A look at the boys' leagues
Catholic League PLAYERS TO WATCH Ernest Aflakpui of Archbishop Carroll is a 6-foot-9 senior center and Ghana native who is headed to Temple, and is an intimidating low-post presence. Will Brazukas, a 5-10 senior, returns at point guard for Father Judge. Luke Connaghan of Archbishop Wood is a 6-5 senior forward who earned second-team all-Catholic honors last season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Ernest Aflakpui of Archbishop Carroll is a 6-foot-9 senior center and Ghana native who is headed to Temple, and is an intimidating low-post presence. Will Brazukas, a 5-10 senior, returns at point guard for Father Judge. Luke Connaghan of Archbishop Wood is a 6-5 senior forward who earned second-team all-Catholic honors last season.
Lamarr Kimble of Neumann-Goretti is a senior guard and St. Joseph's recruit who averaged 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. Stevie Jordan, a junior guard for Conwell-Egan, averaged 12.6 points and drilled 37 three-pointers last season.
Dave Krmpotich, a 6-7 senior forward and Colgate recruit, led La Salle to the PIAA Class AAAA state final. TreVaughn Wilkerson, a 6-6 senior forward for Roman Catholic and a Hartford recruit, was named the Catholic League's defensive player of the year.
TEAMS TO WATCH Archbishop Carroll features Aflakpui and 6-foot-7 wing Derrick Jones, who are supported by guards Samir Taylor, David Beatty, and Josh Sharkey. At Neumann-Goretti, a talent-filled backcourt includes Kimble, Quade Green, Vaughn Covington, and Zane Martin. La Salle has Krmpotich, guards Najee Walls and Shawn Witherspoon, and 6-7 forward Shane Stark. Roman Catholic is led by Wilkerson, point guard Tony Carr, 6-6 forward Manny Taylor, and sharpshooter Gemil Holbrook.
FAST FACT Neumann-Goretti, which is trying for a seventh straight league title, is 251-45 (.848 winning percentage) over the last 10 seasons.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Jule Brown, a 6-6 senior forward for Lower Merion and a Penn recruit, helped the Aces to a 23-8 record. Conestoga's Andrew Diehl is a strong rebounder and defender. The 6-5 senior wing guard averaged 10.7 points.
Brett Foster, a 5-10 junior guard for Ridley who earned second-team all-league honors, averaged 15 points and hit 40 treys. Springfield's Kevin McCormick, a 6-3 senior guard, averaged 11.1 points and drilled 49 threes. Senior wing guard Corey Sherman buried 64 treys last season for Lower Merion. He is headed to Carnegie Mellon.
TEAMS TO WATCH At Conestoga, Diehl, 6-4 forwards Martin Dorsey and Dan Vila, and guards Daryl Caldwell and James VanDeventer form a solid nucleus. Gregg Downer's Lower Merion squad is keyed by Brown, Sherman, guard Steve Pendleton, and 6-4 forward Asher Barry.
Ridley is paced by Foster, 6-1 forward Ameer Staggs, and 6-foot guard Julian Wing. At Springfield, the Cougars' bid for a league title is headed by McCormick and 6-3 forwards Jordan Collins (7.1 ppg.) and Quideer Wimes.
FAST FACT Lower Merion, which has captured seven state titles, is 183-54 (.772 winning percentage) over the last eight seasons.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds, Downingtown East's 6-7 Cary Angeline was the National Conference's most valuable player as a sophomore last season. Ryan Betley, a 6-5 junior guard for Downingtown West, is drawing interest from Ivy and Patriot League schools.
Tarojae Brake, a 6-3 senior guard, averaged 16 points in earning first-team all-American Conference honors for Octorara. Coatesville's Kevin Crutchfield, a 5-10 senior point guard, was a first-team all-National Conference pick.
A 6-3 senior forward, Ryan Hubley joins Oxford's team after making an area-high 93 receptions in football. Jackson Hyland, a 6-2, 175-pound senior guard, averaged 22 points for Kennett.
TEAMS TO WATCH Crutchfield, 6-7 forward Amir Ealey, guard John Lott, and wing John Rodriguez head the rotation for Coatesville. At Downingtown East, the Cougars are fueled by Angeline, point guard Gary Grove, wing Jaret Cooper, and 6-7 forward Shawn King. Downingtown West is led by Betley, 6-7 forward Josh Warren (12.5 ppg.), and 6-6 forward Dom Guerrera.
