Posts Tagged ‘Markelle Fultz’

DeMatha Stags Basketball 2016-2017 Team Preview

December 10, 2016

The DeMatha Stags are looking like they are in fine shape for the 2016-2017 basketball season.  They were ranked #12 in the USA Today expert poll before they even played their first game on December 6 against Cardozo.  The win against the Clerks was a home opener blowout that showed the new talent that is on the horizon for the all-boys Catholic school in Maryland.

Darren Harvey is unquestionably the leader of this team.  Affectionately known as DJ, Harvey is headed to Notre Dame next year which has drawn comparisons to DeMatha great Adrian Dantley.  The two have similar styles, although Dantley put up more impressive numbers during his four years as a starter on the varsity.  If DJ Harvey can hover around 20 points per game this DeMatha team will find it easier to navigate a challenging schedule.  Seniors Josh Carlton and Ryan Allen are poised to provide stability at the center and point guard positions, respectively, and the emphasis on team basketball is obvious in their chemistry.

The trio must share the responsibility for putting up the points in order to remain competitive.  A stingy defense that relies on production from everybody is the foundation that DeMatha basketball has built upon successfully in the past.  You can follow most of the home games for the Stags on DMStagsTV (sign-up required) but also look for them on regular television.

 

Cardozo was the first to find out that DeMatha is a squad oriented for play inside the paint that is also long and deep in the front court.  Josh Carlton is going to have help at the center position during his first year as a starter because the Stags added Freshman Hunter Dickinson and Sophomore Jordan Wilmore.  The Cardozo Clerks found it difficult to score around the rim and only managed a measly six points in the second and third quarters on their way to 95 – 29 loss.  (Watch the full game in the DMStagsTV link above.) The stifling defense paved the way for other underclassmen like Sophomore Justin Moore to shine and the entire healthy roster got playing time in the game.

Head Coach Mike Jones is still on his quest to bring DeMatha their fortieth league title but he still recognizes that he has the balance to compete with anyone in the country.  With scheduled games against Joseph Wheeler (GA), Roselle Catholic (NJ), Bishop Gorman (NV), Greenforest (GA), and The Patrick School (NJ) the Stags’ ambitions are also focused on national achievement.  Alumni and fans would probably expect nothing less but there is something more to this team than meets the eye.  There is a tremendous upside to this basketball team because youth will inevitably be served with a 16-man roster almost evenly split between upperclassmen and underclassmen.

For the first time, in what seems like a long time, DeMatha basketball opponents aren’t focused on the current projected number one draft pick Markelle Fultz.  This team has a tremendous potential to grow together and the reshuffling of roles has created new opportunities for lesser known players.  Senior John McRae and Junior Devin Richmond are two such players that show some of the depth that DeMatha has amassed by maintaining a successful program at every level.  While the supernatural scoring ability of a star player will certainly be missed, there are others that are prepared to contribute.

DeMatha still has players on the junior varsity that would start on varsity at schools with less talent.  Eleanor Roosevelt high school fell to the Stags on December 8 to give DeMatha (2-0) their second win of the basketball season.  (Highlights from that win are from Capitol Hoops below.)  Even in a more evenly matched game DeMatha players that are invested in heeding the genius of Coach Jones just seem to fare better. [Bonus: watch Victor Oladipo double-pump smash on Dwight Howard courtesy of my new friend, Ximo Pierto.]  The best coach in the league country is known for getting the best out of his players as well as helping them reach their full potential.

Student-athletes that paid their dues will have the chance to earn their rewards with the Stags this year.  Senior guard Jhabari Humbert is looking for chance to end his DeMatha career on a high note and he may just get his wish.  The USA Today computer rankings have the Stags at #9 in the country and a national title isn’t unreasonable if the team goals that were set at the start of the season are met.  Juniors Justin Gielen and Xavier Mabry are both juniors fighting for respect by winning their first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title.

DeMatha hasn’t won the championship in six years but the future looks bright for the Stags.  Sophomores Jamel Melvin, Bobby Carson and Carsten Kolgenik are expected to develop well this season.  Mark Fidelis and Paul Smith will also see time over the next few months of what is sure to be a season packed with action.  Coach Jones might have taken a cue from the nationally ranked football team this year and built a formidable team.  The DeMatha Stags basketball team will be tested early in the National Hoops Festival later today (December 10) as they open their national schedule at home with other elite Nike teams.

