Sunday, February 28, 2010

PIAA 4A Final Four Set

And then there were four. Plymouth-Whitemarsh, Penn Wood, Souderton, and West Chester Rustin all won last night to punch their tickets to the PIAA semi-finals, to be held Tuesday night at Villanova. Plymouth-Whitemarsh defeated Penncrest in a low-scoring affair, 39-22. Senior SJU-bound bigman CJ Aiken was held to 7 points while junior forward Jaylen Bond had ten. The Colonials will face W.C. Rustin on Tuesday night, since they took out Pennsbury last night.

On the other side of the bracket, Penn Wood took a two point halftime lead into the locker room and exploded in the second half to beat Neshaminy 74-52. Sophomore Ryan Arcidiacono led Neshaminy with 19 points, most of which came in the first half. Aaron Brown once again led Penn Wood, scoring 20 of his 26 points in the second half. Penn Wood will take on Souderton Tuesday night. Souderton defeated Chester last night behind 19 points from AJ Picard. Chester got 15 points from talented sophomore Erikk Wright in the losing effort.

I will be on hand on Tuesday for the semi-final games, so check back here Wednesday night for a recap.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Trevor Cooney to the Big East

According to numerous sources, including and, Delaware junior shooting guard Trevor Cooney made a verbal commitment to Syracuse on Friday afternoon. Cooney, a 6'3 guard, is known as one of the better shooters in the 2011 class. I got a chance to see Trevor last winter and was impressed by his all-around game. He is more than just a sniper. Saint Joseph's was involved with Cooney early in the recruiting process, but ultimately Trevor chose the Orangemen over Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Maryland. He is a quality pick-up for Jim Boeheim's squad, who have a highly-anticipated match-up tomorrow night with Villanova.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Penn Wood - Bensalem Game Notes

As I posted yesterday, I had the chance last night to see the Bensalem game at host Penn Wood. Penn Wood is known for their toughness, and for the vast majority of the game, Bensalem matched that intensity. Until collapsing in the final two minutes, Bensalem played a terrific 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters. The evening was also senior night for Penn Wood. Starters Tyree Johnson, Dequan Pelzer, and Will Brown were honored as well as Chris Warner. Johnson is going to Hartford next year, while Pelzer and Brown are still undecided. Both are college-level players with a number of schools involved. Two players for Penn Wood are of interest to Saint Joseph's as well as other programs. Those juniors are wing Aaron Brown and space-eating center Shawn Oakman.

Aaron Brown is a 6'4-6'5, physically imposing wing guard. This was my second time this year seeing Aaron, and he once again put on an impressive performance. Aaron scored 10 points in the game's opening minutes on an array of 3-pointers, drives, and alley-oops. He helped Penn Wood out to their early 16-3 lead. Aaron was in foul trouble during the majority of the game, which certainly played a role in Bensalem getting back in the game, and in fact almost winning it. He finished the game with roughly 20 points and his fair share of rebounds. Aaron's jumper looked significantly better than when I last saw him, and that was less than two months ago. If Aaron's jump-shot continues to improve as it has so far this year, he is a big-time wing guard at the college level. When you watch Aaron play, you see the tools in place to really be a lock-down defender at the college level as well. Aaron is a terrific rebounder from the wing spot due to his athleticism, toughness, and nose for the ball. Saint Joseph's, Temple, Richmond, Penn State, Providence, and Maryland are among the many schools involved with Brown, according to The Delaware County Times' Jack McCaffery. A link to his article on Brown is below.

Shawn Oakman is simply unlike anyone that I've ever seen in person at the high school level. When you look at Shawn you feel like you are watching an NBA or NFL player. His combination of size and strength really is unmatched in the area. Oakman is currently being recruited at a higher level as a football player. When schools like NC State, Penn State, Ohio State, and West Virginia are looking at you, you certainly look back. On the basketball court, Oakman is a space-eater who is a defensive presence and then some. Oakman had 9 points by my count, including two highlight-reel dunks that brought the crowd to their feet. Shawn also blocked a shot that you could hear, even above the raucous crowd. Below I have linked a great interview with Delco Times sports writer Chris Vito and Oakman. You have to scroll about halfway down the page to see the interview. He discusses his thoughts on playing football in college versus football. He lists the Hawks as one of the schools after him for hoops, as well as Miami, Providence, Houston, Marquette, and Pitt. The interest is certainly warranted as Oakman is the type of post presence that every college team could use.

