Suitland guard Roddy Peters, a Maryland recruit, kept his area-high spot at No. 52 along with the same high expectations prevalent before he had season-ending surgery in December.
Following Peters were Montrose Christian forward Ishmail Wainright (Baylor) at No. 60, DeMatha’s BeeJay Anya (N.C. State) at No. 67, Gonzaga’s Kris Jenkins (Villanova) at No. 73 and Sidwell Friends swingman Josh Hart (Villanova) at No. 92.
So now, with the AAU season underway and college coaches on the recruiting trail, we turn our attention to the next crop of local talent. Here are some of the top underclassmen to keep an eye on this summer and heading into next season:
O’Connell junior guard Melo Trimble (DC Assault): Trimble now stands in the minds of most as the area’s top player, a claim he legitimized with his blistering play during the Knights’ run to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and Alhambra Invitational titles. The 6-foot-2 Maryland commit has a sweet stroke from the outside, is able to score on an assortment of moves and can find the open man off dribble penetration. With another year at the point guard position under his belt, Trimble’s court vision and dribbling will only get better as he prepares to one day lead Maryland’s attack.
Potomac junior swingman Dion Wiley (Team Takeover): Indiana became the latest to offer Wiley over the weekend, extending a list that already includes Georgetown, Maryland, Miami, N.C. State, Rutgers, among others. A pure scorer who has shades of Carmelo Anthony’s game (prior to his recent cold streak, that is), Wiley possesses the most upside entering the summer. The 6-foot-4 guard/forward has three-point range and is explosive off the dribble, allowing him to score in bunches without taking lot of shots.
St. John’s junior guard Tre Campbell (Team Takeover): Campbell has become one of the hottest names among college coaches, thanks to his scoring ability and high motor. He can knock down the long-range shot, as witnessed by his 73 three-pointers last season, and is always on the move as a slasher, using speed that’s helped draw offers from the likes of Maryland, George Mason, Georgetown and VCU.
Another name to watch on Takeover and from St. John’s is James Palmer, who impressed many at the recent Elite Youth Basketball League in Hampton. The 6-foot-3 swingman’s instincts and hard work help make him an efficient, impact player off the bench, drawing offers from Towson and Rutgers and interest from Maryland and Georgetown.
Paul VI sophomore forward Marcus Derrickson (Team Takeover): At 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, some call Derrickson a tweener, but the area’s top sophomore negates that with his inside-outside ability. Along with an ability to knock down the three, Derrickson is a solid rebounder whose evolving post skills are evident. Whatever size Derrickson ends up being going into college, his savvy and hard work will have him prepared to excel.
Derrickson is one of several Paul VI players to watch out for along with sophomore guard Franklin Howard, who just got an offer from Virginia, junior forward Quadree Smith (offers from George Mason, St. Joseph’s and Drexel at the Hampton EYBL), sophomore point guard Kevin Dorsey and sophomore guard Josh Reaves.
Theodore Roosevelt junior guard Johnnie Shuler (DC Warriors): A pass-first player, Shuler can score when needed on a long-range shot or in the lane off a crossover dribble. His first year with the Rough Riders displayed much of the potential that he held before transferring from DeMatha as a sophomore. Now, with expectations higher entering the summer, Shuler can draw more attention to his game (i.e. college coaches) with continued elevated play.
Gonzaga sophomore guard Bryant Crawford (Team Takeover): Last summer, Crawford used his strong play to garner offers from Georgetown, Indiana and Texas, despite not playing a minute of high school basketball after breaking his leg as a freshman. A similar outburst could be on tap this AAU season. With the graduation of Kris Jenkins, Crawford knows more will be expected of him as a junior, making Takeover his testing grounds for elevating his offense aggression while polishing his point guard skills.
Montrose Christian sophomore guard Justin Robinson (Boo Wiliams): Mustangs Coach Stu Vetter is high on Robinson, who is expected to play a much bigger role for Montrose Christian next season. Robinson can knock down open shots from all over the perimeter and is incredibly quick off the dribble. The turnovers that come from youth and inexperience are sure to be reduced as Robinson continues to work on his game and get more on-court time this summer and during his junior campaign.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 0
Offers held by Westfield senior guard C.J. Hill two weeks ago. But thanks to an impressive showing with Virginia Elite at two AAU tournaments, Hill is now headed to Northeastern to play hoops after committing last week.
–St. Albans runner Tai Dinger took first in the 1,600 and 3,200 races on consecutive days to earn co-Male Athlete of the Meet honors at the Draper Invitational this past weekend.
–Gonzaga came from behind to beat St. Albans and win its second straight Foley Cup in Saturday’s rowing action.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
No. 5 Paul VI baseball at No. 4 DeMatha, 4 p.m.
After splitting their two regular-season meetings, the two teams meet again in a best-of-three series for a spot in the WCAC championship.