)
There’s no doubt he’s the most appropriately-named guard in the area, as the 5-9 guard is certainly one of the best 3-point gunners around, leading southeastern Pennsylvania in made triples as a junior. And though Trey-Masters isn’t shy to let it fly, he’s more than just a pure gunner; an outspoken leader on the court, he’s a capable drive-and-kick point guard with a strong frame that makes him a solid defender on the other end of the court. Always in the mix when he’s on the court.
Fatayn Wesley (2019/Imhotep Charter, Pa.)
One of several scholarship-level lead guards to take the floor on Sunday, Wesley was perhaps the best of the bunch, controlling the pace of the game from start to finish. With the ball on a string and the quickness to get wherever he wants on the floor, Wesley was blowing by defenders and spotting teammates for open looks all over the floor. Not just a passing threat, he also showcased consistently strong finishing ability with his dominant left hand as well as the ability to knock down pull-up 3s off the bounce. Consistently mentioned among the city’s top defenders, the 5-foot-8 jitterbug has drawn Division I attention and is a potential four-year starter at the Division II level; he’s one of the unsung heroes of an Imhotep team that will compete for a national No. 1 ranking this upcoming season.
HM: David Cross (2020/Bishop Eustace, N.J.), Jamir Dantley (2019/A.I. DuPont, Del.), Kobe DeVine (2019/Sankofa Freedom, Pa.), Clovis Gallon Jr. (2019/York HS, Pa.), Javon Gordon (2019/Delsea, N.J.), Imere Harris (2019/West Catholic, Pa.), Samier Kinsler (2019/West Catholic, Pa.), Anthony McClinton Jr. (2019/Bristol, Pa.), Marqui Mobley (2019/Mastery Shoemaker, Pa.), Gary Nelson (2020/Cardinal O’Hara, Pa.), Uche Okafor (2019/Camden Catholic, N.J.), Liam O’Donnell (2020/La Salle College, Pa.), Justin Owens (2020/Caravel Academy, Del.), Mujahid Rasheed (2020/Mastery Shoemaker), Dylan Rowe (2019/Downingtown East, Pa.), Ja’Cor Smith (2019/Neumann-Goretti, Pa.), Scott Spann (2019/Sankofa Freedom, Pa.), Bryce Spriggs (2019/Friends’ Central, Pa.), Elijah Washington (2019/Hempfield, Pa.), Khalif Washington (2019/Overbrook, Pa.), Malcolm Williams (2019/Penncrest, Pa.), Seneca Willoughby (2019/Bishop McDevitt, Pa.), Raymond Woodson (Kingsway, N.J.)