College basketball players to watch from Westmoreland
Here come the Butlers and the Burnses.
College basketball season is here again and Westmoreland County will be well represented at the Division I through NAIA levels.
While Latrobe has produced the lion’s share of prospects in recent years, the rest of the county also has spread plenty of next-level talent across the map.
Here are some players to watch:
Julian Batts, Sr., 6-0, G, Long Island-Brooklyn — Fourth-year starter out of Jeannette averaged 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game and led Blackbirds with 44 steals last season.
Jake Biss, Jr., 6-2, G, Shippensburg — Returning All-PSAC player from Latrobe averaged 18.9 points and shot 47.9% from 3-point range. Also handed out 4.0 assists for talented Raiders.
Austin Butler, Jr., 6-5, G, Holy Cross — Latrobe alum averaged 12.6 points and 4.1 rebounds and started all 33 games last season. Coming off labrum surgery.
Bryce Butler, Fr., 6-5, G, West Liberty — Another former Latrobe standout averaged 22 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists in his final high school season.
Reed Fenton, Fr., 6-4, g, Lehigh — Could see playing time right away after averaging 23 points and five assists in his final season at Latrobe.
Sean Graytok, Sr., 6-1, G, Coast Guard Academy — Has made 23 starts in the backcourt the past two seasons for the Bears. Latrobe product had 22 assists and 17 steals last season.
Geoff Helm, Fr., 6-5, G, Shippensburg — Greensburg Central Catholic alum averaged 18.3 points, 5.7 and shot 49% from the field last season.
Sean Kelly, So., 6-1, G, York — Should see prominent minutes after playing in 20 games after missing 10 with injury. He is a Penn-Trafford graduate.
Marrek Paola, Fr., 6-9, F, Seton Hill — All-time leading scorer at Ligonier Valley and Trib Westmoreland player of the year averaged 27 points and 17 rebounds last season.
Tommy Pisula, So., 6-3, F, Mt. Aloysius — Former Southmoreland standout started all 27 games last year, averaging 4.9 points and 6.5 rebounds, plus 36 assists and 27 steals.
Zach Queen, Jr., 6-1, G, Washington & Jefferson — Averaged 10.5 points and made 80 3-pointers last year for the Presidents. Hempfield grad played 26.9 minutes a game.
Justice Rice, Jr., 6-1, G, Grove City — Monessen grad averaged 10.7 points as a sophomore to go with 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Cam Seigfreid, Jr., 6-2, G, Pitt-Greensburg — Penn-Trafford grad and All-AMCC third-teamer averaged 15.2 points and started all 25 games for the Bobcats.
Brandon Stone, Fr., 6-11, F, LaSalle — Finished prep career at The Christ School (N.C.) after two years at Southmoreland, where he scored over 1,500 points. Among a talented freshmen group.
Michelle Burns, Jr., 5-4, G, Point Park — Former Hempfield standout was named to the River States Conference All-Preseason Team. Last year she averaged 14.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals.
Monica Burns, Sr., 5-6, G, Cal U — Took a year off after playing at Wheeling Jesuit, where she scored over 1,000 points. Hempfield grad is best known for her record free-throw streak of 118 makes in a row.
Jenna Cole, Sr., 6-0, F, La Roche — Norwin alum and reigning AMCC Player of the Year was voted as the preseason player of the year. Averaged 20.1 points and scored in double figures 25 times.
Abi Gabauer, Jr., 5-11, G-F, West Virginia Wesleyan — Key contributor last season averaged 8.8 points and 3.6 rebounds, and the Norwin grad started 18 games.
Laura Graytok, So., 5-8, G, American — Latrobe alum is looking to make greater impact after appearing in 16 games as a freshman, including a game in the WNIT.
Megan Kallock, Fr., 5-6, G, Saint Vincent — All-state guard at Greensburg Salem was Trib Westmoreland player of the year last season as she averaged 24.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.2 steals.
Madison Kollar, Jr., 5-11, F, Saint Vincent — A returning All-PAC First Team player, she averaged 16. 1 points and 5.0 rebounds for the Bearcats after missing freshman season with injury.
Cali Konek, Fr., 5-7, G, Charlotte — Former all-state player who attended four high schools, the last of which was Franklin Regional last year, averaged 16.8 points and scored over 1,000 career points.
Natalie Myers, Sr., 6-0, G, IUP — Burrell alum started 33 games last season for highly touted Crimson Hawks, averaging 7.2 points with 53 3-pointers and 45 assists.
Maggie Moore, Fr., 6-2, F, Navy — Former standout post player at Southmoreland put up 13.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.3 blocks last year while shooting 42% from the field.
Allison Podkul, So., 5-8, F, Grove City — Hempfield grad is looking for more minutes after averaging 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds a game as a freshman.
Magen Polczynski, So., 5-5, G, Westminster — Stepped right into the lineup as a freshman, starting 27 games and averaging 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds. Norwin grad also added 3.0 assists.
Brittany Stawovy, , Jr., 5-8, G, West Virginia Wesleyan — Greensburg Central Catholic alum came off the bench to spark the Bobcats last year with 7.2 points per game and team-high 44 3-pointers.
Jordan Yaniga, Fr., 5-8, G-F, Point Park — Should provide some valuable minutes off the bench on her first season. Double-digit scorer and strong rebounder at Franklin Regional.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .