WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Here are some observations from the WCAC Semifinals at American University Feb. 21.
Anthony Cowan, Jr., PG, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.): Here's one thing I took away from St. John's hard-fought win over Bishop McNamara: Cowan is one tough hombre. Now, at 5-feet-11, and probably weighing no more than 170 pounds, you probably need to be. I talked to a Cowan family friend at the game who remarked that, "Ant's always been a little on the ‘chippy’ side." The kid is a stone-cold competitor, and frankly, Maryland basketball could use a little of that type of edginess in their program.
Cowan was the recipient of some in-your-face jawing from McNamara's (Forestville, Md.) Jamir Moultrie, when the junior nailed three long bombs to give the Mustangs a lead in the third quarter. But the future Terp responded with two long treys of his own, plus a steal and dandy assist when the game was still on the line.
While some in the area have doubted Cowan, he's been his best in the big games all year. Plus, he has shown us that the lights are never too bright, which is good to know, since it's likely he'll be counted on to lead the Terps next year at the point (assuming Melo Trimble leaves as expected).
Cowan nailed four treys versus McNamara, and scored 19 points on only nine shots. His outside shooting has improved a lot, and he maintains the speed and quickness to get to the rim with ease, and is now finishing better after lots of work in the weight room. Defensively, Cowan has come a long way. He moves his feet very well, has quick hands, and, most importantly, puts in the effort.
Following Trimble will be no easy task, but we really like the attitude that Cowan brings to the game. He's confident, determined and a little on the cocky side. And at this level, those are all good things.
A name to remember: 6-8-plus freshman Makhi Mitchell from Bishop McNamara, who went for 15 points and 10 rebounds in their loss to SJC. Mitchell is already hearing from Maryland, Georgetown and others, and we see why. This kid has some polish in the paint, will battle on the boards and is a fairly decent athlete. He hit a couple fade-away jumpers and had a nice left-handed finish in traffic.
Mitchell's twin brother, Makhail, also plays for the Mustangs, but is currently injured. Makhi , in particular, looks to be a high-major prospect down the road, and expect the Terps to be heavily involved in his recruitment.
Point guard Prentiss Hubb didn't start for Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), as the 6-2 sophomore has been out with an undisclosed injury, but did get a little run in the second half of Gonzaga's loss to DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.). Hubb, who has a Maryland offer, is an interesting prospect. Slightly built, and only possessing average athleticism, Hubb always plays under control; has a tremendous basketball IQ; and definitely lets the game come to him. He did nail a couple of treys, and is considered an excellent open shooter.
We're going to wait and see how Hubb develops. At the moment, his size and body type say "point guard," and he does have the vision and feel you like in a floor leader. He shoots well enough to play off the ball, but will have to get taller and much stronger to be a full time wing.
Hubb doesn't have great explosion, but looks like he could be an ultimate "glue guy" in a high-major program.
From here, the jury is still out. With junior guard Chris Lykes getting most of the shots, and most of the attention, Hubb at times is overlooked, and hasn't put up great numbers this year.
There seems to be some thought that DeMatha Catholic star junior wing D.J. Harvey may be giving Maryland some consideration for college. We're not holding our breath on that, but there's no denying the 6-6 native of Alabama is an elite talent.
Harvey, who's considered a national top-20 recruit in the class of 2017, runs the floor; shoots it well to the arc; can defend; and gets his share of rebounds. The knock on him has been he tends to drift, or float, on occasion, and yet, his skill level is undeniable. Harvey had a solid 15 point effort in DeMatha's easy win over Gonzaga, and did so while seemingly playing in spurts. He hasn't put up huge numbers this year, but, as a senior, the Stags will be his team -- and those numbers should increase by leaps and bounds.
Duke and Arizona appear to be the frontrunners at this early stage (16 teams are still under consideration), but Harvey has been at some recent Maryland games. And the UMD staff is willing to put in the effort for Harvey if his interest is legit, which it appears to be. There's little doubt if Harvey somehow wanted to pop to the Terps, that commitment would be accepted on the spot.
Gonzaga's diminutive point guard Chris Lykes put on a show in defeat, knocking down five treys en route to 28 points. Lykes is barely 5-6, but quick as a hiccup and tough as nails.
Georgetown and Villanova have offered this entertaining scorer, and there's no doubt the kid is a talent. But DeMatha did exploit him on the defensive side of the ball, and that will be a problem in college.
That said, there's not a player in the DMV who's more fun to watch, and he's going to have a solid college career wherever he winds up.
Faces in the crowd: Villanova coach Jay Wright, and assistants from Maryland, Georgetown and George Washington.