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  • Jared Exler

PA/NJ Players to Watch this HS Season

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

*All 2021 Prospects

Eric Chamberlain 5’11 Point Guard-West Catholic Prep: West Catholic showed last season that they are a program on the rise in the Philadelphia Catholic League and Chamberlain was a major reason why as their leading scorer. He is a player who understands how to run a ball club with his ability to get his team into their offense and make others around him better with his playmaking. Does a good job of finding teammates for open shots on drive and kicks and on drop-off passes in the lane. If left open from the three-point line he will make the defense pay particularly when spotting up. Also has a nice floater and mid-range pull-up that he uses to score in the paint when he can’t get all the way to the rim. Coach Miguel Bocachica preaches energy on the defensive end to his team and that message has gotten through to Chamberlain. He is a pest defensively as he has a good acumen for creating steals either when an opponent throws a bad pass or is not strong with the ball. Also moves his feet very well limiting opposing point guards from getting into the lane against him. D3 schools in a league like the MAC should be checking out Chamberlain. Could get D2 schools in a league like the PSAC to show interest if with Chamberlain running the show and providing the proper leadership to West’s talented underclassmen, they can take that next step this year to become legitimate contenders to make the PCL Final 4 at the Palestra.

Jack Spellman 6’8 Power Forward-Westfield HS: Spellman is a stretch four with a very high release on his shot that combined with his height, makes it very difficult for opponents to block his shot. He fits well playing in ball screens as he is always a threat from long range on pick and pops. He made 22 treys this past high school season. Spellman also has the ability to score in the paint where he likes to use a drop-step or baby hook to score. When his defender collapses on a teammate in the lane, he understands the right spots to be in to give himself a better opportunity to get the ball from his teammate and score. Defensively, he makes a consistent effort rebounding and blocking shots. Uses his size along with getting good position on opponents to rebound at a high rate. Spellman has very good length along with consistently being in the right spots on his defensive rotations which helped him block 3.5 shots per game this past high school season. Also does a good job of keeping his hands straight up to stay out of foul trouble. A very good student who D3 schools in leagues like the Centennial and Liberty League should be tracking. Could get D2 schools involved if he can smoothly transition into an increased role at Westfield this year showing he can score at a higher volume, while helping them to similar team success as last year.

Luke DiCianno 6’4 Small Forward-Plymouth Whitemarsh HS: What stands out first when watching DiCianno play is his ability to shoot the ball. He can make three-pointers effectively both when spotting up and when coming off of screens. When opponents close out hard on him to take away his three-point shooting ability, he can put the ball on the floor and finish with his strong body through contact. DiCianno also can take advantage of smaller players on him in the post where he has a nice drop-step move. He is also a willing passer who has no problems passing up a shot to give up the ball to a teammate for a better one. Defensively, he loves to get physical in the paint working to get an advantageous position, which allows him to make a solid impact when rebounding the ball. Also does a good job of jumping into passing lanes for steals when an opponent makes an errant pass. D3 schools in a league like the Atlantic East should be keeping an eye on DiCianno.

Trevor Bokach 6’3 Point Guard-Watchung Hills HS: Bokach is a true point guard who really values getting his teammates involved. He uses his good size to find open holes in the defense. Has the ability to find teammates for shots on ball screens, cuts to the basket, and on drive & kicks. While he is best known as a playmaker, he also forces defenses to respect him for his scoring ability as well. If he gets into the lane and the defense is playing the pass, Bokach can finish at the rim creatively with both hands. Also can’t be left open from three as he made 32 three-pointers this past high school season. Defensively, he moves very well playing within the principles of his rotations which puts him in good positions to cause steals and deflections. He also makes a concerted effort to challenge opponents’ shots, using his size and length to force them into a lower percentage attempt. A very good student in the classroom who D3s in leagues like the Centennial and NESCAC should be looking at.

Matt Drapkin 5’11 Combo Guard-Neshaminy HS: Drapkin impressed this past high school season at Neshaminy with his ability to score the ball in a variety of ways. He’s a very good shooter from beyond the arc particularly when spotting up. Drapkin also has a nice mid-range pull-up that he shoots very effectively when dribbling with his left hand. Despite his size, he is able to finish at a good rate at the rim, having the ability to score with both hands using a soft touch off the glass. Defensively, while not the most athletic, he gives a solid effort that he combines with his high basketball IQ. He is consistently in the right spots on his rotations along with limiting unnecessary risks for his team such as going for steals or deflections. Drapkin will have to work on his ability to run a team and get his teammates more involved as he prepares for the next level. D3 schools in a league like the CSAC should be following him.

Damian Rawls 6’1 Combo Guard-Overbrook HS: Rawls was the leading scorer on a very good Overbrook team last year. He has a very quick first step which makes it difficult for opponents to keep him out of the lane. Rawls has a crafty layup package using good body control to create better angles for himself to finish. He also finishes well through contact on his layups. When he can’t get all the way to the rim, he has a soft floater in his arsenal to score over the bigs. Is also a good shooter from three-point range as he made 39 treys this past high school season. This helps to open up his driving game even more. Rawls is also a willing passer who always has his head up in transition as well as finds teammates for easy layups when opponents collapse on him in the lane. On the defensive end, despite his size he makes an impact on the glass having a knack for being in the right place at the right time when the ball comes off the hoop. He averaged close to five rebounds per game this past high school season. Rawls also does a good job of creating steals for his team particularly when picking off an opponent’s pass. While he has good instincts in this area, he also understands the times when it is better to be less aggressive as well. D3 schools in a league like the NJAC should be showing interest in Rawls.

Michael Memmo 6’3 Shooting Guard- Phoenixville HS: Memmo spaced the floor extremely well for Phoenixville last season opening up driving lanes for guys like Steven Hamilton (Lycoming). He gets his shot off very quickly to go along with a high release. Can make three-pointers in different ways whether spotting up, coming off screens, or off the dribble. Also has a nice shot fake that he uses when defenders get overly aggressive trying to take away his shot. While the long ball is his forte, he also can put the ball on the floor and finish with a soft floater when he gets into the lane. Memmo also does a good job of running his lanes hard in transition which helps him get easy buckets. He is an unselfish player who is always looking to make the extra pass on offense or get the ball ahead to a teammate in transition. Averaged three assists per game this past high school season. With Hamilton at Lycoming now, Memmo will be tasked with more responsibility this year for Phoenixville. D3 schools in a league like the Atlantic East should be tracking Memmo.

Sebastian Giannoti 6’2 Shooting Guard-Saddle River Day School: Saddle River Day had a memorable season last year and Giannoti was a major reason for that. The southpaw has a smooth stroke from three-point range as he made 38 treys this past high school season helping to stretch the floor for his team. Giannoti excels on catch and shoot attempts beyond the arc. Complements his outside shooting ability with his floater along with being able to finish at the rim with crafty layups especially reverses. Defensively, despite his size, he does a commendable job rebounding the ball by working hard to get an advantageous position on his opponents. Averaged five rebounds per game this past high school season. Also gives very good effort closing out on opponents to force them into a lower percentage shot. D3s in a league like the Landmark should be keeping an eye on Giannoti.

Copyright © 2020 Jared Exler, All rights reserved.

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