The first era of Vado Morse‘s basketball life ended in eighth grade. He graduated from Washington Jesuit Academy, an elite private middle school in Northeast Washington, and went looking for a high school basketball team.

It was, for Morse and his friends, a preview of the college recruiting process in which they find themselves now. Morse, a junior at No. 20 Bullis, is leading the Interstate Athletic Conference in scoring with 21.8 points per game. Georgetown Prep’s Jared Bynum, Washington Jesuit’s class of 2014 valedictorian, is a few spots back at 16.1 points per game.

Prentiss Hubb, the 2014 salutatorian, is one of the top 30 junior guards in the country, according to ESPN, and he’s averaging 14.9 points per game for No. 1 Gonzaga. D’Marco Baucum, a 6-foot-6 junior guard and another AAU and middle school teammate, looks to be a future standout at No. 11 O’Connell.

Now the four of them have college coaching salivating over the region’s junior class of guards, a group that grew up together and remains close, even as their schools have deep rivalries.

“We’re like brothers, to be honest with you,” Morse said. “We stay at each other’s houses. We play the game with each other. Work out with each other.”

They’re all natural scorers, coaches say, comfortable driving to the rim or shooting the basketball.

“He’s very confident with the ball,” Bullis Coach Bruce Kelley said of Morse. “He’s got a scorer’s mentality and a scorer’s knack. His shot is not something you would say is textbook, but it’s his unique shot. That ball gets up on the rim, and as his coach, you feel confident that ball is going in.”

Morse is receiving recruiting attention from Stanford, James Madison and Virginia Commonwealth, among other schools, he said. Kelley said he expects more offers to come during the spring and summer AAU season after his point guard’s stellar junior campaign.

“He’s moving up the list of who people are asking about,” he said. “That’s what his season has done. He’s somebody who coaches are going to look at and evaluate in the spring.”

But the four guards are also analyzing the college coaches who pitch their schools. After one coach visits one of the players, Morse said, they fire a text off to the rest of the group about what the coach had to say.

“When coaches call, we already know what they’re going to look for,” Morse said. “It puts us a half-step ahead of the coaches.”




From Hayfield’s dramatic win last night, check out Camron Wilkerson‘s putback to tie the game and send it to double-overtime:

And then Brian Cobbs‘ three-pointer to win it:


Follow me (Twitter: @jacobbogage) for updates from the huge girls’ basketball game tonight between No. 1 Paul VI at No. 6 Elizabeth Seton. Meanwhile, Nick Eilerson (@NickEilerson) will be in Potomac for a big PVAC boys’ matchup featuring budding recruit Milos Apic and Sandy Spring Friends and host McLean School. And resident track scribe Dan Roth (@ByDanRoth) will be in Landover for the Montgomery County indoor track and field championships.