[Featured image from Associated Press / Gregory Payan]

5-star guard Markelle Fultz commits to Washington

August 25, 2015

5-star guard Markelle Fultz commits to Washington.

You already knew this but that Markelle Fultz kid is a pretty good basketball player.  #DeMatha #Stags #Basketball #Recruiting #News

Ryan’s Top Five Basketball Players in the WCAC going into the 2015-16 season

July 30, 2015

Keep current with the best basketball players in the WCAC heading into next year with exciting video thanks to Ryan McFadden and Inside The Locker Room.

Inside The Locker Room

Even though 2015- 2016 WCAC basketball season is a few months away, it’s never too early to break down my top five players in the conference. The WCAC is filled with talented and Division I caliber players so,  it took me a lot of thinking to decide who made the cut and where should they be placed.  The players on this list is a group of some of the best players in the country. Two players already committed, and the other three are undecided. Schools that are looking at these players are Kentucky, Duke, Maryland, NC State, Arizona, and etc. So without further ado, here is my list of the top five players in the WCAC.

Kelle Photo Courtesy: http://www.scout.com

1. Markelle Fultz, DeMatha

Markelle is continuing to take the nation by storm. He is rank number 21 in the ESPN Top-100.  Fultz is the number one shooting guard in the state…

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Watch the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship Live for Free on the Internet Tonight!

February 26, 2015
Markelle Fultz at the line in the Hoop Hall Classic.

Regardless of the POY award he already received Markelle Fultz knows that the most important shots are ahead of him.

Unless you have been living under a rock, or in Andalusia, you probably already knew that DeMatha will take on Gonzaga this evening (2/26) in the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship.  Coverage begins streaming live with the girls game at 6PM eastern standard time (EST) with the boys to follow at 8PM, courtesy of DMVSTREAM.  (See below.)  Here is exactly what you need to know in a speedy bullet format:

  • Don’t be late because the live stream is free, but downloads and videos after-the-fact will cost you.
  • This is the third match-up of DeMatha versus Gonzaga this year with DeMatha winning the first two contests during the regular season.
  • DeMatha and Gonzaga also played twice last year with the Stags winning both of those contests as well.
  • Gonzaga has three First Team All WCAC selections: Bryant Crawford, Chris Lykes, and Sam Miller.
  • DeMatha has two players named to the First Team All WCAC with Darren Harvey and the 2015 Player of the Year, Markelle Fultz.
  • Throw the records out of the window because this game is guaranteed to be a dogfight with players from both squads doing their all to win a championship.

DeMatha Junior Markelle Fultz is the 2015 WCAC Player of the Year

February 25, 2015
Photo care of Hoops Hall

Markelle Fultz is the 2015 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Throw all the stats out of the window.  Points per game don’t really mean that much at DeMatha to begin with but Markelle Fultz has already chipped in with all of the intangibles to take his game to the next level.  Whether it is making the extra pass, hitting the clutch free-throws, or getting the timely steal the junior guard with only thirty games under his belt has served notice that he has all of the tools necessary to compete in college.

This kid works extremely hard as evidenced by the fact that around this time last year he was ending his sophomore season on the junior varsity and today he holds the prestigious WCAC‘s highest individual basketball accolade.  After posterizing an Eleanor Roosevelt player in what has been the best highlight of the season, so far, he suddenly leaped up every college scout’s recruiting board.  Markelle Fultz received multiple notable Division 1 offers after playing well enough on national television twice this year to add to his reel.

Do you still need recent or relevant redeeming qualities for Derrick Rose Markelle Fultz after watching that video from Finest Magazine?  I don’t get into the whole JV records thing, but he hasn’t lost to Gonzaga on the Varsity level in his high school career.  Neither has Darren Harvey, for that matter: Gonzaga went 0-2 against DeMatha when DJ made the varsity squad as a Freshman.  DeMatha Stags notice when you build your reputation by punishing the Purple Eagles.  Clearly Markelle Fultz plays well with others because sharing the ball with Darren Harvey -another 2015 All WCAC First Team selection, has transformed the pair into a dynamic duo.

If DeMatha can keep the winning streak going this Thursday in the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship there will be even more talk about the tradition of producing outstanding student-athletes.  Congratulations to all of the DeMatha Basketball WCAC honorees this year.  In addition to the two first-team players mentioned junior guard Nate Darling and senior Terrell Allen were named to the 2015 All WCAC Second Team.  Senior Thomas Bruce was named to the Third Team and senior Jaelin Grant and junior Kellon Taylor received honorable mentions.