The picture above is of Shawn Oakman from Chris Vito's interview linked below.

Jack McCaffery Article on Aaron Brown

Chris Vito Interview with Shawn Oakman

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Penn Wood Defeats Bensalem in a Barn-Burner

I just returned home from tonight's second-round playoff match-up between host Penn Wood and Bensalem. A more complete recap will be up tomorrow, featuring write-ups on Penn Wood juniors Aaron Brown and Shawn Oakman. Penn Wood led 16-3 before Bensalem could catch their breath, with Aaron Brown scoring 10 of Penn Wood's first 11 points. A game that appeared to be a blowout was all knotted up at the half. Bensalem saw a small deficit turn into a ballooning lead as the 4th quarter edged on. With a little over 2 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, Bensalem held a comfortable 10 point lead. Penn Wood head coach Clyde Jones kept his team calm and cool down the stretch, forcing a number of Bensalem turnovers and getting lucky with a number of missed Bensalem free throws. With just under 20 seconds remaining in the game, and down 2, junior Aaron Brown drove down the right baseline and saw him layup bounce off the rim and into the hands of teammate Jeff Kyem. Kyem got the bucket to go, was fouled, and drained the free throw. The free throw put Penn Wood up 56-55 and turned out to be the final score. Again, a more complete recap with some notes on Brown and Oakman will be on the site tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Penn Wood and Plymouth-Whitemarsh Roll; Friends Central Beats ANC

The Pennsylvania Boy's Basketball playoffs got underway today. In the AAAA bracket, the number one and two seeds cruised into the second round. Plymouth-Whitemarsh, the number one overall seed, blew out West Chester East 70-28. According to, PW got 20 points from senior bigman CJ AIken and a triple-double (16 points, 11 boards, 10 blocks) from junior forward Jaylen Bond. PW will play the winner of tomorrow's Spring Ford- Upper Dublin game on Tuesday night at PW in the second round.

Penn Wood, the overall number two seed, pummeled Oxford 80-36 at home earlier tonight. According to, Dequan Parker paced the Patriots with a career-high of 20 points. Junior Hawk target Aaron Brown had 17 points. Penn Wood center Shawn Oakman, another SJU target, had 8 points and 11 rebounds in the victory. Penn Wood plays Bensalem at home on Tuesday evening in the second round.

The sophomore class in Philadelphia has three elite level recruits in Friends Central's Amile Jefferson, Academy of the New Church's Savon Goodman, and Westtown's Daniel Ochefu. Two of those sophomores met this afternoon when Friends Central and Academy of the New Church took the court. Amile Jefferson's Friends Central team got the best of ANC despite trailing 14-3 at the end of the first quarter. Friends Central got 14 points from junior guard Devin Coleman and super-soph Amile Jefferson. Both players are receiving recruiting interest from the Hawks. Savon Goodman, as he has all season long, paced ANC. He was the game's high-point man with 16 points. Malcolm Gilbert had 4 points for ANC and elite-level 2011 center Roc Christmas was limited to 6 points.

Links to the scores are below:

Friends Central beats ANC

Plymouth-Whitemarsh Pounds West Chester East

Penn Wood Beats Oxford

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Talking Louisiana Hoops with Bobby Sibley

Earlier today I came across an article on the Louisiana Basketball Report blog about Tuesday's Glen Oaks- Istrouma game. The article, which is linked below, mentioned that Saint Joseph's assistant coach Mark Bass was on hand to watch Glen Oaks junior Trevante Drye and Istrouma senior guard RJ McGhee. After reading that, I was able to get in touch with the person behind the Louisiana Basketball Report, Coach Bobby Sibley. He was nice enough to talk with me about current SJU signee Langston Galloway, as well as Trevante Drye and Ronald "RJ" McGhee.

