Letters of Interest: All-Met basketball progress report


Princeton Day’s Aquille Carr has been tearing it up of late. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

This past week, I had a chance to check out several candidates for our All-Met boys’ basketball team. So with our All-Met Watch now done for the season and the announcement of the annual team drawing closer, I figured it’d be a good time to evaluate some of these players. (Disclaimer: This list was solely populated from some of the players I saw this past week, meaning if you don’t see someone in this post, that doesn’t mean he won’t be considered for the All-Met team. My opinions don’t necessarily reflect those of the entire All-Met sports staff).

G Aquille Carr, Princeton Day, Sr.
Hands down, he’s the most electrifying player in this area. True to his Twitter handle (@CantGuard3), Carr’s quickness, athleticism, three-point range and ability to finish at the rim make him very tough to guard. In Friday’s game against Riverdale Baptist, his shot wasn’t falling, but the 5-7 playmaker continued to attack because regardless of what type of shooting night he’s having, defenses have to respect him. In turn, that opens up opportunities for his teammates.
Carr has a tendency to play too fast and out of control, which can lead to turnovers. And it remains to be seen how well his game will translate at the college level, where he’s expected to play for Seton Hall next year. But for now, there’s plenty to like about Carr’s game.

G Will Ferguson, Herndon, Sr.
Twice I’ve seen Ferguson play this season and each time he’s rallied the Hornets with a five-minute flurry of points. The senior has a quick first step and plenty of athleticism to convert acrobatic shots in the lane. Ferguson can (and will) shoot from anywhere, though he could stand to improve his consistency. Hornets Coach Gary Hall understandably gives Ferguson the green light to score at will, and while at times Ferguson’s volume shooting can disturb the team’s rhythm, he’s proven time and again that he can come through when the Hornets need a bucket.

F Kris Jenkins, Gonzaga, Sr.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Kris Jenkins is a nightmare to guard. At 6-6, 250 pounds, he can light it up from the outside and he can take you down low with sound post moves and footwork. The senior has come up big for the Eagles all season, and even on his off nights, he’ll hit a shot or make a defensive play that helps propel them to victory. Along with the Eagles’ great chemistry, Jenkins’s diverse skillset is a big reason why No. 1 Gonzaga ran the table in WCAC regular season play. Getting into better basketball shape is the most glaring knock on Jenkins but that’ll come at the next level when he joins Villanova’s program.

G Nigel Johnson, Riverdale Baptist, Sr.
Johnson has one of the best three-point strokes I’ve seen at any level and he’s not afraid to pull the trigger no matter how far the defense pushes him out beyond the arc. The George Washington commit also has deft ball handling skills, which mesh with his quickness to help him get to the rim with ease. Like Carr, he has a tendency to get out of control and his shot selection could improve, but with his range and scoring ability, Johnson can be a problem for most defenses.

O'Connell junior guard Melo Trimble (10) is averaging 20.2 points as the one of the area's top players (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post). O’Connell junior guard Melo Trimble (10) is averaging 20.2 points as the one of the area’s top players (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post).

G Anthony Thompson, Bullis, Sr.
At 5-7, Thompson is always going up against players bigger than him but this kid’s heart is evident from the start. The Holy Cross recruit never backs down and can finish among the “trees” in the paint with good body control and athleticism. Don’t give him too much space because he can knock down the three, too, as he shot nearly 40 percent this season in leading Bullis to its second straight IAC tournament crown.

G Melo Trimble, O’Connell, Jr.
Along with Johnson, Trimble (right) has the best shooting form that I’ve seen this season. What makes Trimble dangerous is his ability to create his own shot. He can break down opponents off the dribble and has a floater that reminds me of the Spurs’ Tony Parker. Plus, at 175 pounds, he’s already got a solid build for when he joins Mark Turgeon’s Terps.  A natural shooter and scorer, Trimble is still adjusting to his new position of point guard but with another year under his belt, it’s safe to say he and Suitland’s Roddy Peters will make for a formidable back court in College Park come 2014.

In this past weekend’s action, several top teams fell:

  • No. 2 Theodore Roosevelt, which began the season 21-0, lost Saturday to a talented Dunbar (Balt.) squad, 79-62, its second loss of the week.
  • No. 16 Riverdale Baptist dropped its second straight Capital Beltway contest, this time falling 73-64 to Princeton Day and creating a three-way tie with the Storm and National Christian atop the league standings.
  • Loudoun Valley avenged two prior losses to No. 19 Potomac Falls with a 71-60 win in the AA Dulles District title game.
  • Holy Cross‘s basketball team knocked off No. 1 Good Counsel, 60-55, avenging a 13-point loss earlier this season.

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Check out highlights from the thrilling Virginia AAA Concorde District championships, as Herndon’s boys and Centreville’s girls both triumphed.

NUMBER CRUNCH: 738
Number of volleyball teams that descended upon the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for this past weekend’s Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic. Check out Toni L. Sandys’s always-interesting More Than a Game photo essay for details.

BREAKFAST LINKS:
-Check out these breakdowns of the recently released boys’ and girls‘ brackets for the Maryland public schools basketball playoffs.

-No. 1 Gonzaga joined DeMatha and Paul VI as the only schools to run the table in WCAC regular season play by beating No. 6 O’Connell, 58-53. Read the game story for more details.

-South County’s Felecia Majors scores a meet-record 64 points en route to four individual wins at the final AAA Northern Region indoor track championship, where South County’s girls’ and Westfield’s boys’ prevailed.

-Robinson’s wrestling team captures its second Virginia AAA state crown in the last three years.

-Janet Hu set two state records in leading Oakton’s girls’ to its second straight Virginia AAA swim title while Robinson took the boys’ championship.

-Good Counsel rallied for its first state title at the Maryland Independent Schools wrestling championship.

-Speaking of Good Counsel, if you haven’t read Dave Sheinin’s tremendous feature on top-ranked Falcons wrestler Kyle Snyder and the fallout from the IOC’s decision to cut wrestling from the Olympics, do yourself a favor and click here.

-Hayfield freshman Molly Overstreet finishes in a three-way tie for first at the Virginia AAA individual gymnastics championships.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
No. 7 Maret at No. 16 Riverdale Baptist, 5 p.m.
Both teams are looking to bounce back from losses over the weekend and enter their respective conference tournaments on a good note.

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.

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Dillon Mullan · February 16, 2013