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  • Jared Exler

Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest Report

*All 2021 prospects unless noted

Aidan Hughley 6’6 Power Forward (York Ballers-HGSL/York Suburban HS): Hughley played a key role in York Ballers’ dominant defensive game in a win over The House We Built, holding them to seven first half points and 32 total for the game. He played with consistent energy on the defensive glass using his strength and leaping ability to get in the proper positions to come down with the ball off the glass. Finished the game with five rebounds. Also did a good job of challenging opponents’ shots with quick closeouts and making sure to put his hands up to force a lower percentage shot. Also was smart with his decision making to stay out of foul trouble which allowed him to play most of the game. Made a nice contribution on the offensive end as well. Showed a soft touch on his layups, finishing at a high rate. Had a nice play in the halfcourt where he drove from the left corner and backed his defender down into the post. From there he used a nice drop-step move to finish with his left hand. On another play, he caught the ball on the right block and took two dribbles to the middle to finish on the opposite side with his left hand. Finished the game with 12 points. Hughley does very well in the classroom. Should be a priority in a D3 league like the Centennial. D2 schools could show more interest if he can become a legitimate wing player by improving his ball handling to make more plays off the dribble both for himself and teammates, as well as his three-point shooting to space the floor for his teams.

Todd Simons 6’5 Shooting Guard (PK Flash-HGSL/Austintown (OH)): Forming a potent wing duo with Trey Metzka who hit a game winning off-the-dribble three-pointer from the left wing against NJ Shoreshots Alesi HGSL is Simons. Simons has a very good mid-range game. Scored on a two dribble pull-up from the right wing in addition to hitting another pull-up in transition. Has the ability to score in the mid-range off his pull-up when dribbling with his left or right hand. Also can finish strong at the rim with his layups. Had a nice drive from the left wing where he used a spin move to finish with his right hand. On another play Simons drove from the top of the key with his left hand to draw a shooting foul on his defender. Finished the game with 13 points. Rebounds the ball very well for his position. Uses his strength to get position and has a knack for the ball which helps him rebound at a high rate. Had seven rebounds in the contest. Also does a commendable job of staying in front of opponents on the defensive end with his solid lateral quickness. Is also consistently in the right spots on his rotations to help a teammate who gets beat . D2 schools in a league like the Great Midwest should be following Simons. Could get low-major D1 schools to show more interest if he can improve his three-point shooting to round out his offensive game.

Matt Delaney 6’7 Power Forward (Olympus Elite/St. Augustine Prep): Delaney was outstanding in Olympus’s close loss to VA Premier. He finished the contest with 22 points scoring in a variety of ways. Spaced the floor for his team hitting a nice spot-up three in the right corner. Showcased his in-between game when he hit a smooth jumper in the mid-post off of a spin move. On another play, he caught the ball and faced up and saw that his defender was giving him just enough space to get his shot off, so he splashed a 15 foot jumper. Has very soft hands when catching the ball in the post. Had a good play when he caught the ball on the left block and used a drop-step and then a shot fake to draw a shooting foul on his defender. Also got points when he corralled his own miss for a putback layup in addition to scoring on a drop-off in the lane from his teammate. Defensively, he did an awesome job on the glass, snagging eight rebounds in the game. Plays just as hard on this end. Does a good job of getting position on his opponents to make sure he doesn’t give up cheap rebounds. Also shows a constant desire for wanting the ball more than his opponents. Currently holds two D1 offers from American and Boston U of the Patriot League. Any other Patriot League schools in need of a stretch four for the 2021 class should be taking a hard look at Delaney.

Devin Benson 6’1 Combo Guard (Olympus Elite/Camden HS): Benson showcased his smooth shooting ability in Olympus’s close loss to Hudson Valley Panthers. He had two three-pointers in the game. On his first trey, he moved to an open area on the left wing to give his teammate a better passing angle to get him the ball. For his other made three, he brought the ball up as the point guard and made a quick between the legs move with his right hand to get his shot off against his defender. Made an important mid-range pull-up with 8 seconds left to cut the Hudson Valley lead to two. Also had a nice driving right hand layup late in the game when he pushed the ball full court immediately off an inbounds pass. Finished the game with 12 points. Also showed his ability as a playmaker. Had a good play where he hit his teammate popping off of a screen for a three-pointer. Also found a teammate cutting to the hoop for a layup on another play. Had three assists in the contest. Defensively, he gave up limited dribble penetration in addition to making a good effort to challenge opponents’ shots. Has good fundamentals on this end, moving his feet instead of reaching and he doesn’t go for unnecessary steals that could put his team at a disadvantage. D2s in a league like the CACC should be following Benson closely.

