• Jared Exler

2020 17u AAU Season Previews: Team Takeover Orange

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

Team Takeover Orange

Coming off an unfortunate ACL injury that caused him to miss this past high school season is 6’7 small forward Jake Koverman from Southern HS (MD). Koverman has good size as a small forward to go with solid athleticism that he shows particularly well in transition with aggressive dunks. His skill set shines in the mid-range with his soft touch when he flashes for free throw line jumpers or his pull-up. Can get to the rim off of rip throughs from the wing where he’s a strong finisher. Defensively, he makes his most significant impact rebounding the ball. He has the fundamental understanding of how to get an advantageous position for himself in addition to using his size to grab rebounds at a high clip. Picked up his first D1 offer from High Point of the Big South in March. Expect more Big South teams to be checking him out closely as AAU picks back up. Ivy and Patriot League schools should also be looking at Koverman, who has above a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. Schools in the CAA and Southern could potentially show more interest if he can become more of a threat from three-point range.

Bringing exceptional size as a shooting guard for this squad is 6’6 Barry Evans from Oakland Mills HS (MD). Evans is a lefty who uses his height and solid athleticism to finish efficiently on reverse layups and through contact with both hands. Very good playmaker who is able to slip passes through any openings that the defense provides. While he shot 40% from three this past high school season, it was on very low volume and clearly was among the last options in his scoring arsenal. Evans is also a terrific offensive rebounder who scored numerous second chance points this past high school season. Defensively, he makes his most significant impact rebounding the ball as he uses his leaping ability and desire for the ball to snag tough rebounds. If opponents are lazy with their passes he will take advantage to get steals which in many cases end with a dunk. A player who low D1s in the Big South and MEAC should get familiar with. Could garner interest from mid major leagues like the CAA and Southern if he can take his three-pointer to the next level.

6’4 combo guard Mike Woods from Douglass HS (MD) brings quality size at his position. Woods is a three level scorer who shot 45% from three this past high school season, excelling on spot ups. Has a smooth mid-range pull-up, and uses crafty finishes efficiently on both sides of the hoop. Is also a solid playmaker who can play on the ball in certain situations and uses his size to see over defenses to find teammates for high percentage shots. Defensively, he uses his length to come over from the help side and make opponents’ shots more difficult in addition to forcing steals and deflections. High IQ defender who is consistently in the right spots on his rotations. A top notch student who D1 schools in the Ivy and Patriot Leagues should be getting familiar with this coming year.

Bringing size to this squad as a stretch four is 6’9 Jack Jensen who attends Washington Catholic Athletic Conference powerhouse Paul VI (VA). Playing on a loaded roster with some of the best players in the nation, such as Jeremy Roach (Duke), Trevor Keels (Ranked 17th in the nation by 247 Sports for the 2021 class), and Dug McDaniel (Ranked 48th in the nation by 247 sports for the 2022 class), he played a specific role which was to defend, rebound, and make shots when he’s open. Jensen is an impressive three-point shooter for his size, showing the ability to hit them both spotting up and off of pick and pops which spaces the floor for his team. Finishes at a good rate around the rim when getting drop-offs from his teammates and creating second chance points from offensive rebounds. Also is a willing passer with good vision who can find open teammates for three-pointers when he has the ball in the paint. Defensively, he moves very efficiently for his size on his rotations which allows him to be in prime position to alter or block an opponent's shot at the rim. Rebounded at a high rate in the minutes he got this past high school season due to the great effort he brings going for the ball in addition to knowing how to get position. A player who should be a priority in a D2 league like the Mountain East. A very good student who could get Ivy and Patriot league schools more involved with him if he can show with Team Takeover Orange, as well as with Paul VI this upcoming season, that he’s a player who can be counted on to be a significant contributor offensively.

6’2 combo guard Jaden Baker from Christchurch School (VA) is a player who plays with an aggressive scorer’s mentality. When the defense gives Baker any space he does an excellent job exploiting that and turning it into a scoring opportunity. His bread and butter on offense is his quick first step which he uses to blow by defenders and finish efficiently at the rim. Also fInishes well through contact. In addition, Baker consistently makes three-pointers both spotting up and off the bounce to complement his driving game. While he’s best off the ball with his scoring ability, he has shown solid playmaking skills when playing on the ball at various times. He finds teammates on drive and kicks for three-pointers and easy layups in the lane off dribble penetration. Defensively, he has a natural ability to be in the right spots to pick off passes for steals. Also a fundamentally sound player on this end who consistently stays low in a defensive stance and moves efficiently on his rotations. A player who D2 schools in a league like the CIAA should be checking out closely. A very good student who could get low D1s in a league like the Patriot to show more interest if he can prove his strong scoring ability translates into wins for his team on the 17u HGSL circuit and more consistent team success at Christchurch.

