Penn received a commitment this weekend via Twitter from Ray Jerome. The six-foot-three guard from Albany, New York, is currently enrolled at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut, where Quaker freshman, Tyler Hamilton, also attended as a post graduate.
Prior to attending Cheshire -- where he reclassified -- Jerome went to Albany Academy. In his early high school career, the young man was described primarily as a leaper, but has made major strides to better improve his game. “My high school career has been a lot of learning and some success, with a class A federation championship in New York my sophomore year,” Jerome told The Empire. “I then transferred to Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. Once I transferred, there was a huge jump in my recruiting from conferences like the A-10, CAA, Patriot League, WCC, and a lot more.”
In 2014, Jerome played AAU basketball for Albany City Rocks, where he competed with Notre Dame commit Elijah Burns and Syracuse commit Tyler Lydon in the Nike EYBL league. This summer, he played with the N.Y. Jayhawks.
Moreover, he says that two aspects of his game will specifically be a good addition for the Quakers.
“I bring a lot of shooting and athleticism to the team.” Jerome added that he believes these components of his game, especially the ability to knock down the three, will fit well with coach Steve Donahue’s philosophy.
Thanks to these strengths, Jerome was ranked as the 14th best high school player in Connecticut and the 26th best player in the New England area by the www.newenglandrecruitingreport.com. Furthermore, during the 2014 season, he was named to the St. Andrew’s Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team.
Now, Jerome is starting to prepare himself for the conclusion of his high school basketball career and the jump to the Ivy League. “My goals going into my senior year are to finish strong in my classes and, in terms of basketball, be the NESPAC class AA champions.”
Other than Penn, the guard has earned offers from Bucknell, Yale, Fordham, and multiple other schools. He will join A.J. Brodeur of Northfield-Mt. Hermon School, local product Devon Goodman, and Ryan Betley, the six-foot-five guard from Downingtown West High School, in Penn’s 2016 recruiting class.
Here is a look at some of his highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntFVm9xBRNs
-Benjamin Simon & Tom McAlister
Photo courtesy of www.d1circuit.com
Antonio Woods is a talented basketball player. He can do just about everything you want him to do on the offensive end — score, pass, dribble — and although his defensive efficiency could use a little work, Woods is somebody that any coach or player would want to have on their squad.
Last season was Woods’ first for the Penn Quakers, but nonetheless, he was able to produce at a sufficient level. As a freshman, Woods averaged 8.4 points per game, 3.8 assists per game and 2.3 rebounds per game. The numbers are certainly not eye-popping, but as a first year player, those stats display tremendous potential in a player. Woods has that potential, and this is the year that he can take that potential and turn it into reality for the Quakers.
Though Woods was able to contribute 8.4 points per game throughout last season — including 12 double digit games and an impressive 18 point performance against then top ranked Villanova — it failed to be enough. Penn ranked 7th in the Ivy League and 325th in the nation in team points per game at just 60.3.
This year, the Quakers hope that Woods can bump up his points average into the double figure range. Although the team will still be manned by offensive threat Tony Hicks, it would be a huge improvement if they could add a second high scorer to their arsenal. Last season, Hicks was the only player to average double digits in scoring, explaining the team’s struggle to rack up points. With this being Woods’ second year as a collegiate player, he now knows what to expect in terms of pace of play, physicality, and environment, so it would make sense that he would be more comfortable on the floor. With a new head coach in Steve Donahue, this may give Woods more freedom to play his style of ball by driving into lanes and scoring efficiently from midrange. This should lead to more points from Woods in the coming season and create a possible back court with Hicks that would be difficult for other teams to defend.
Woods is also a talented passer. As mentioned earlier, senior guard Tony Hicks will dominate the ball this year, but once he graduates, Woods can be the go to man for Penn in terms of not only scoring, but being able to assist to his open teammates. Woods has great vision and IQ and if you tag that along with his ability to handle the ball in tight spaces, he could be the assist man that the Quakers are looking for this season. If Woods is able to handle the ball more this season, he would not only be able to drive to the hole and score, but he also has the ability to pass the ball to open teammates on the perimeter if defenses were to collapse on him. That being said, his assists numbers should and have to rise up to around 5 per game.
For Antonio Woods, this is the year to showcase his offensive skill. With a team struggling to score points, Woods could be the man to fix that dilemma. Now that he has more experience and freedom under his belt as a second year player this season, it is time for Woods to step up and prove that he can add to the offensive depth that the Penn Quakers are desperately searching for.
Devon Goodman, Germantown Academy’s star guard, verbally committed to Penn this Friday. He joins their class of 2016 that includes Ryan Bentley from Downingtown West and Northfield Mt. Hermon’s A.J. Brodeur.
The five-foot-eleven point guard averaged 13 points per game as junior, a year in which GA won their third straight Inter-Ac championship.
Goodman, who plays AAU for Team Philly, is quick and speedy. These attributes, among others, earned him offers from schools like Yale and Lafayette on top of Penn.
Photo courtesy of gametimepa.com