DeMatha VS Gonzaga for 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship, Again

February 24, 2015

There are a lot of great sports rivalries that get written about but DeMatha versus Gonzaga, in just about every sport, stands up to the test as one of the most exciting in high school sports.  Add basketball to the mix, a sport in which both schools take a tremendous amount of pride in, and you have a recipe for the greatest high school rivalry ever.  The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference is the toughest in America and the last two all-boys high schools in it have desperately clung to superiority complexes that often play-out on the national stage.

Gonzaga versus DeMatha is gigantic already, but the legend is still growing.  Soon they will meet for the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship, again -and everybody that follows high school basketball knows the implications.  Gonzaga versus DeMatha is Washington D.C. against Maryland, “God is purple” disagreeing with “I believe”, Purple Eagles opposing Stags and so much more.  There may have been a different mindset that has shaped the destiny of each school, but they are seldom far apart.  DeMatha has been the high school basketball trendsetter ever since the Power Memorial game fifty years ago and the Stags also have six national titles to back that up.  Gonzaga has always been an excellent foil, at their worst, and occasionally plays the spoiler to DeMatha when their basketball team is at their best.

Today DeMatha is (27-3) and trying to end the longest championship drought they have ever had in the WCAC: three years.  Gonzaga (19-10) basketball has been on the precipice of being nationally formidable all year and they can finally do that if they can find a way to beat the most well-known team in the league for the championship and salvage another lackluster season.  Individually there is no shortage of star power on either squad, today or historically.  DeMatha junior Markelle Fultz is the 2015 WCAC Player of the Year, and sophomore Darren Harvey garnered First Team All WCAC honors.  Gonzaga has two players deserving of First Team All WCAC honors as well: sophomore Chris Lykes and senior Sam Miller.

The DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys is in search of their fortieth (40) league championship after their win over Saint John’s College in the WCAC semifinals.  This one is especially poignant for the Stags as they look to officially punctuate another incredible season and send the seniors out on a high note.  Seniors Thomas Bruce, Terrell Allen, Ahmad Clark would all love nothing more but I am equally certain that if Jaelin Grant wants any bragging rights in his family whatsoever -he needs a DeMatha win more than anyone.  Each of Jaelin’s three older brothers managed to bring home a conference title for the Stags, and this is his last year to add to the already spectacular legacy.  On a personal level, I want to see Jaelin holding up the hardware.  I am hoping that this isn’t one of those years where Gonzaga can pull off the ultimate upset after losing two games to DeMatha during the regular season.  So now you know the deal…

Go Stags!  Get 40!

DeMatha WCAC Mid-Season Basketball Fitness Report & National Title Push

February 10, 2015
DeMatha has an active team defense where everybody chips in.

Darren Harvey isn’t afraid to get down on the floor against SJC.  Links to the Washington Post article. Washington Post photo credit.

The DeMatha Stags baskebtall team has finally played every other team in the prestigious Washington Catholic Athletic Conference at least once, and they remain undefeated at 15-0.  Now DeMatha comes to the hard part.  The Stags will have to face a strong Bishop O’Connell team seeking revenge when they come into Hyattsville (today) and then win on the road at Bishop McNamara (2/13) -and then finally, again, at Paul VI (2/16).

There are no easy wins in the WCAC, and those three teams don’t have many years to research before they find evidence of their successes against DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys.  The Stags are always the most important game of the year for most opponents but with a #4 ranking in the USA Today poll the target on their backs has gotten bigger for WCAC teams looking to make late-season noise.  Right now all the clamor is for a DeMatha bid at an undefeated regular season in the toughest conference in America.

With an overall record of 24-1 the Stags have played great defense at times and despite some sporadic sloppy play on offense they have always managed to do enough since suffering their only loss to Sierra Canyon.  Their uptempo style can lead to unforced turnovers but so far, all of the risks have been outweighed by the rewards in WCAC games.  Terrell Allen has been masterful at times by improving his finishing touches while, somehow, still managing to find easy buckets for big man Thomas Bruce routinely.

When DeMatha is clicking in the half-court offense baskets in the paint are plentiful because Markelle Fultz, Darren Harvey, and Nate Darling all have a knack for keeping defenders off-kilter around the perimeter.  All of the WCAC defenses have succumbed to running DeMatha’s core players into their strengths which is why the Stags have dominated, so far.  Fultz and Harvey have been particularly generous in sharing the basketball and their prolific passing has allowed new Stags like Darling to get up to pace.