6’1 point guard Juan Bell from Paint Branch HS (MD) is a player who does an exemplary job of balancing his scoring and his playmaking. He is a good shooter from three-point range particularly when shooting off the dribble. Also has a quick first step which he uses to get into the lane and score at the rim niftily. Just as effective playmaking in the halfcourt as he is in transition. Finds teammates in the halfcourt spotting up for threes, cutting to the rim, and for open layups on drop-offs. In transition he can throw passes with pinpoint accuracy from long distances leading teammates in stride for easy layups. Defensively, he was a menace this past high school season, averaging 4 steals per game. He creates steals by using his quick hands and movements to take the ball away from opponents when they are careless with their dribble or throw lazy passes. A player who would fit well in a D2 league like the CIAA. Has the potential to get low D1s in the Big South and MEAC to show stronger interest if he can prove his ability to run a team translates well at a higher level of competition in the 17u HGSL.

5’8 Rasheed Dupree is a point guard from KIPP College Prep (DC), one of the top high school teams in DC this past season. Dupree is a true point guard who makes others around him better with his playmaking ability. He uses his excellent vision to create shots for teammates both in transition and in the halfcourt. On the fast break, if a teammate runs hard and is open for a layup, Dupree will find him. In the halfcourt, he gets into the paint consistently with his shifty handle where he finds teammates cutting for layups and spotting up for three-pointers. Just as effective throwing bounce passes as he is chest passes. Despite his short stature, he finishes well at the rim with good body control to create angles and make layups at a solid rate, where he has a soft touch off the backboard. When defenders take away his ability to get to the rim he has a fluid mid-range pull-up. Dupree plays just as hard on the defensive end as he loves to pick opponents up full court to disrupt an offense from getting started. Outstanding at creating steals by taking the ball away from opponents when they are loose with their handles in addition to jumping into passing lanes at the proper times. Averaged over 3 steals per game this past high school season. Will need to improve his three-point shooting to be able to consistently get into the lane at the college level. D2 schools in a league like the CIAA should be tracking Dupree as a potential floor general for their programs.

Another quality point guard option for this squad is 5’11 Cole Hanin from Bullis School (MD). Hanin is a true point guard who is an excellent ball handler and has a high basketball IQ. Had above a 3 to 1 assist to turnover ratio this past high school season. Like Dupree, Hanin plays with a pass-first mentality. Makes teammates better, finding them for open three-pointers and layups off dribble penetration. Always looking to make the extra pass if it means getting a better shot. Has proven to be able to make three-pointers spotting up well enough where he can’t be left open. Uses a floater well both with and without the backboard to shoot over bigs when they collapse in the lane. Defensively, while not the most physically gifted, he uses his intelligence and good effort to make an impact. He moves his feet quick laterally to limit opponents from getting by him off the dribble. Also takes advantage of when opposing bigs put the ball low to take it away from them. A smart player on this end who doesn’t take risks going for steals that could negatively affect his team. An elite student who D3s in a high level league like the NESCAC should be following closely. Could get D2 schools in a league like the NE-10 to show more interest if he can prove on the 17u HGSL circuit that he can run a team effectively like he does at Bullis, in addition to defending more athletic point guards.

Playing up on this squad as a 2022 is 6’4 combo guard Amare Johnson who, after playing this past year at Upper Dublin (PA), will be attending National Christian Academy (MD) this fall. Johnson is a player who can play both on and off the ball with his ability to score and facilitate. He made 37 three-pointers this past high school season at a 40% clip, showing the ability to make them both spotting up and off the bounce. Also has a reliable floater which he uses to score over big men in the paint. Uses his playmaking to create shots for teammates spotting up for three-pointers and feeds the post in good spots to help create easy layups. A player who D3s in the CAC and ODAC should be keeping tabs on. Could play his way into getting D2 looks from a league like the CIAA if he can develop a tighter handle, dedicate himself to getting stronger to help him finish at a higher volume when driving to the rim, and prove he can be an impact player playing higher level competition at National Christian Academy.

Copyright © 2020 Jared Exler, All rights reserved.

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