Bobby Sibley coached Langston Galloway during his sophomore season at Christian Life Academy, a season that ended with a remarkable 41-2 record and a state title. Coach Sibley now, in addition to the website, coaches the Louisiana D-1 Ambassadors AAU team.

Coach Sibley described Trevante Drye as a 6'6 205 pound junior forward. The Louisiana Basketball Report ranks him as the number 1 junior in the state of Louisiana. Tre certainly has a basketball bloodline, as his father, Louis Earl, played college ball at LSU and his uncle, Lester Earl, was a McDonald's All-American who played at Kansas and LSU. In describing his game, Sibley said that Drye is an athletic forward with a great feel for the game. He is a strong player who loves to dunk the ball on people and has an array of moves in the paint. As for where he needs to improve, SIbley said that he could use some work on his mid-range game and his ability to consistently knock down shots from 3. He also pointed out that Drye is going to have no problem academically qualifying. Saint Joseph's, Oklahoma State, Tulane, Baylor, and Louisiana Tech are all schools that Sibley mentioned being involved with the junior forward.

The next person of interest is a new name for most Saint Joseph's fans. Pictured above, Ronald "RJ" McGhee is a 6'4 170 pound senior shooting guard from Istrouma High School. Sibley called RJ the best unsigned shooter in the state of Louisiana. McGhee played AAU ball with Galloway on the Louisiana Select team and the two have known one another for quite a while. Sibley said that McGhee is a pure shooter with deep range. After watching Saint Joseph's shoot 1-19 from 3 point land tonight against Xavier, it's evident why the Hawks would have interest in a player like RJ. A "high D1 shooter" with the "best mid-range pull-up I have seen" is how Sibley described McGhee's offensive game. Although he is right-handed, Sibley said that RJ loves to drive the ball to his left and elevate for dunks with his left hand. In order to become a better and more complete player, Sibley said that RJ would need to put about 15-20 pounds on his frame and improve his handle a bit. If he is able to do those things, and continue to improve defensively, Sibley said that RJ has the chance to be an equal player to Galloway. Saint Joseph's, Alabama, Arkansas, Tulane, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, and Southern Miss are all involved with McGhee. UCLA was down recently to watch him as well. Right now, his favorite is North Texas.

Please check out the link below to Bobby Sibley's Louisiana Basketball Report. He was extremely gracious to share this information with me. There are a number of articles on the site that focus on McGhee, Drye, and especially Langston Galloway.

Louisiana Basketball Report

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Saint Peter's Prep Upends Oak Hill Academy

On Saturday night, the number 7 team in America, Oak Hill Academy, fell to Coach Mike Kelly's Saint Peter's Prep team during the Primetime Shootout. The event, which featured many of the top high school teams in America, took place at Kean University and in Trenton. While I was unable to attend the game, the link below provides a great recap.

Saint Peter's Prep was led by a possible current SJU recruiting target and a former one. Junior guard Myles Davis dropped 33 points on 8-10 shooting from three-point range. Former Hawk target, and current Saint John's signee, Ronald Roberts put up 23 points and double-digit rebounds. Looking at the Hawk frontcourt this year moving into next, and the numbers that Roberts is putting up this year, it's easy to see why the coaching staff had such an interest in him.

For a more detailed game account, check the link below.

SPP Stuns Oak Hill

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday Recap

Plymouth-Whitemarsh's regular season finale against Springfield High School, scheduled for last night, was postponed due to the still snowy conditions. The game, at Springfield, will instead take place tonight at 7. While that game was snowed out, a handful of other games of interest were still played.

Penn Wood improved to 17-3 on the season behind a double-double from junior center Shawn Oakman (14 points, 11 rebounds) and 14 points from Aaron Brown. In scoring 14 points, Brown also scored his 1,000th career point. In addition, the Patriots got another solid outing from senior floor general Tyree Johnson, powering them to a blowout win over visiting Glen Mills.

Senior Saint Joseph's commit Langston Galloway scored 29 points last night to lead Christian Life Academy past West Saint John 75-36. With the win, CLA improved to 29-5.

