Posted On: 06/8/20 5:00 PM

Who are the best off-ball defenders currently attending school in Montgomery County? The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the very best, regardless of class. Below you will find, listed in alphabetical order by last name, 10 of the top help defenders from MoCo. This is part of a series that will aim to highlight players based on various superlatives.

Note: these superlative lists will not be mutually exclusive. If someone can handle the ball and do something else (i.e. shoot) at a high level, they will be included in both lists. 

Cole Hanin Cole Hanin 5'10" | PG Bullis | 2021 State MD | Bullis ’21

Team defense is another area in which Hanin excels. He's a vocal presence on the floor, always communicating and making sure his team is in sync. Hanin's willingness to take charges and fight for 50/50's in or out of his area enhances the overall defense of every team he plays on. 

Jao Ituka Jao Ituka 6'2" | SG Gaithersburg | 2021 MD | Gaithersburg ’21

Ituka defends with tenacity, both on and off the ball, and plays with a very high motor. He's a strong communicator who anticipates well and this makes him a constant threat to wreak havoc in the passing lanes.

Cole Hanin Cole Hanin 5'10" | PG Bullis | 2021 State MD | Bullis ’21 Team defense is another area in which Hanin excels. He's a vocal presence on the floor, always communicating and making sure his team is in sync. Hanin's willingness to take charges and fight for 50/50's in or out of his area enhances the overall defense of every team he plays on.  Jao Ituka Jao Ituka 6'2" | SG Gaithersburg | 2021 MD | Gaithersburg ’21 Ituka defends with tenacity, both on and off the ball, and plays with a very high motor. He's a strong communicator who anticipates well and this makes him a constant threat to wreak havoc in the passing lanes. TJ Gadsden TJ Gadsden 6'6" | PF St. Andrew's | 2021 MD | St. Andrew’s ’21 Gadsden is often the loudest player on the court. He understands the value of making sure everyone is on the same page. This in conjunction with his effort, athleticism and versatility make him a high-level help defender. Amir Gray Amir Gray 6'0" | CG Quince Orchard | 2021 MD | Quince Orchard ’21 A scrappy glue guy with intangibles that coaches look for, Gray is a talker who plays solid help defense. This comes to no surprise as many players who come out of the Quince Orchard program exhibit these traits.  Alan Kane Alan Kane 6'1" | SG Bullis | 2021 MD | Bullis ’21 One of the things Kane does best is competing defensively. He's a vocal presence on the court who knows what it takes to win games.  Kordell Lewis Kordell Lewis 5'10" | PG Richard Montgomery | 2021 State MD | Richard Montgomery ’21 A high-level defender both on and off the ball, Lewis can impact the game in many ways on that end. Whether he's taking a charge or diving on the floor for a loose ball, he doesn't take plays off and is always looking to give his team an edge. Bez Mbeng Bez Mbeng 6'3" | CG Good Counsel | 2021 State #190 Nation MD | Bullis ’21 Mbeng has great instincts on defense, and his effectiveness on that end is bolstered by his length, energy, and tenacity. He's dangerous in transition and is always looking for opportunities to get out and run by intercepting passes.  Erik Reynolds Erik Reynolds 6'2" | CG Bullis | 2021 State #197 Nation MD | Bullis ’21 One of the best on-ball defenders in the county, Reynolds is equally effective in help situations. His motor is always running and his competitive juices flow continuously. Kaden Richardson Kaden Richardson 6'1" | SG Bullis | 2022 State MD | Churchill ’22 Richardson is an athletic who communicates well defensively and demonstrates quick reactions. He covers ground quickly and knows how to bait opponents into fruitless passes before he takes advantage.   Mandela Tarke Mandela Tarke 5'11" | CG Gaithersburg | 2021 MD | Gaithersburg ’21 Tarke's coordination, activity, and length aid him off the ball defensively. He's adept at playing loose coverage and loves tricking foes into believing their target is open. 

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