Hoop Group Lehigh Valley Showcase Report
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Bahsil Laster 6’4 Combo Guard 2023 (Archbishop Wood HS): Laster gets into the lane effectively with a quick crossover and good decision making when using ball screens. He has a soft floater in the lane when opponents collapse on him. Also attacks closeouts well to draw shooting fouls, and is a reliable shooter at the charity stripe. Laster creates high percentage layup opportunities for himself on the break with his good effort running the floor. While penetrating to the bucket is his forte, he can hit spot-up three-pointers at a solid rate when left open. Has good vision as a passer, using his size to find open holes in the defense and create quality shots for others. Defensively, Laster moves his feet well laterally, and has the ability to defend both guard spots.
Jalil Schenck 5’10 Point Guard 2022 (Executive Education Academy Charter School): Schenck is a terrific shooter from beyond the arc with deep range. Defenders cannot go under ball screens against him as he is a threat to make three-pointers when pulling up. Also hits standstill treys at a good rate. Gets into the paint consistently with his quick first step and crafty hesitation moves. Has a smooth teardrop in the mid-range when opposing big men take away his path to the rim. While Schenck acted mainly as a scorer in this event, he has shown himself to be a good facilitator over the course of his high school career. He finds cutting teammates for high percentage layups on the break or in the halfcourt.
Ibrahima Bayu 6’8 Power Forward 2022 (Perkiomen School): Bayu uses his terrific leaping ability to be a constant threat scoring on alley-oops, drop-offs, or offensive rebounds. He makes his presence felt in transition, using his speed to beat opposing forwards down the floor for high percentage finishes above the rim. Also has the ball handling ability to start a fast break after securing a rebound. Defensively, Bayu is nimble on his feet, holding his own when getting switched onto wings. Also makes a solid contribution on the defensive glass, using his explosiveness to corral rebounds at their highest point when they come off the rim.
Darren Blocker 6’8 Combo Forward 2022 (Mercersburg Academy): Blocker can space the floor from deep, making three-pointers on pick and pops, spot-ups, or when pulling up. He gets to the basket effectively for creative layups when attacking closeouts or with his smooth crossover move. Also gets to the free throw line at a solid rate by seeking out contact on his penetration to the rim. Defensively, Blocker uses his length to make it difficult for opponents to finish against him around the hoop.
Julian Pagan 6’2 Combo Guard 2023 (Pocono Mountain West HS): Pagan needs to be accounted for from beyond the arc. He makes three-pointers at solid rate on the move or when spotting up. Gets to the rim for layups using good change of pace moves. Also creates high percentage finishing opportunities for himself around the basket in various ways. These include making sharp backdoor cuts when a defender falls asleep or constantly crashing the offensive glass. Pagan is a solid playmaker on ball screens. He does a nice job hitting teammates for open pick and pop treys.
Nick Coval 6’1 Combo Guard 2024 (Parkland HS): Coval is a very good shooter from long-range with compact form and a fluid release. He makes treys off the bounce from his stepback or on the move when using screens. Has solid touch high off the glass to avoid blocks from big men around the rim. Coval also creates high percentage layup opportunities for himself from backdoor cuts when opponents overplay him on the perimeter. He can make plays for others as well, finding teammates for finishes around the hoop from drive and dishes in the lane. Defensively, Coval has good instincts jumping into passing lanes for steals when an opponent telegraphs his pass.
Tyson Thomas 6’1 Point Guard 2022 (Allentown Central Catholic HS): Thomas is comfortable shooting three-pointers off the bounce, making them when pulling up off of ball screens. He also utilizes ball screens well to get to his smooth pull-up in the mid-range. Gets to the basket at a solid rate to finish with inside-hand layups or finger-rolls from his shifty handle. Thomas uses his strong frame effectively to score through contact around the rim. He is a good playmaker as well, using his vision to find open teammates spotting up for treys when penetrating into the lane.
Justice Shoats 6’0 Point Guard 2022 (Holy Redeemer HS): Shoats gets into the paint regularly with his quick first step or sharp through the legs and hesitation moves. He has a soft mid-range pull-up in the lane when opponents collapse on him. Finishes well around the rim for his size with his crafty layup package. Also creates good looks for himself when pushing the ball in transition with his end to end speed. Shoats is a solid passer, finding teammates in the half-court for high percentage layups from drop-offs or open three-pointers on drive and kicks. Defensively, he fights hard through ball screens to limit opponents from getting advantageous matchups on switches.
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