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2020 17u AAU Team Profiles: NJ Panthers

NJ Panthers


Justin Glover is a 6’2 combo guard from Hudson Catholic. He has a smooth stroke from three-point range especially when spotting up. Complements his shooting ability with a consistent mid-range pull-up. Is also a solid ball handler and passer who can be counted on as a secondary playmaker in an offense. Very good at finding teammates with drop-offs for layups and drive and kicks for open three-pointers when getting dribble penetration. Defensively, Glover is good at creating steals by jumping into passing lanes at the right time and using his quick hands to take the ball away from opponents when they are weak with their dribble. Is also fundamentally sound on his rotations so that he is in the right spots for help defense. Would be a good fit in D1 leagues like the America East and MEAC. Has offers from the following schools in those leagues: Hartford, Stony Brook, and Howard. To be most effective at the collegiate level, Glover will need to round out his offensive game by working on getting to the rim more and improving his layup package to finish against taller players.


Bringing great athleticism is 6’3 shooting guard Isaiah Hill from Union Catholic HS. Hill is a player who can throw down aggressive dunks when cutting to the basket in the halfcourt as well as when he runs his lanes hard in transition. His bread and butter is using his quick first step to get by opponents where he is proficient at using finger-rolls to score at the rim. Also has a nice mid-range pull-up he uses when he can’t get all the way to the rim. Has shown flashes as a three-point shooter but it is clearly one of the last options in his scoring arsenal. Defensively, Hill makes it difficult for opponents to shoot over him because of his leaping ability. Has quick feet laterally that forces opponents to work very hard to get past him with dribble penetration. A player who would fit well in a D1 league like the NEC. Has an offer from St. Francis (PA) in that league. Could get schools in the CAA and MAAC to show stronger interest if he can take his three-pointer to the next level.


Adding elite playmaking skills at the point guard spot is 6’0 Christian Cevis from West Morris Central HS. Cevis led the state of New Jersey in assists this past high school season at close to nine per game. He uses his outstanding vision to find teammates in a variety of ways. In the halfcourt, these include hitting the roll man off ball screens, drop-offs in the lane for layups, and drive and kicks for three-pointers. In transition, he has the ability to throw a baseball pass to hit teammates in stride from long distances for layups. While passing is his forte on offense, he has proven to be more than capable as a scorer as well. He is a player who can’t be left open from three-point range as he makes them at a good rate both spotting up and off the dribble. Has a quick first step which he uses to get by defenders and finish well with his crafty layup package. Cevis plays just as hard on the defensive end. He is a pesky defender who makes it very difficult for opponents to get by him with his excellent lateral quickness. He consistently makes opponents pay when they are loose with their handles using his quick hands to pluck the ball away from them. Averaged more than 3 steals per game this past high school season. In the halfcourt, he is sound on his rotations and is regularly in the correct spots to be in the help position as well as to make an opponent's shot more difficult by putting a hand up. Great student in the classroom who D1 schools in the NEC and Patriot League should be following this coming year as their potential floor general of the future. Schools in the CAA and MAAC could begin to show more interest if Cevis can prove to be a standout playing at a higher level of competition on the 17u circuit with the NJ Panthers.


Bringing quality size to this squad as a wing is 6’7 Kunga Tsering from Hasbrouck Heights HS. Tsering is a good athlete who thrives in transition throwing down dunks with either one or two hands. Also a solid ball handler for his size who excels at taking opponents off the dribble from the wings to finish at the rim efficiently using his leaping ability and soft touch. Underrated playmaker who finds teammates for layups in the lane from drop-offs as well as on cuts to the basket. Tsering has shown upside with his three-point shooting as he has good form with a quick release. He just needs to show he can make them at a higher volume so it can become a stronger weapon in his scoring arsenal. With his size, length, and lateral quickness, Tsering is a player who has the potential to guard the 2-4 positions at the college levels. He consistently closes out on shooters to force them into as tough a shot as possible. A great rebounder who averaged over 11 rebounds per game this past high school season. He uses his physical tools and understands how to get good position in order to rebound at this high rate. Does well in the classroom as well as on the court. D1 schools in the NEC and Patriot League should be checking out Tsering this coming year. Has the potential to get CAA and MAAC schools to show stronger interest if he can take his three-point shooting to the next level in addition to gaining muscle.


