By RON BAILEY, SPECIAL TO DMVELITE
BOWIE, Md. - More from this past weekend’s DMVElite Fall Showcase follows. Be sure to check out Part 1 for more coverage!
TWO GUARDS CRUCIAL FOR TRAINERS
Buttressed by a host of talented junior performers, McKinley Tech (DC) looks poised to make serious DCIAA and DCSSAA noise. The Trainers are capable of being a force this season.
Everyone talks about Atwood ‘Woody’ Newton as Tech’s go to guy. And in many ways he is, as the Class of 2019 player who may prep afterward, stands 6-foot-7, 184 pounds and does multiple things on the court. Newton is trending upward on a national scale, with the likes of Georgetown, Boston College, Oklahoma state, Maryland, UCF and Xavier are showing interest, while Kansas State has offered him.
Nevertheless, the Trainers will likely go as far as the play of two Class of 2019 guards take them; Daniel Allen (RIGHT) and Tervondre Williams. Neither points towards the kind of college player Newton does, but for McKinley Tech, their contributions will be indispensable.
Williams, a 5-foot-11, 155 pound, offensive-minded guard, loves to blow by defenders and finish, both with a high level of difficulty. This season, Williams - dubbed ‘Playground’ by this writer - must simplify his game, choosing the easy play instead of a more difficult one.
Allen, standing 5-foot-10 and weighing 150 pounds, is also offensive-minded, but seems a bit more adept at finding teammates than Williams. Committing defensively is what Tech needs from Allen, in addition to being a more stable, dependable guard, one that mixes shots like his late game tying one versus Scotland Campus Sports and setting up teammates.
During Saturday’s action, both showed development in those regards, though each can still double down on it. Tech’s staff expects that continued growth.
“It’s going to be important for Daniel and Tervondre and show some maturity” said assistant coach William Hall, when asked how important the pair is to the squad’s fortunes. “A number of key foes (this season) are guard heavy, so it’s very important for them to step up”. In his estimation “They can, if they focus”.
Doing so will jumpstart each’s recruitment: Williams is hoping to get exposure/attention, while Allen indicated Holy Cross, Hampton and Shepherd are showing some interest.
NCA NEWBIES COULD STAND AS IMPORTANT COMPONENTS
National Christian (Md.) has long been a program that constantly attracts talented players - head coach Trevor Brown seems to annually reload.
This season, two guys from points north look to figure heavily into the Eagles’ equation.
First, the guy from way upwards, specifically Hamilton, Canada’s Ihsham Khan (RIGHT). A 6-foot-5, 200 pound junior forward, Khan has only been in the DMV since this fall. What he’s shown is a pretty good shooting touch and the ability to blast around various defenders using burst. That same horizontal quickness allows him to beat opponents to spots for rebounds.
Oumar Koureissi is the other player. Hailing from Harlem, NY, he’s a 6-foot-8, 200 pound Class of 2020 player with tremendous upside. Koureissi, who last attended Manhattan’s Murry Bergtraum, is a smooth scorer who effortlessly glides around the court.
During Saturday’s action, both displayed needed areas of improvement – Khan must get by defenders while maintaining his dribble/control upon contact, while Koureissi should remain engaged at all times. Strength development would be a boon for both guys, thereby allowing them to better give and take contact.
Expect the tandem to make names for themselves in the DMV.
MT. ZION RELOADS AGAIN
Yearly, Mt. Zion Prep is forced to acquire a new roster. Annually it does, resulting in the Baltimore-based institution being respected nationally in prep school circles. This season, the Warriors are again loaded, with three guys standing out in DMVelite Fall Showcase play.
The event’s most eye-popping performer was Trace Young, a 6-foot-8 195-pound forward who left most in attendance asking, ‘Who is that?’ and exclaiming ‘Wow’. A Class of 2018 postgraduate player from Kentucky, Young played above the rim and well as displayed prodigious spot-up shooting ability.
Young, who is lefthanded, has offers from Cincinnati, Howard, Towson and Texas Tech. Getting stronger and being more than a straight line driver will help propel him in college.
Another postgraduate performer, Kenton Eskridge, is also a major Mt. Zion piece. Hailing from Atlanta, Eskridge is a pass-first point guard that makes everyone better. Not superfast, Eskridge uses change of pace moves and strength to get past defenders. He can hit the open jumper, but generally wants to find teammates.
Towson and La Salle have shown Eskridge recruiting love. For college, he must shed a few of his 205 pounds, which at 6-2 will help him cover more distance laterally, thereby being a better defender in space.
The Warriors will also be greatly helped by a younger kid; Class of 2020 center Jordan Wilmore.
A 7-foot-2, 248 pound pivot, this season is really a first for Wilmore – he was previously buried on the bench at DeMatha and/or curtailed by injury. He’s never really realized extensive minutes.
Wilmore showed he provides Mt. Zion with both size, presence and around the rim scoring on Saturday. The inexperienced center also at times rim ran well.
There’s no doubt Jordan must continue to get stronger and work on his post moves – he scores mainly on stick backs and point-blank looks. He has to increase his balance and stamina also. Yet he proved himself a player not to be ignored.
Recruiting-wise Cincinnati, UConn and Indiana are all starting to show interest in Wilmore. The likelihood many more follow suit is high.
PHOTOS BY RON BAILEY OF I95BALLERZ.COM
2017 DMVelite Fall Showcase Notebook, Part 2
By RON BAILEY, SPECIAL TO DMVELITE