Brandon Mykalcio 6’6 Wing (NY Lightning Select HGSL/Loomis Chaffee (CT)): Mykalcio continued his strong AAU season finishing with 19 points and hitting the go ahead three-pointer in overtime to help NY Lightning Select to a win over NEPA Elite HGSL. Had three treys in the contest. His first two threes were on spot-ups, one from the right wing and the other from the right corner. His third make was the game winner, catching the ball on the left wing and taking two dribbles to his right along the three-point line to give him a better angle to get the shot off. Had a nice mid-range pull-up using a left to right crossover move to score from the right baseline. Used a strong drive to get to the rim and score from the right wing. Also made all four of his free throw attempts. He made a solid impact defensively on the glass finishing the game with five rebounds. Mykalcio has good strength along with an intense desire for the ball when it comes off the rim. His size helped make it difficult for opponents to shoot over the top of him. Mykalcio has clearly taken the next step on his ball handling which has allowed him to expand his offensive game and become more of a creator in the halfcourt. As a result, he has D1-level talent that schools in the NEC and Patriot League should be tracking.

Justice Shoats 5’11 Point Guard 2022 (NEPA Elite HGSL/Holy Redeemer HS): Shoats is an intriguing 2022 playing up who had an outstanding performance in his team’s overtime loss to NY Lightning Select HGSL. He has the ball on a string with his handle along with an extremely quick first step which allowed him to get to the rim at will in this game. Had a nice drive from the right wing where he used a behind the back move with his left hand to get his separation from his defender and get to the rim and score. Had another play where he drove from the right wing to finish at the rim with his opposite hand. Is just as effective finishing with his left hand as his right. Also has a very good floater in his scoring arsenal. Used a soft floater to score in the first half when the opposing big man took away his lane to get all the way to the rim. Had another play driving from the left wing where he got by his defender and seeing he couldn’t get all the way to the rim again, used a left handed floater to score. Had 22 points in the contest. While he finished the game with no assists, he made a concerted effort to get his teammates involved and easily could have had 3-4 assists on good passes that weren’t converted into points. Very good at finding open shooters spotting up for three-pointers. Also impacted the game on the defensive side with two steals. On one of his steals he jumped into the passing lane to intercept the ball and take it the other way for a layup. Shoats has natural instincts which allow him to be in the right spots to create steals and to force opponents into lower percentage shots. Low-major D1 schools should be keeping an eye on Shoats. Could get mid-majors to show interest in the future if his three-point shooting can become a more frequent option in his arsenal and he can make them at a higher volume.

Ethan Meuser 6’8 Power Forward (NEPA Elite HGSL/Wyoming Seminary College Prep HS): Another player from NEPA Elite who stood out in their game against NY Lightning Select was Meuser. Meuser is a modern day forward who prefers to play facing up to the basket. While his ball handling needs work he showed flashes with some nice takes to the hoop in addition to a play where he caught the ball in the mid-post and took one dribble on his defender to score on a turnaround jumper. Had an important spot-up three-pointer in the second half from the left wing which gave his team momentum. Had a nice play in deep post position using a shot fake to get his defender up in the air for an and-1 finish with his left hand. Finished the game with 12 points. Defensively, he has great lateral quickness for a player of his size. Has the ability to also guard small forwards. Forced a five second count on an opposing small forward. Also does a solid job of challenging opponents’ shots by making sure to keep his hands up. D2 schools in a league like the PSAC should be looking at Meuser. Could get low-major D1 schools to show interest if he can improve his three-point shooting to make them consistently at a higher volume, in addition to getting stronger to be able to make an impact on the glass at the next level.

Copyright © 2020 Jared Exler, All rights reserved.

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