La Salle targets shine at Coaches vs. Cancer

Last week local basketball fans had a chance to watch the best local players in the area in the Coaches versus Cancer basketball tournament featuring the best players from the Philadelphia Public and Catholic leagues, Inter-AC, and suburban leagues. Many players are receiving Division I interest, including from La Salle. Who shined, who struggled, and who is La Salle looking at?

The first game featured the top players from the Philadelphia public league against the top players from the Catholic league. This was an up and down game with points being scored in bunches. The top junior players and their respective games and potential interest in La Salle are as follows:

Andrew "Scooty" Randall: 6"5 SF/PF Communications Tech
Randall is one of La Salle's main junior targets in the area as well as St. Joe's and Temple. He plays inside or out. Has an advanced post up game for his age, which is a big bonus to whoever gets him. His size will most likely prevent him from playing at the highest level but he could be a very good A-10 player. Someone mentioned he was a "poor man's Lionel Simmons which isn't a bad analogy. Basketball smarts and his overall knowledge of the game is impressive for a player his age.

Miguel Bocachica 6"5 SF George Washington HS
Long and lean is the best way to describe Bocachica. Known as a 3-point shooter he was able to score close to the basket when he struggled from the outside. He has great size for his position but needs to be more reliable as an outside shooter. He is erratic despite his talent. La Salle is monitoring him but he is not considered a high priority.

Dwayne Davis 6"4 2G Strawberry Mansion HS
Davis was a completely different player than the one I saw at the Donofrio Classic the previous week. He seemed disinterested and was unwilling to work himself in the flow. He struggled with his shooting and did not command the ball on offense. He still showed flashes of a great post-up game. With his size and skills Davis has the ability to post up smaller players. Still needs to extend his jump shot and become more reliable from the outside at the next level. He is a major target for La Salle and has all the local schools involved. Despite his poor performance one can see his skill level will allow him to play a high level of basketball in college.

Devon White 6"8 PF Strawberry Mansion HS
White appears to be the best big man in the area. He is the younger brother of former La Salle player DeSean White. He has improved tremendously over the past year. He has gotten stronger and is more confident with the basketball. Devon also plays hard. He is completely different than his older brother on the basketball court and plays close to the basket and defends the post very well. Given the circumstances with DeSean, I would suspect La Salle will have trouble getting very involved with his recruitment. I would think if they could they would love to recruit him due to his size and potential.

Alibaba Odd 6"4 SF Simon Gratz HS
One of the greatest names ever, Odd was a big surprise to me. He was active the entire game. Doesn't do anything great but does a lot of things real well. Needs to improve his shot.

Clay Penecale 6"1 PG La Salle HS
Penecale buried jump shot after jump shot. His stroke is impressive and he is willing to stick his nose inside as well. He is a tough all-around kid. His handle was not really tested in this game. He will be a point guard at the next level. Some Patriot League schools have interest in him.

Veltron Jones 5"11 PG North Catholic HS
Over the past two weeks one thing has become apparent watching Jones. His shot is much better than he is given credit for. He is quick and much stronger than he looks. Thrives on competition. My one worry with Jones is that he does not get his teammates involved as much as a would like. La Salle is in the mix with him as is Drexel. Talent is there but can he be the consumate point guard teams ache for?

Larry Loughery 6"7 PF St. Joe's Prep
One thing that stood out when watching Loughery is that he plays hard. Not overly athletic or quick he outworks his man to get boards and put-backs. Real good hands as well. He may be switching high schools next year but is getting attention from schools like Siena in the MAAC.

Game two featured the best from the suburbs against the private schools. While this game did not have as many high level prospects it still had it's share of Division I players.

Nasir Robinson 6"6 PF Chester HS -Committed to Pitt
Nasir has a strong post up game for his size. A smart and heady player as well. Finds ways to get the best shot he can on every possession. He has a soft shot as well that even when it hits the rim finds a way to roll in. Headed to the Big East.

Karon Burton 5"8 PG Chester HS
Burton did not have an overall strong game. Tried to do too much with the basketball, which led to turnovers for his team. He has very good ball handling skills but just plays out of control sometimes. When he learns to pick his spots he would be a good get for an A-10/CAA team. La Salle has preliminary interest.

Steve Egee 6"2 PG Ridley HS
Egee is a player I have heard about but finally got a chance to see. He plays under control and does whatever he needs to do to help his team win. He can shoot, distribute, as well as defend. He is racing up the recruiting lists of a lot of mid-major schools. His ceiling may be the A-10/CAA and I wouldn't count him out as far as getting an offer at that level.

Sammy Givens 6"5 SF Academy of the New Church
Givens was another in the list of players that played a controlled game and let the game come to him. Doesn't force things. Can score inside and out. I was impressed with his defense. La Salle and other Philly schools have shown initial interest.

Cove Nuggets:
Russell Johnson, a 6"6 wing from Chester HS did not play due to injury. He is another player atop coach John Giannini's wish list for next year. Very active player with excellent athleticism.