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  • Jared Exler

High School Standouts 2021 Season: Report #8

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

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Brett Byrne 6’0 Combo Guard 2022 (Methacton HS): Byrne was impressive from long range in Methacton’s close loss to Cheltenham. Makes three-pointers just as effectively off the bounce as he does when spotting up. Made an opponent pay for going under a ball screen by draining a trey near the top of the key, in addition to hitting a buzzer beater three from NBA range to end the first period when pushing the ball up court after an opponent’s make. Also hit an important trey when pushing the ball after a rebound to pull his team within two points with 1:40 left in the fourth quarter. Had five threes in the contest. Byrne can get to the rim as well which he showed using a nice behind the back move to get by his defender and finish at the hoop with his left hand. Finished with 17 points. While he only had one assist when he found an open teammate for a layup next to the hoop, Bryne easily could have had two to three more as he set teammates up on a number of occasions for good looks beyond the arc on drive and kicks. Despite his size, he still is able to make a solid impact on the glass with his great effort and knack for being near the ball. He corralled six rebounds in the contest. Byrne helped lead a great effort almost taking down the number one seed. With the tandem of Byrne and Cole Hargrove back next season as seniors, Methacton should be one of the top teams in District One.

Sam Brown 6’2 Shooting Guard 2023 (Lower Merion HS): Brown was a steady force in Lower Merion’s win over Downingtown West, making sure opponents could not just focus on stopping teammate and D1 recruit Demetrius Lilley. Does a nice job of letting the game come to him in the flow of the offense while rarely taking bad shots. The southpaw has very good form with a quick trigger from long range, helping him to make three-pointers at an efficient rate. Drained a trey on a spot up from near the top of the key when a teammate kicked it out to him after getting doubled in the post. Brown hit his other long ball when moving to the wing, giving his teammate an open target after getting an offensive rebound. Showed some potential with his ball handling when he pushed the ball up the floor off an outlet pass, using a crossover to get by an opponent near mid court and get all the way to the rim drawing a shooting foul. Is also a reliable foul shooter, making all six of his attempts to go with scoring 14 points total in the contest. Defensively, Brown is consistently in the correct spots on his rotations when guarding on and off the ball. Also is not afraid to put his body on the line when drawing offensive fouls. Drew an offensive foul when an opponent used an elbow trying to create space while driving to the rim, in addition to a similar play in the second half that was a close call but did not go his way.

Jake Warren 6’9 Power Forward/Center 2023 (Downingtown West HS): Warren is an intriguing sophomore with his size and shooting ability, hitting a number of timely three-pointers in Downingtown West’s loss to Lower Merion. Makes treys at a good rate, helping to open up the driving lanes for teammates. Nailed a three moving to the top of the key in the second half after setting a screen for a teammate at the foul line, in addition to draining another one from long range when playing the role of the trailer in transition. Also made the opponents pay for leaving him open when spotting up at the top of the key in the second half by hitting his third trifecta of the game. Showed his shooting touch in the midrange as well when he flashed to the mid post to drain a 12 foot jumper. Warren has good mobility for his size which helps him when moving without the ball. Used a screen from a teammate at the foul line to cut to the hoop for a layup, as well as making another hard cut to draw a shooting foul at the rim. Finished the game with 16 points. Defensively, Warren does a solid job of challenging opponents’ shots at the rim using his size and length. Picked up two early fouls keeping him out most of the first half, but did a much better job in the second half staying out of foul trouble and making Demetrius Lilley have to work hard for his points. Also had a nice block on an opponent when they tried to score after getting deep post position on him. While it was a tough loss for Downingtown West, they certainly will be a team to watch next year in District One with the duo of Warren and Dylan Blair only going to be juniors.

Billy Coley 6’1 Shooting Guard 2021 (North Penn HS): Coley provided North Penn a major spark with his shot making in their win against Conestoga. Is particularly effective from long range when spotting up. Hit a trey from the corner on a drive and kick from a teammate in addition to nailing a huge three from the wing in the final period, putting his team up four when an opponent gave him too much space. Also drained one from deep in transition, finding an open spot on the wing after a teammate pushed the ball when getting a steal. Coley complements his shooting nicely with a mid-range game. Hit a smooth two dribble pull-up from the foul line, along with nailing a one dribble pull-up from 15 feet after coming off a screen in the second half. Coley also finished a soft floater from the baseline after his team broke Conestoga’s press in the first half. Had 19 points in the contest.

Jacob Barksdale 6’5 Center 2021 (West Chester Rustin HS): Barksdale anchored the paint in West Chester Rustin’s victory over Bishop Shanahan. Is comfortable playing in the pick and roll, scoring a pair of buckets rolling to the basket after setting a screen for a teammate. Barksdale also has a soft touch off the backboard, helping him make shots at a consistent rate when close to the hoop. Scored a layup when a teammate made a nice pass over an opponent fronting him on the block, in addition to finishing another bucket close to the rim with his left hand. Barksdale was aggressive on the offensive glass, having a pair of putbacks scoring a layup and drawing a shooting foul. Finished the game with 20 points. Also showed some nice passing instincts, finding a teammate for a layup on a backdoor cut in addition to giving it right back to the inbounder on a baseline out of bounds play under their opponent’s basket for a layup. Defensively, Barksdale makes it difficult for opponents to score on him at the rim with his wide frame and standing reach. Blocked an opponent’s shot when rotating quickly after an opponent dished the ball to a teammate next to the basket, as well as coming from behind to swat an opponent’s shot when they thought they had an easy layup. Barksdale also forced an opponent into a wild shot that went over the backboard when he came over from the help side in the lane putting his hands straight up.

Jack Kushner 6’2 Wing 2023 (West Chester East HS): Kushner filled up the stat sheet in West Chester East’s win against Neshaminy. Uses his quick first step off the dribble to get to the rim at a consistent rate when driving. Had a strong drive to score a finger roll layup, in addition to penetrating from the top of the key in the second half using a step through move to finish with his left hand. Kushner also had another nice take to the hoop in the second half driving from the corner to draw a shooting foul. Had 15 points in the contest. He has solid vision as well, with the ability to make teammates better. Kushner found a teammate for a three-pointer on a drive and kick, along with pushing the ball up court after getting a rebound to hit a teammate spotting up from the wing for a trey. Finished the game with four assists. Defensively, Kushner plays bigger than his size on the glass with his toughness and strength. Pulled down 10 rebounds to have a double-double in the contest. Also has good instincts on where to be on his rotations. Came over in the first half at the right time to double an opponent, taking the ball away for a steal and showing his athleticism finishing with a two hand slam when taking it the other way.

Copyright © 2021 Jared Exler, All rights reserved.

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