Under the Radar High School Players who Need your Attention when Games Resume
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
Blaise Vespe 6’7 210 SF/PF 2021-Neumann Goretti: Playing on arguably the best team in the state of Pennsylvania in Neumann Goretti, Vespe often got overshadowed and was the 4th or 5th option playing with guys such as Jordan Hall (St. Joes), Cam Young (Bowling Green), Hakim Byrd (Marist), and Hysier Miller. This certainly doesn’t take away how much value he brings to the game. Offensively he has a smooth stroke from three as well as underrated athleticism which allows him to finish at the rim with ease. Defensively he defended some of the top players in the nation such as Jalen Duren (Top 5 in 2022) and Franck Kepnang (Top 25 in 2021) and didn’t back down one bit. He is quick laterally with his feet and uses his strength and athleticism to alter shots and rebound. It’s shocking to me how any low D1 schools in the Ivy, Patriot, and NEC haven’t offered Vespe yet. With an increased role coming this next high school season he has the potential to play his way into a mid-major level prospect and get offers from conferences like the CAA or MAC.
Joe Jackman 5’11 170 SG 2021-Central Bucks East: Arguably the best shooter in the Philly suburbs he has shown that he is much more than that. What he lacks in physical tools he makes up for with his high-level skill set. He can make three-pointers in all different ways whether they’re spotting up, off of screens, or off the dribble. What has made him become a guy who has averaged near 20 points per game this season is the development of his driving game. Despite his short stature, he finishes very well at the rim with crafty layups. He will always be most known for his play on the offensive side of the ball but defensively he also competes hard and has shown to not be a liability on that end. D3 schools should be hot in pursuit of him. Very similar to Riley Thompson of Council Rock North who just finished a standout career at Ithaca College.
Matt Compass 6’2 170 SG/SF 2021-Wissahickon: The first thing that stands out with Compass is his athleticism. He is a quick-twitch athlete who plays above the rim at a consistent level. His athleticism allows him to finish strong at the rim as well as be a menace on defense rebounding and blocking shots. He has a lanky frame that makes you think he has a few more inches of growth as well. Certainly looks to be a D2 prospect right now who PSAC schools should have a close eye on in this next year. Could certainly play his way into low D1 territory with improvement on his three-point shot and getting stronger.
Dom Vasquez 5’11 180 PG 2021-Archbishop Ryan: Vasquez is a true floor general who makes those around him better. Archbishop Ryan made a surprising run to the Philadelphia Catholic League Final 4 this year at the Palestra with star player and D1 recruit Aaron Lemon-Warren going down with injury midway through the year and Vasquez was a big reason for that. He is a player who others love to play with because of his passing ability but he also has the ability to make open three-pointers and finish at the rim as well. Coach Joe Zeglinski preaches defense at Ryan and Vasquez fits perfectly with that style as he is a tenacious defender and has good instincts on when to go for steals. D3s need to be pursuing Vasquez very closely but has the potential to play his way into a scholarship D2 prospect if he can become an All-Catholic guard and help Ryan back to the Palestra.
Alex Walinski 6’4 185 SG 2021-New Hope-Solebury: Very good size for an off guard at 6’4. His best attribute is his shooting as he can use his size to elevate over defenders and get to his three-ball. Has deep range and can shoot from NBA range when he’s hot. He also has some athleticism to him and can play above the rim in certain situations which helps him as a finisher. Defensively he has a good IQ on where to be and as a result, gets various blocks and steals because of being in the right spot at the right time. Is a very good student so expect high academic D3s to be on his track but if he can take New Hope to the top of the BAL this season could gain some D2 attention.
Jake Hsu 6’2 180 PG 2022-Germantown Academy: High major prospect Jordan Longino gets most of the talk in the area in regards to Germantown Academy but they have another intriguing prospect as well in Hsu. Hsu brings quality size at the point guard spot and uses that size to see over defenses as a playmaker to find open teammates. His playmaking ability is what stands out most but he also is a willing defender who makes it evident he enjoys that side of the ball when watching him play. Was evident he grew as a leader as his sophomore season went on which will pay dividends for next season as the trio of Longino, Hsu, and Casey Traina has GA looking like the Inter-AC favorites. His level for college will ultimately be determined by if he can develop into a consistent shot-maker but looks on track to be at least a D2 player by the time he’s a senior.
Michael Farley 6’7 185 PF/SF 2022- CB South: Farley uses his size and skill set to be a problem for opposing defenses. He moves extremely well for someone his size and uses that coordination to get to the rim with ease. He also can shoot it well from the mid-range while showing a developing three-ball. He is also a good athlete who can play above the rim and use that athleticism to block or alter opponents’ shots. Has shown the ability to play on the wing in spurts. Right now as a sophomore looks to track as a quality D2 prospect with the potential to play his way into D1 territory if he can become more of a wing player with improving his three-point consistency and developing his ball-handling skills.
Cole Hargrove 6’6 180 SF/PF 2022- Methacton: Looks to be next in line with the recent stock of talent to come out of the suburban Philadelphia high school. Hargrove this season was more of a role player for the winners of the 6A District 1 title and one of the favorites to win the state title before the pandemic but showed flashes of why he can be one of the area’s best prospects. The first thing that stands out with him is his impressive physical tools with his 6’6 frame and long arms. His skill set has continued to develop as he can finish at the rim and defend with his athleticism as well as make an open three-pointer. The next step is now for him to show he can be the alpha on Methacton next season with the losses of all-state guards Jeff Woodward (Colgate) and Erik Timko (Jefferson) and show why he can be a D1 player in his own right.
Copyright © 2020 Jared Exler, All rights reserved.