On the college hardwood, the Penn Quakers shocked a top 25 Cornell team at the Palestra last night. Penn entered last night's contest with a 3-15 record. They faced off against a Cornell team that earlier this season lost at number 1 Kansas only in the game's final seconds. None of that mattered as Penn routed Cornell by 15 points, 79-64.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bond and Aiken Continue to Power Plymouth-Whitemarsh

The Plymouth-Whitemarsh Colonials, now ranked 18th nationally by MaxPreps, improved to 20-1 last night with a 77-52 win over Cheltenham. The Colonials only have one game remaining, against a Springfield team that they already beat this year by 32 points. PW has continued to get stellar play from their frontcourt of CJ Aiken and Jaylen Bond. While these two players get most of the national attention, guards Whis Grant and Brandon Dixon are also integral to their success. In last night's win over Cheltenham, Aiken dropped 34 points, pulled down 17 rebounds, and had 4 blocks, according to Junior forward Jaylen Bond also contributed 24 points. On Monday night, in a win over Norristown, Aiken notched a triple-double with 14 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocked shots. Video from Monday's win, courtesy of the Times Herald Online.

PW-Norristown Game Highlights

And here is an article from the Times Herald on last night's win against Cheltenham:

PW-Cheltenham Game Summary

Photo Above of CJ Aiken also courtesy of the Times Herald

Monday, February 8, 2010

Friends Central-Saint Anthony Game Snowed Out

Going into the weekend, I was really anticipating attending a match-up between one of Philadelphia's best high school teams, Friends Central, and a team coached by arguably the best high school coach in America, Saint Anthony's. The game was scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Philadelphia University. As anyone in the Northeast knows, the region was blanketed with 20-plus inches of snow over the weekend, forcing the postponement of the game. According to, the game will be rescheduled on one of four dates: February 19th, 20th, 26th, or 27th. Both teams are loaded with Division 1 talent. Saint Anthony's features senior guard Eli Carter, who will be playing in the A10 for Saint Bonaventure next year. Derrick Williams, a monster of a power forward, will be suiting up for Richmond next year. Along with these two A10-bound players, the Friars also star Oregon State signee Devon Collier and University of Maryland signee Ashton Pankey. Friends Central is loaded in their own right, starring junior guard Devin Coleman and sophomore forward Amile Jefferson. Both are SJU targets. I will be on hand for this game whenever it is rescheduled, and a recap will be posted here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week in Review

My last update on here was Saturday, and quite a bit has happened between then and now. This is my effort of getting you (and me) back up to date.

On Sunday, Plymouth-Whitemarsh suffered their first loss of the season, falling to Danny Hurley's Saint Benedict's squad 52-50. Despite the loss, Plymouth-Whitemarsh made their debut in the national top 25, according to PW checks in at number 25 on that list, which is quite an accomplishment for Jim Donofrio's team, led by frontcourt stars CJ Aiken and Jaylen Bond. The Colonials bounced back on Tuesday night, defeating Upper Dublin by 13 points. Friday evening, the Colonials have a rematch with Norristown at home.

On Tuesday, Penn Wood got their 13th win in a row, demolishing Chichester 88-49. Penn Wood was, once again, paced by Saint Joseph's recruiting target Aaron Brown and his 22 points. Penn Wood then defeated rival Chester earlier this evening by a final score of 57-40. Aaron Brown had 27 points to once again lead the way for Penn Wood.

UMass picked up an important commitment earlier this week, when Maryland senior point guard Daryl Traynham decided to play his college ball for the Minutemen. Traynham is a quick, tiny (5'8) point guard who is well regarded by the recruiting sites, and ranked 110th in the senior class by Derek Kellog has done a nice job recruiting at UMass, but that has yet to really translate to wins. Traynham could be a part of that change.

Earlier in the week, I came across this video of current Louisville freshman Mike Marra dunking in a game last year for Northfield Mount Herman. It's a 30 second, slow-mo clip of Marra throwing down an impressive dunk. Well worth the 30 seconds it takes to watch.

Mike Marra Dunk