Darian Anderson, left, and St. John’s have their sights set on dethroning Melo Trimble (10) and O’Connell in the WCAC. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Top teams

Paul VI (23-8), St. John’s (20-10), Gonzaga (27-5)

Top players

G Tre Campbell, St. John’s, 6-1, Sr.

G Bryant Crawford, Gonzaga, 6-2, Jr.

B.J. Koubaroulis, Brandon Parker and Roman Stubbs preview teams and players to watch in private school basketball. (Nicki Demarco/The Washington Post)

F Marcus Derrickson, Paul VI, 6-7, Jr.

G Melo Trimble, O’Connell, 6-3, Sr.


Paul VI and St. John’s stand as the top two teams in the Post’s preseason rankings and are loaded with talent. Derrickson, a Georgetown commit, and Quadree Smith (UNC-Greensboro) form a skilled duo in the post, while point guard Kevin Dorsey and swingman Joshua Reaves are fresh off strong summer showings. Sophomore transfer Curtis Jones will be counted on to fill the void left by junior guard Franklin Howard, who is expected to be out until at least February with a knee injury. . . . St. John’s prides itself on playing small ball behind speedy guards like Campbell, Darian Anderson and sophomore transfer Anthony Cowan. Proficient shooter James Palmer and post players Mike Morsell and Darian Bryant heighten the Cadets’ chances at returning to the WCAC title game. . . . Trimble, a returning All-Met and Maryland signee, possesses one of the area’s sweetest shooting strokes and continues to evolve as a point guard. Though the Knights return just two starters, the defending WCAC champs have post presence with four players standing at 6-foot-7 or taller. . . . DeMatha looks to bounce back after recording just its second losing season in school history. Sophomore Joe Hampton is a lefty who can knock down the open jump shot and bang inside for rebounds, filling some of the void left by the graduation of All-Met center BeeJay Anya. Senior Corey Henson will be depended upon as a leader, ballhandler and shooter. . . . Patrick Moseh is one of three starters returning to a Bishop Ireton team that stunned Gonzaga in last year’s WCAC tournament, marking the first time a N0. 8 seed knocked off a top seed. . . . McNamara graduated prolific scorer Stephan Jiggetts but possesses a balanced attack that could make them a sleeper in league play. . . . Both Carroll and Good Counsel will be led by new coaches in Tim Fudd and Robert Churchwell. . . . Senior transfer Jarin Hilson will lead an upstart St. Mary’s Ryken squad looking to shake up the conference rank-and-file.

AllMetSports.com Basketball Preview

Top 20 Rankings: Boys | Girls

With 6-foot-7 standout Marcus Derrickson leading a roster loaded with talent, Paul VI could be the team to beat in the WCAC. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Preseason All-Met Watch

Boys: WCAC | IAC | MAC | Capital Beltway | PVAC


Boys: Prince George’s 4A | 3A/2A/1A

Girls: Prince George’s 4A | 3A/2A/1A

Boys: DCIAA | Charters | Independents/Others

Girls: DCIAA | Charters | Independents/Others