DMVelite Fall League Focus, No. 5

By MARCUS HELTON

GLENN DALE, MD - A look back at some of the key players and storylines from Week 5 of the 2017 DMVelite Fall League at Holy Trinity Episcopal:

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RELATED: FULL FALL LEAGUE SCHEDULE + STANDINGS

BOWIE’S FREEMAN-DAVIS READY FOR NEXT STEP

Bowie (Md.) 2020 guard Kyree Freeman-Davis saw extensive varsity time as a freshman last year, and feels that experience has helped prepare him for what should be a breakout sophomore campaign.

“It was important, because I think me playing last year actually showed me [what I could do],” he said. “Q [Drayton] helped me out and he gave me little tricks to the game to get easy buckets, like cutting to the open spots and little stuff like that. That stuff helped.”

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Freeman-Davis had a game-high 18 points in a 47-32 win over Indian Creek last Saturday, displaying nice range and the ability to finish strong at the basket.

With Drayton – last year’s leading scorer - now a freshman at Towson – Freeman-Davis is one of the players who will be counted on to pick up the slack. He’ll be doing it as part of a new look scheme brought in by new head coach Tremaine Price, who came over from Parkdale this summer.

“I love the coach,” Freeman-Davis said. “You see the plays that we’re running; they look pretty good, but we’ve still got to get in the lab and keep working on our defense and doing what we’ve got to do.”

Freeman-Davis said the biggest difference between this year’s approach and last is the sheer amount of pressure the Bulldogs will bring on both ends.

“94 feet, we’re on it from their basket to our basket - good defense, good denial and just playing hard,” he said. “So, the pressure and the offense - we run a lot of offenses this year. Last year was kind of based on running it off Q, so this year it’s everybody. Everybody gets a chance, so that’s what I like.”

MCKINNEY EMBRACES LEADERSHIP ROLE

Indian Creek (Md.) 2018 point guard Malik McKinney has grown into a leadership role during a standout varsity career.

“My first two years, it was more like a growing experience," he said. "Coach Will Bartz isn’t here anymore, but he kind of urged me into that role of being a leader. So come the end of sophomore year and junior year, I was basically a leader on the team. I’ve got to pick people up when their heads are down, I’ve got to slow down the tempo of the game and control a lot of things. Being a leader kind of came to me.”

With his senior season rapidly approaching, McKinney has begun to focus on his college options, taking visits to Division II Concordia (NY), Millersville (Pa.) and St. Thomas Aquinas (NY), as well as D-III Salisbury (Md.).

“They are all beautiful campuses and have shown really high interest in me,” McKinney said. “They told me they were going to come out to a couple of games - Concordia’s already come out to a Fall League game, so they’re really showing a lot of interest.”

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound McKinney had 19 points in a 43-34 win against Crossland, showcasing his ability to attack the basket.

“I feel like I see the floor very well," he said. "I’m a team player, I can guard positions 1 through 3, and I love to attack the rim and I can get spacing on the floor.”

DUVAL ADDS TALENTED NJ TRANSFER

DuVal (Md.) received an unexpected boost this summer when Lonce Bethea arrived in July. The 6-foot-4, 175 pound wing moved south following the closure of New Jersey powerhouse St. Anthony.

“My Mother lives down here,” Bethea said. “I used to live with my Dad, and then my school closed down so I moved in with my Mother. I used to visit sometimes, but I never stayed for a long time.”

Bethea said he was considering some other schools in New Jersey before deciding on DuVal, and his move should prove mutually beneficial. He gives the Tigers a talented and athletic wing player in the always competitive Prince George's County 4A League, and he'll also have a chance to show his versatility after performing in a reserve/defensive stopper role at St. Anthony last year.

“I think I can get a shot off," he said. "I’m very athletic and I know the game very well. I’m developing to be a floor general."

Bethea said he's adjusted well to playing with his new teammates, but getting used to the area in general has proven a little more challenging.

“I’m used to finding gyms and parks to go to every day," he said, "and I don’t really have that luxury of doing that anymore. I’m still trying to get used to it, and I’m still trying to find trainers and gyms.”

LA PLATA'S ANDERSON SIZZLES IN TOUGH LOSS

La Plata (Md.) gave undefeated Virginia Academy all it could handle before falling 48-47, and 2018 guard Justen Anderson was a major reason why, posting a game-high 23 points.

“My strengths are knocking down outside shots, getting into the lane and finishing  over bigger defenders," he said. "I know I’m a smaller guy, so I've got to be crafty at the rim.”

The 6-foot-1, 165-pounder was fearless against Virginia Academy's loaded backcourt, and willbe counted on heavily to help lead a squad that lost several players from last year and have several incoming transfers to work into the lineup.

“We’ve been in the gym a lot playing together," he said. "I think this will be a good experience and get us ready for the season. I think [Fall League] will help us and if we jell together now it’ll be easy come the winter time.”

DMVELITE FALL SHOWCASE THIS WEEKEND!

The inaugural DMVelite Fall Showcase will take place this weekend at Bowie City Gym and Holy Trinity Episcopal. Here's the FULL SCHEDULE.