HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- The Metro Challenge was held March 25 at DeMatha Catholic HS, and it featured the best DMV basketball talent. Here are some brief observations:
Jeremy Roach, 6-1, PVI (Fairfax, va.) (2019): The best player in his class locally, and will be one of the top guards nationally as well. The pace during these games was breakneck, and yet Roach just calmly got the job done. His poise and feel for the game are exceptional. High-major kid all the way, and expect the Terps to be all over him.
Tre Wood, 5-11, St. John's (Washington, D.C.) (2018): Wood took over for Anthony Cowan this year, and did a solid job leading the Cadets to a surprising finish in the WCAC. Wood is the quickest end-to-end guard in the DMV, and can get past anyone, with a tight handle and good court vision. Shooting is the issue. I don't see Maryland being much of a factor in his recruitment, but he'll be a heck of a pickup for let's say, an A-10 program.
Prentiss Hubb, 6-2, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) (2018): We've discussed Hubb often, and perhaps I may have underrated his athleticism. He looked pretty darn quick in this setting, and opened one of his games with a monster one-handed flush over 6-9 Nate Roberts. Hubb remains a key Terp target, and you can expect Villanova to be there to the end as well.
RJ Blankley, 6-4, St. Maria Goretti (Hagerstown, Md.) (2019): We'll be monitoring Blakney closely for the next couple years. The skills need some polishing (he's more forward than guard at the moment), but this sophomore has some serious lift and athleticism. His shot is mainly a mid-range deal for now. Very interesting prospect.
LaQuill Hardnett, 6-8, Perry Hall (Md.) (2018): Hardnett showed well at this event, and it's known that Bino Ranson has been over to check out Hardnett and his talented teammate, Anthony Higgs. Hardnett is a solid athlete with the ability to step outside and nail jumpers. I don't see Hardnett as a priority recruit for Maryland, but, again, another kid on that mid-high major bubble.
Anthony Higgs, 6-8, Perry Hall (2018): Higgs was very impressive, showing plenty of hops at the rim, and the ability to step out and nail treys. This lefty had the crowd buzzing, and if you're Maryland, you've got to at least keep tabs on Higgs, who definitely elevated his stock. Most observers had him as an A10 talent at the very least. Again, a really intriguing kid, and someone the Terps need to stay on.
Anthony Harris, 6-2, PVI (2019): Harris reminds me of someone Bob Huggins would recruit: tough, aggressive and knows how to finish at the rim. Harris is (for now at least) an undersized two-guard who gets after it. Harris has made an unofficial visit to Maryland, and is another of the excellent underclassmen for coach Glen Farello at PVI.
Noah Locke, 6-2, McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) (2018): A talented two-guard who was torching the nets with the best of them. He's another local kid Maryland has monitored, but probably winds up elsewhere. But make no mistake, Locke is pretty darn good.
Demetrius Mims, 6-4, Poly (Baltimore, Md.) ( 2018): I'm quite sure Bino Ranson has checked out Mims, and he showed well at the Metro Challenge. He has good speed and hops, handles pretty well, and has an effective shot, albeit with an extremely low release. Mims projects as a solid mid-major kid, with the talent to receive some higher looks.
Casey Morsell, 6-2, St. John's (2019): Casey Morsell I don't believe is related to Darryl, but they both play hard and gritty. Morsell is an off-the-ball guy for now, but I really like his toughness and all around play. His shot is coming along well, and he makes plays for others, while showing plenty of athleticism. Like so many in the 2019 DMV class, Morsell has shown enough upside to be a guy Maryland and many others should monitor.
Chimezie Offurum, 6-6, Georgetown Prep (Bethesda, Md.) (2018): Offurum's stock has dropped in the past few months, and it's frustrating, because at times this solidly-built wing shows all kinds of potential. The Terps recruited Offurum a while back based on his solid play last summer, but there's simply too many times when he's a non-factor. He floats, and while he'll land at an excellent academic D-I school, it won't be Maryland.
Marvin Price, 6-4, Patterson (Baltimore, Md.) (2019): Price is an interesting player, and this former DeMatha Stags bears watching. He's a solidly built sophomore who has surprising athleticism, while showing he knows how to play, making plays for others in a setting where it's often every man for himself. Price's lefty jumper looks good, and he can finish in traffic with the best of them. He's built along the lines of Sean Mosley, so I am not sure he grows much more, but Price is a player -- and one a lot of high-majors will be recruiting in earnest.
Nate Roberts, 6-9, Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) (2019): Roberts formerly played at John Carroll, transferring to Brewster Academy mid-year. Roberts has gotten his fair share of pub, but I've yet to see why. He's really long, runs the floor, and can alter shots on occasion, and I do believe the upside is legit, but the production is not there as of yet. Roberts will get high major attention based on potential, but it remains to be seen if that potential is realized. I don't see Maryland being very involved at this point.
Jalen Smith, 6-9, Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) (2018): Smith gets mentioned here a lot, and for good reason. This setting showed both his strengths and weaknesses. He ran the floor well, shot from deep, blocked some shots, got his fair share of rebounds, and was also bullied around in the paint. The strength and bulk will come, and when it does, someone's going to get an outstanding collegiate prospect. Smith remains at the top of the Maryland wish list.
Brendan Adams, 6-3, Calvert Hall (Towson, Md.) (2018): I'm not sure the Terps will bring in a pure two-guard in the 2018 class, but if they do, Adams would be a guy I'd look at long and hard. I was very impressed by his ability to play his game, not being enticed to play the crazy helter-skelter pace many others displayed March 25. But the bottom line is that Adams can really score the basketball, both at the rim (he had a number of impressive flushes) and from outside the arc. Brendan Adams might be a bit under the radar nationally, but this kid can play.
Wynstonn Tabbs, 6-3, St. Mary Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.) (2018): I'd heard a good deal about Tabbs, and I had heard previously "he's better than Hubb." No, I don't agree with that, but Tabbs can play (although he's a much different player than Hubb) being a wired two-guard with a scorer's mentality. Tabbs has all the shake and bake moves of a kid born to score, and showed a crossover that left some defenders disoriented. I don't view him as a Maryland priority, but he'll get plenty of mid-, and possibly high-major looks.
Hunter Dickinson, 6-11, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) (2020): You don't find many 6-11 freshmen around with skills, but Dickinson fits that bill, and is certainly not a project. While he's not a high flyer or big-time rejector, this young Stag has showed he can score around the rim with both hands, and will battle on the boards. Maryland , and a number of others, are monitoring Dickinson already, and he's sure to be a high-major target down the road.
Virtually every local DMV target attended this excellent event, with PVI's Brandon Slater, and John Carroll's (Bel Air, Md.) Immanuel Quickley being the lone no-shows. With the possible exception of a big man, I can see Maryland filling its needs in the 2018 class locally. It's a strong and deep class, and there are some 2019s that could be in the Terp mix as well.