FAST FACT Betley averaged 15.7 points and drilled 54 three-pointers for Downingtown West, which went 11-11 and just missed qualifying for the District 1 Class AAAA playoffs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Chester's Jordan Camper is a strong rebounder and shot-blocker. The 6-8 sophomore transferred in from Concord (Del.). Malik Jackson of Penn Wood is a 6-2 senior guard who averaged 19.6 points and buried 77 three-pointers. Teammate Addison Scott, a 6-3 senior guard and a second-team all-league pick, averaged eight points and five assists.
Travis Smith, a 5-11 senior wing guard and solid long-range shooter for Academy Park, averaged 15.7 points. Keyonte Watkins, a senior point guard, helped Chester win the District 1 Class AAAA title. Jamai Womack, a 6-4 junior forward, is one of the spark plugs for young Chichester.
TEAMS TO WATCH At Academy Park, Smith is supported by point guard Jawan Collins, wing guard Richard Caldwell, and 6-1 forward Dayjuan Henson. Chester is fueled by Camper, Watkins, 6-7 forward Marquis Collins, and speedy guard Khaleeq Campbell. Jackson and Scott are joined at Penn Wood by fellow guards Calvin Melton, Javon Lindsey, and Vincent Smalls.
FAST FACT Chester has another impact transfer in Juanir Moore. The 6-6 junior forward came over from Concord Christian (Del.).
Friends Schools League
PLAYERS TO WATCH Andrew Aldridge, a 6-4 senior forward, brings experience to undersize Germantown Friends. Westtown's Mohammed Bamba, a 6-9, 185-pound sophomore forward, has drawn interest from a number of Division I programs.
Jair Bolden, a 6-3 junior point guard for Westtown, has drawn interest from Hofstra, James Madison, La Salle, and Towson, among others. Carnel Harley of Academy of the New Church is a 6-7 senior forward - and a wide receiver in football - who was a first-team all-league pick for the Lions.
De'Andre Hunter, a 6-6 junior wing and Division I prospect for Friends' Central, returns after missing last season with a broken left tibia. Teammate Jonathan Lawton, a 6-2 senior guard, averaged 23.7 points and drilled 68 treys.
TEAMS TO WATCH Academy of the New Church is fueled by Harley and guards Vince Jackson, Samir Phillips, and Trey Weston. At Friends' Central, the Phoenix are built around Hunter, Lawton, and guard Chuck Champion, a transfer from La Salle.
In addition to Bolden and Bamba, Westtown has 6-5 wing Najja Hunter, 6-9 forward Jonathan Kasibabu, and 6-4 guard Edvinas Rupkus.
FAST FACT Westtown's Kasibabu, a native of the Congo, played for Real Madrid's amateur squad in the Euroleague. He is ticketed for Colgate.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Levan "Shawn" Alston of Haverford School is a 6-4 senior combo guard and Temple recruit who averaged 16.7 points. Joey Fitzpatrick, a 6-4 senior guard, is one of four returning starters for Malvern Prep.
Mike Jolaoso, a junior guard, averaged 14.5 points last season for Episcopal Academy in earning first-team all-league honors. Tim Guers of Germantown Academy is a 6-3 senior guard and St. Anselm recruit who was the Inter-Ac's most valuable player. A 6-7 swingman for GA, Sam Lindgren (15.7 ppg.) will continue his career at Colgate.
Dylan Parsons, a 6-1 senior guard, is a poised leader for Springside Chestnut Hill. Lamar Stevens, a rising junior wing guard for Haverford School, is coveted by a number of Division I programs.
TEAMS TO WATCH Leading the way for Episcopal Academy are Jolaoso, guard Mike Hinckley, and 6-6 forward Nick Alikakos. At Germantown Academy, the Patriots are sparked by Guers, Lindgren, and guards Devon Goodman and Kyle McCloskey. Back for Haverford School are Alston, Stevens, and up-and-coming freshman guard Cameron Reddish.
FAST FACT For Malvern, Joey Fitzpatrick (55) and fellow guards Will Powers (70) and Jack Doherty (53) combined to hit 178 three-pointers last season.
Pioneer Athletic Conference
PLAYERS TO WATCH Justin Ardman, a 6-3 senior guard for Methacton, replaces the graduated Zach Jenkins as go-to scorer. Morgan Bailey, a 6-foot-4 senior center, averaged 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 points for Owen J. Roberts.
Senior guard Ryan Corcoran transferred to Spring-Ford from Boyertown, where he was a second-team all-league pick. Pottsgrove's Michael Fowler, a standout receiver in football, earned second-team all-league honors as a junior guard last season.
DeAndre Gadsden, a 6-0 senior guard, averaged 12 points for Phoenixville. Bryant Quill, senior guard for Pottstown, averaged 17 points and was a first-team all-league selection.
