- Jared Exler
2022 PA Players to Watch this AAU Season
Updated: Sep 11, 2021
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Eli Yofan 6’3 Combo Guard (Fox Chapel HS/Team Wildcat): Yofan is a multifaceted scorer who puts constant pressure on opposing defenses. Uses his quick first step to get to the rim at a very good rate, finishing layups proficiently with his soft touch off the backboard. The southpaw also has a smooth pull-up in the mid-range when he cannot get all the way to the rim. While he only attempted 3.3 three-pointers per game this past high school season, he made them both spotting up and off the bounce at an extremely efficient rate of 47%. In addition to Yofan’s ability to create for himself on offense, he can make his teammates better with his playmaking. Finds teammates effectively on drive and kicks for open threes, and also hits them with pinpoint passes in transition for high percentage layups. Defensively, he does a good job on the glass for his position, using his leaping ability and nose for the ball to corral tough rebounds. Also has nice instincts jumping into passing lanes for steals when an opponent throws a lazy pass. Averaged 2.7 steals per game this past high school season.
Tyler Houser 6’9 Center (Cedar Cliff HS/Central PA Elite): Houser is a skilled big man who excels playing with his back to the basket. Does a good job consistently getting deep post position on opponents to finish high percentage layups. Has a nice baby-hook as one of his go-to post moves. Houser has also shown good touch on his jumper when opponents leave him open in the mid-range. Defensively, he forces opponents into lower percentage shots at the rim with his size and length. Also does a nice job of keeping his hands up straight to stay out of foul trouble. Houser also limits second chance opportunities for opponents, making a concerted effort to put a body on his matchup when boxing out.
Gavin Cote 6’5 Shooting Guard (Peters Township HS/PK Flash): Cote is a sharpshooter with good size. Has deep range on his shot, while needing very little time and space to get it off. Makes treys effectively when spotting up and coming off screens. When opponents play tight defense on him to take away his potent shooting ability, he can put the ball on the floor for strong drives to the hoop, or cut hard to the basket for high percentage layups. Cote is also a very reliable free throw shooter, shooting 87% from the line this past high school season. Defensively, he is consistently in the correct positions on his rotations when one pass away or coming over from the help side. Cote also does a good job of challenging opponents’ shots, using his size to force them into lower percentage attempts.
Tyson Thomas 6’1 Point Guard (Allentown Central Catholic/Team Final Red) Thomas was the floor general for the PIAA 4A state champions this past high school season. Uses his shifty handle to get into the lane consistently and score at the rim effectively on an array of finger rolls and layups high off the glass with either hand. He complements his driving ability with a soft mid-range pull-up. While penetrating to the hoop is Thomas’ first option in his offensive arsenal, he has shown he can hit three-pointers when left open and make opponents pay when going under ball screens against him. He is also a solid passer who does a good job finding teammates for high percentage layups close to the hoop when rolling on ball screens, in addition to drive-and-dishes in the lane when opponents collapse on him. Defensively, Thomas moves well laterally, making it difficult for opposing point guards to get dribble penetration on him. Also has quick hands, plucking the ball away from opponents to create steals when they are weak with their handle.
Chris Edwards 6’7 Combo Forward (Palmyra Area HS/York Ballers): Edwards is a player who has shown some solid long term upside with his size and skill set. Gets by opposing forwards at a good rate on blow-by drives for layups, in addition to having a nice spin move in his arsenal when penetrating to the hoop. He also creates high percentage layups for himself with sharp cuts to the rim within his team’s offense. Edwards can space the floor on three-pointers as well. He shot at an efficient rate this past high school season from deep, shooting 40%. He is particularly effective on spot-up three-pointers. Despite Edwards’ slim frame, he still is able to make his presence felt on the glass with his high motor. Averaged 7 rebounds per game this past high school season.
Nick Nocito 5’11 Point Guard (Dallas HS/NEPA Elite): One of the best shooters from the Scranton area is Nocito. Has very good form on his shot with a quick release, helping him to make three-pointers at a very good rate. Is a threat to make treys when spotting up, coming off screens, or off the bounce. Despite Nocito’s stature, he still is able to finish proficiently at the rim with impressive body control and touch off the glass. Is also a solid playmaker who understands the right times to give the ball up to a teammate. Is particularly effective at creating shots for others on drive-and-kicks for open threes, or whipping passes through tight windows to teammates close to the hoop for high percentage layups.
Tyler Lauder 6’7 Power Forward (Malvern Prep/Philly Pride Gold): Lauder played a key role on the defensive end, helping Malvern Prep to have another strong season in the Inter-AC. Moves very well laterally for his size, allowing him to hold his own when switched onto perimeter players. Also does a nice job protecting the rim, showing good intuition as to when to go for a block on an opponent. Lauder uses his physical tools and understands how to get good position to rebound the ball at a solid rate. Averaged 6.7 rebounds per game this past high school season. Offensively, he is particularly effective when running the floor hard in transition for high percentage layups, in addition to consistently being in the right place at the right time for putbacks. Lauder has also shown flashes of being able to stretch the floor on three-pointers when spotting up.
Quin Berger 6’1 Combo Guard (Westtown School/NJ Shoreshots): Berger spaced the floor for Westtown at a high level this past high school season. Has very good form on his shot with deep range. Makes three-pointers effectively both spotting up or when coming off screens. Does a good job of letting the game come to him and picking his spots within an offense. Berger is also a crafty finisher around the basket, having the ability to convert difficult layups with both hands using good body control. He can also be relied upon as a secondary playmaker in an offense, finding teammates effectively on drive-and-kicks for open treys. Berger makes very few mistakes when the ball is in his hands. Is a disciplined defender, understanding when to aggressively go for steal or when to just guard his man straight up. Berger also does a good job of rotating quickly on this end.
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