Bakir Cleveland is a 6’4 combo guard from University HS. Cleveland has very good positional size and is a good athlete who can play above the rim. He gets to his spots for his in between game using his pull-up and floater. Thrives at using his quick first step to get by opponents and finish at the rim efficiently with his size and length. Good playmaker who uses his height to see over the top of opponents to find teammates cutting for layups and spotting up for three-pointers. Defensively, he uses his 6’8 wingspan to make it very difficult for opponents to shoot over the top of him. Also a very good rebounder who is effective because of his leaping ability and desire for the ball. Would be a good fit in a D2 league like the CACC. D1 schools in the NEC could show stronger interest if he can become a player who can make three-pointers at a higher volume in order to be a legitimate floor spacer for his teams.


Ethan Garita is a 6’8 power forward from Princeton Day School who excels at scoring close to the basket. Very good athlete who is always a threat for dunks off alley-oops. Has a nice drop-step, particularly on the right side, that he uses when posting up to get easy points. Can also at times take defenders off the dribble when facing up from the free-throw line to score at the rim. On the defensive end Garita makes a significant impact with his rebounding ability. Along with his leaping ability which helps him outjump opponents, he has a knack for being in the right place at the right time to secure rebounds. Moves very well for a player his size on his rotations which puts him in optimal positions to force opponents into lower percentage shots. Also does a commendable job of keeping his hands straight up to stay out of foul trouble. A player who D2s in a league like the CACC should be following this coming year. Has the potential to get D1 schools in the NEC and Patriot League to show stronger interest if he can develop as a three-point shooter who can at least contribute to spacing the floor, such as in pick and pop situations. Will also need to gain muscle before college.


Bringing good size in the frontcourt is 6’10 center Aidan Kehoe from Pascack Hills HS. Kehoe excels offensively posting up on the block where he can back defenders down for layups as well as use a jump hook with his right hand. Can also score off of ball screens when rolling to the hoop. Defensively, he makes his presence felt on the glass, rebounding at a high rate by gaining good position on opponents. Averaged 12 rebounds per game this past high school season. Also does an admiral job of understanding when he should go for a block or just keep his hands straight up. A very good student in the classroom. D2s in a league like the NE-10 should be following Kehoe this coming year. Could get Patriot League schools to show more intense interest if he can get stronger and develop his shooting beyond the arc to the point where opponents can’t leave him unguarded.


Giving this squad another solid option at the point guard position is 6’0 Ernest Carter from Rahway HS. Carter does a nice job of balancing getting his points with facilitating for his teammates. Can space the floor using his three-point shooting ability on catch and shoot opportunities and off the bounce. Uses his shifty ball handling to get into the paint where he has a soft floater if the defense collapses. Counteracts his smaller frame at the rim by using clever body control on his layups to create angles to finish. Carter makes his teammates better with his playmaking, finding them on drive and kicks for three-pointers in addition to threading the needle in tight windows for layups. Teammates enjoy playing with him because they know he will find them if they’re open. Defensively, his ability to guard full court frequently disorients opposing point guards when trying to run their offense. Is adept at jumping into passing lanes for steals when opponents are lazy with their passes and can pry the ball away from opponents when they are not strong with their handle. D2 schools in a league like the CACC should be tracking Carter this coming year.


Adding high level shooting ability is 6’0 combo guard Kyree Henry from St. Thomas Aquinas HS. Henry has a quick and compact shooting stroke from three-point range. He makes three-pointers at a high rate both spotting up and on the move. Complements his shooting ability by being able to get to the rim and finish creatively when opponents close out hard on him. Also has solid vision and can be counted on as a secondary playmaker in an offense. He finds teammates in the halfcourt for easy buckets on drop-offs and in transition he looks ahead to find teammates streaking for layups. Defensively, he has good instincts on when to jump into passing lanes for steals. He also understands the times when it’s better to be less aggressive as well. D3 schools in the NJAC should be checking out Henry this coming year. Could get D2 schools in the CACC to show more interest if he can improve his ability to run a team in order to play the point guard spot full time in addition to gaining muscle.


Hassan Jackson is a 6’4 small forward who played this past season at Marist HS and will be attending St. Peter’s Prep this fall. Jackson is a player who thrives at using his strength to finish at the rim at a high rate. Very good at scoring through contact. Also can post up at times, where he uses his muscle to back down opponents to score with a soft touch off the backboard. Defensively, he makes a solid impact rebounding as he consistently boxes out his opponents in addition to having a strong desire for the ball. Is also willing to put his body on the line against opponents for charges which swings momentum in his team’s favor. Jackson should have D3 schools in the NJAC tracking him this coming year. Could get D2 schools in the CACC to show more interest if he can become a legitimate threat from three point range to open up the floor for his teams.


Copyright © 2020 Jared Exler, All rights reserved.

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