TEAMS TO WATCH Owen J. Roberts features Bailey, point guard Ben Huzzard, wing Ryan Michener, and guard Mitch Bradford. At Phoenixville, Gadsen is helped by guards Marquise McDuffee and Michael Anthony, and 6-3 forward Christian Kelly.
Quill and fellow guard Rich Duvivier make up a solid one-two punch for Pottstown, and Jayce Beasley, a 6-4 forward, is also in the mix. At Spring-Ford, 6-4 forward Jake Freedman and 6-foot guard Matt Gnias lead the inexperienced Rams.
FAST FACT Eric Burnett, 27, is Phoenixville's new coach. He played at Spring-Ford (Class of 2005) and Ursinus (2009).
PLAYERS TO WATCH Samir Doughty of Math, Civics, and Sciences, is a 6-4 senior combo guard and St. John's recruit who averaged 17.3 points. Sammy Foreman, a 6-1 senior guard, helped lead Martin Luther King to the Public League title.
DaShon Giddings, a 6-3 senior wing, is the go-to guy for coach Jason Harrigan and Del-Val Charter. Devin Liggeons of Imhotep Charter is a 6-3, 185-pound senior wing who will continue his career at Wagner.
Jabri McCall, a 6-foot junior for King, emerged as one of the area's best guards last season. At Constitution, Kimar Williams, a 6-foot junior guard, and George Mason recruit Ahmad Gilbert are a stellar combo.
TEAMS TO WATCH Gilbert, Williams, and 6-1 guard Akeem King are the cornerstones for defending Class AA state champ Constitution. In addition to Liggeons, Imhotep Charter brings back sophomore guard Daron Russell and junior guard Jaekwon Carlyle. At Martin Luther King, Foreman and McCall are joined by guard Tyheem Harmon and 6-6 forward Chase Rodgers.
FAST FACT High School of the Future senior guard Dominick Morales led the area in scoring last season, averaging 27.2 points for the 21-4 Firebirds.
Suburban One League
PLAYERS TO WATCH Cameron Jones, a senior guard for Pennsbury, averaged 17.4 points and hit an area-best 92 treys last season. James Martin of Upper Moreland is a 6-3 senior guard and captain and a second-team all-American Conference choice.
Senior guard Andre Mitchell, a third-year starter for Plymouth Whitemarsh, averaged 14.5 points. Teammate Jimmy Murray is a 6-0 senior guard who averaged 19.4 points and drilled 75 threes.
Pennridge's Zack Muredda, a senior guard, averaged 15.7 points and was a second-team all-Continental Conference choice. Matt Penecale of Abington is a senior combo guard and fourth-year starter who averaged 12.6 points for the Ghosts. Tommy Strasburger, a 6-1 junior guard, is back for rebuilding Central Bucks East.
TEAMS TO WATCH At Abington, Penecale and 6-2 wing Amir Hinton (13.2 ppg.) form a solid one-two punch. Joe O'Brien, a 6-6 sophomore forward, is also in the mix. Pennsbury is powered by Jones, 6-8 forward Derrick Woods, guard Mekhi Bryant, and 6-8 sophomore Isaiah Carpenter. For Plymouth Whitemarsh, Mitchell and Murray are aided by forward Cameron Johnson and Xzavier Malone, a 6-3 transfer from Martin Luther King.
FAST FACT Ed Enoch (Hatboro-Horsham), Matt Heiland (Upper Moreland), and Gary Nolan (Springfield) are new league coaches.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Tim Brennan, a 6-3 senior swingman, is one of two returning starters for Holy Ghost Prep. Sean Griffin, a 6-7 junior forward for Phil-Mont Christian, averaged 14.6 points and nine rebounds.
Jack Hegarty, a 6-3 senior forward, is one of two returning starters for Devon Prep. Colin Mulvaney returns for Jenkintown. The 6-1 junior guard was a first-team all-Bicentennial Athletic League pick.
Mustapha Traore, a 6-8 senior forward for Phelps School who previously played at Prep Charter, has committed to Monmouth. Phelps teammate Mike Watkins, a 6-9 senior and Penn State recruit, played last year at Math, Civics, and Sciences.
Faith Christian's Danny Ziccardi, a 6-1 senior point guard, averaged 16.4 points and drilled 52 three-pointers.
TEAMS TO WATCH Church Farm, now a Class AA program, is keyed by hard-driving senior guard Michael Mohammed. At Holy Ghost Prep, veteran coach Tony Chapman brings back Brennan and guards Liam Brennan (36 treys) and Michael Kirby. Phelps School has Traore, Watkins, 6-3 guard Quincy McKnight (Sacred Heart recruit), and guard DaRon Curry.
FAST FACT Anwar Epps, a 5-9 senior guard, is now at Phelps after averaging 22.8 points for Palumbo last season.