Even speedboats need an anchor and senior Jaelin Grant has been an unsung hero by neutralizing the toughest assignments in a conference loaded with national talent.  Grant was instrumental in both regular season wins against Gonzaga and is also a steady presence on the boards.  If the last of the Grant brothers can advance the inside-out mentality along with the rest of the Stags, their aggressive and attacking style on both sides of the ball will be hard to beat.

The DeMatha Stags’ basketball team also has to be mentally tough in order to deal with the pressure of playing for a conference championship that includes a single-elimination tournament after the regular season.  By clinching the regular season the Stags have also earned a berth in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament which could likely have them facing-off against top seeded WCAC teams for a fourth time along with other regional powers.  The winner take all rule is in full effect for this relatively young DeMatha basketball team and they will surely be in the National Title conversation should they remain undefeated for the remainder of the WCAC and extended season.

DeMatha Stags 2014-2015 Basketball Preview

December 20, 2014

The DeMatha Stags (6-0) won big again against their second WCAC opponent Saint Mary’s Ryken (SMR) on Saturday.

If they can keep up their winning ways in Orlando at the Victor Oladipo Christmas Hoops Festival starting December 26th then we might really be in for something special.  Of course the event bares the name of DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys alumni Victor Oladipo, and you can follow the action here.  (He also starred in this video care of Stronger Team if any future Stags out there need any more inspiration.)

I don’t want to give anything away, but the last team to go undefeated at DeMatha was a really long time ago.  Much more on that, at a later date.  I’m not ready to say that this DeMatha basketball team can go undefeated, though.  The team includes ten players that could potentially play together next year and so I wasn’t surprised when they often looked sloppy against Ryken.  Another thing is that this DeMatha team is going to be facing some rather stiff competition down the road because Head Coach Mike Jones doesn’t duck anybody.

This isn’t exactly a recipe to finish number one in prestigious USA Today national poll but it could be enough to win the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

By now, everybody knows that Darren Harvey is an extraordinary sophomore and he is considered the number one prospect in his class.  Sophomore year at DeMatha is the toughest, and I would expect that even the best small forward in the United States’ class of 2017 is going to have some growing pains.  Developing a consistent presence is what will ultimately make him a standout, even by DeMatha standards.  While the kid with the feathery touch has already shown the tendency to hide in the stats sheets, he has already turned in some top performances that nearly had the Stags winning the championship last year.  Anybody with the alias of DJ Harvey is phenomenal, but he is far from alone on this team.

Point guard Terrell Allen, Forward/Centers Jaelin Grant and Thomas Bruce are three of the four seniors on this squad that will have to see significant minutes if a WCAC championship campaign is going to be successful.   DeMatha isn’t particularly tall this year but Jaelin Grant has shown a similar ability (as his three brothers before him) to be able to fill in the gaps.  As long as Terrell Allen can continue to play with poise and control games by hitting Thomas Bruce in stride, DeMatha will still be formidable in the paint.

Markelle Fultz and Nate Darling are two of the four juniors that I already mentioned and they sort of embody what this team seems to do best: slash and shoot.  Quickness can win a lot of games, especially if you can transform your team with defensive wizardry -and Mike Jones has done it before.  (We have already seen the athleticism of Markelle, and discussed the scoring abilities of Nate Darling -both videos care of Capitol Hoops)  Any talk of a championship with this team starts on the defensive end of the floor for this crop of Stags, in my opinion.  If these kids blossom and peak at the right time, there might be no stopping them in February.

Anyway here is the complete roster and schedule.

Enjoy all these links, people!

Merry Christmas!

Talking About The Word

December 9, 2014

Shout outs to Capitol Hoops.

Anyway, the word on the street is that the DeMatha Stags have a heck of a basketball team in 2014-2015.   Markelle Fultz is the guy dunking in the video against Eleanor Roosevelt but I’m throwing out the names Jaelin Grant, DJ Harvey, Thomas Bruce and Nate Darling for your consideration also.

The National High School Hoops festival is this weekend at DeMatha Catholic High School and the Stags are already 3-0.  There are national implications in this prestigious tournament, as usual, and not only because DeMatha is ranked #19 in USA Today Preseason National Poll.

You might want to check it out because Head Coach Mike Jones doesn’t over-hype his teams.