• Jared Exler

Under the Radar High School Players who Need your Attention when Games Resume: Boston Area

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

James McGowan 5’11 180 Combo Guard 2021-Westwood: McGowan is one of the best three-point shooters in the Boston area. What makes him special as a three-point shooter is how he can make shots in all different ways, whether spotting up, coming off screens, or making moves off the dribble. This makes him very difficult to guard on the perimeter as he’s multi-dimensional in that regard. Mcgowan is much more than a shooter, though, as he uses his shooting ability to open up his driving game and finish at the rim on both sides efficiently. He is also good enough in the playmaking category that even though his forte is scoring, he can also be relied upon as a secondary option at point guard. Also a top level student, expect McGgowan to be a player schools in the NESCAC and NEWMAC take a hard look at.

Mason Lawson 6’1 160 Point Guard 2021-Boston Latin Academy: The first thing that stands out about Lawson’s game is his playmaking ability. He is a true point guard who sees plays before they happen which creates open looks for his teammates. It’s evident that other players enjoy playing with him. He shoots it well enough from three so that the defense has to respect him which opens up his playmaking ability even more. Has the ability to score when called upon with his strong mid-range pull-up and ability to finish at the rim with his right hand. Defensively, Lawson is very instinctual which allows him to be in the right place at the right time whether that’s on a rotation or going for a steal. To make the biggest impact he can at the next level, he will need to improve his strength. Is a player who D2s in leagues like the NE-10 and ECC should be tracking to consider as their floor general for the future.

Will Folan 6’4 190 Small Forward 2021-Catholic Memorial: Folan is a player who coaches love because of the toughness he brings each and every time he hits the floor. He uses that toughness to the fullest of his abilities, particularly on the defensive end where he is more than willing to put his body on the line for charges in addition to doing the dirty work that is needed to get rebounds. Offensively, he’s a smart player who lets the game come to him and doesn’t force anything. Folan can hit an open three as well as finish at the rim, and he will find open teammates, but there is not any one skill that stands out above the rest. Also excels in the classroom. A player who high academic D3s up and down the east coast need to be watching very closely this next year. If he can improve his handle enough to show he can be a secondary ball handler in an offense as well as a guy who can hit threes at a higher volume, D2s in a league like the NE-10 could begin to get involved with him.

Myles Hess 6’2 170 Shooting Guard 2021-Arlington: Hess is another guy on this list who can flat out shoot the ball. A southpaw, his three-pointer goes in at a very good percentage. Hess has textbook form on his shot which needs very minimal time to get off which is why he is an effective shooter. He’s just as effective making threes off of screens as he is spotting up. Scores the ball at all three levels as he has, in addition to his potent three point shot, a nice mid-range pull-up and is also a crafty finisher at the rim. Defensively, he’s very good with his decision making on when he should stand pat and try to force his matchup into a tougher shot or when he should be more aggressive and go for a block or steal. Would be a nice fit in D3 leagues like the LEC or CCC.

Jack Connell 6’0 160 Combo Guard 2021-Walpole: Connell is a player who has a knack for putting the ball in the hoop. He uses his dynamic ability to shoot the ball from three-point range to get to his spots from the mid-range as well as get to the rim. Because of how well he shoots the ball off the dribble from deep range at a moment's notice, opponents need to defend him further out on the floor. Has a very good in between game with his mid-range pull up and floater in addition to finishing strong at the rim by using his body to put himself in the best position to either score or get fouled. While he’s best playing off the ball because of his scoring ability, he’s shown the ability to play point guard and use his playmaking to get others involved in certain situations, which adds to his value. Defensively, while he’s not a standout physically, he uses his high basketball IQ to know where to be on his rotations which results in him in most cases being in the right spot for help defense or getting a steal. Expect D3s up and down New England to be checking out Connell this next year.

Aidan Callahan 6’1 175 Point Guard 2021-St. John’s Prep: Callahan is a point guard who does a great job of balancing getting his own points with facilitating for his teammates. Very efficient finisher at the rim because of his soft touch. Is a very reliable three-point shooter as well who can’t be left open or he will make the defense pay. If he beats his primary defender and then the help defender comes over he’s very adept at finding the open man with his playmaking to create an easy look. Strong ball handler who rarely turns it over. Defensively, he has nice length which allows him to get in the passing lanes and create opportunities for deflections or steals. Is not easy to shoot over because of his length. Coaches of D3 teams in leagues like the NEWMAC would be very comfortable handing the keys to their offense to a player like Callahan early on. Has the potential to play his way up into getting looks from D2s in a league like the NE-10 if he can improve his explosiveness.

Ryan Hutchison 6’1 180 Wing 2021-Hamilton Wenham: What’s very noticeable when watching Hutchison is his ability to shoot the three-pointer. He has a very smooth stroke with the proper mechanics that make his three-pointer go in at an impressive rate. Understands angles when finishing at the rim which consistently helps him make the correct decision on whether to use the backboard or not on layups. Also finishes well through contact on his layups which as a result has gotten him various and-1s. Defensively, he does a good job of keeping his head on a swivel which gives him a sense of where everyone is on the floor and calculate what his next move should be. For Hutchison to reach his full potential as a player he will need to improve as a ball handler and creator, but D3 schools in the LEC and CCC should be keeping tabs on him this next year.

Phillip Cunningham 6’3 180 Wing 2021-Haverhill: Cunningham is a player who plays with a relentless attacking the basket mentality on offense. He has a very quick first step which makes it difficult for defenders to keep him out of the lane. Uses his strong body and soft touch to finish at the rim efficiently. Defensively, especially in transition, he uses his athleticism and basketball IQ to block opponents’ shots. In the half court, it is difficult to get dribble penetration on Cunningham because of his strength and lateral quickness. Would be an early contributor in D3 leagues like CCC or LEC. Has the potential to play his way up to getting D2 looks if he can show he can become a more consistent three-point shooter while shooting them at a higher volume.

Copyright © 2020 Jared Exler, All rights reserved.

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