Posts Tagged ‘Nate Darling’

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 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.