PRINCE GEORGE’S 4A
G Quinton Drayton, Bowie, 6-3, Sr.
G Jaden Faulkner, Eleanor Roosevelt, 6-4, Sr.
G Michael Speight, Wise, 6-3, Sr.
F Darron Barnes, Wise, 6-5, Sr.
F Daniel Oladapo, Bladensburg, 6-6, Jr.
Skinny: Eleanor Roosevelt won its second Maryland 4A state title in four years last season, and now the Raiders must reload after the graduation of several important weapons, most notably All-Met Naji Marshall. However, they’ve consistently been the team to beat in Prince George’s County in recent years and, until someone knocks them off, this season will be no different. Point guard Jaden Faulkner should emerge as a bigger offensive threat and his size (6 feet 4) will present matchup problems. Roosevelt also returns interior threats in seniors Justin Drummond and Gus Okafor, and both should emerge as top options after playing complementary roles a year ago. Sophomore Cameron Brown will join the starting lineup and provide outside shooting help. Though Roosevelt could hit some bumps early against a tough nonconference schedule, it should be right back in the state title hunt by the end of the season. . . .
Wise should be Eleanor Roosevelt’s biggest threat this season with the return of its dynamic senior duo, guard Michael Speight and forward Darron Barnes. Speight is nearly back to full strength after suffering a fracture in his wrist this past September, and Barnes continues to evolve as an inside-outside threat. Both averaged more than 15 points per game last season. The Pumas also return four of their five starters from a year ago and added senior guard Brandon Howell, a first-team all-DCIAA selection and Theodore Roosevelt’s leading scorer last season. Swingman Matt Weber, an intriguing 6-4 prospect from Rock Creek Christian, will provide a boost as well. . . .
After nearly upsetting Eleanor Roosevelt in last year’s 4A South region final, Bladensburg will look to build on its encouraging season. Though leading scorer Prince Obike graduated, versatile forward Daniel Oladapo is back after averaging a double-double (14 points, 12 rebounds) last winter. Seniors Amin Sanya and Javonte Sterling will also provide experience for a group expected to again be a dark horse in county play. . . .
Bowie will again have one of the biggest rosters in the county, and it’s coming off a postseason run that included an upset of Wise. Towson commit Quinton Drayton is a long guard who will create mismatches in every game, but he will need to increase his offensive production with several key seniors gone from last year’s team. . . .
Former Friendly coach Brian Brooks takes over at C.H. Flowers , and the Jaguars will be an intriguing team within the county after some of his best players followed him to Springdale. The most notable one is 6-5 senior wing Glenn Ford, who emerged as an offensive force when Friendly made a late-season push last year. . . .
Northwestern could catch teams by surprise with an athletic four-guard lineup that will rely on a trapping, up-tempo approach. Guards Alijah Smith, Ryan Tillery and Binson Mondestin are returning starters and junior Nicholas Rivas, who played for DeMatha’s junior varsity team last year, will provide an immediate boost. The addition of 6-7 senior Chris Campbell-Perrin, who moved to the area from Mississippi, gives the Wildcats some size inside as well. . . .
Laurel lost star Kirk Hawkins to graduation, but it has a quartet of experienced seniors in guard Antone Matthews and forwards Tyler Sterling, Ke’Shon Hill-Kearney and Joshua Brown. Though the Spartans will be undersized down low, there’s enough returning to ensure they’ll be right back in the thick of the division race this year. . . .
Parkdale expects to be improved after winning just one game last season. The Panthers have four of their top six scorers back from last season, led by junior guard Lonnie Lesane, senior point guard Bernard Rankin and 6-6 junior Samuel Obasi.
PRINCE GEORGE’S 3A/2A/1A
G Donald Carey, Douglass, 6-3, Sr.
G Trent Dixon, Central, 6-0, Sr.
G Justin Faison, Gwynn Park, 5-9, Sr.
Skinny: Douglass lost to just one team (Gwynn Park) during last year’s 20-2 campaign, and despite the graduation of leading scorer Cameron Hayes, the Eagles are ready to make another run at a region title. Though they have just two starters back, point guard Donald Carey and forward Zion Cousins (Howard) are both Division I recruits and should form a devastating inside-outside combination. Forward Demarius Pitts and guard Ross Allen were also key members of last year’s team and will take on bigger roles to offset the personnel losses. Douglass enters this year on a 24-game home winning streak, which means another prolific regular season could spell trouble for opponents in the postseason. The Eagles have just one region title since 1986. Is this the year they get over the hump again? . . .
After a couple subpar seasons using inexperienced players, Potomac (Md.) is poised to be back in the state title hunt with the addition of 6-7 DeMatha transfer Christian Dyches inside and former Friendly star Travis Henson on the perimeter. The Wolverines also return all five starters from last year’s team, led by leading scorer Gary Robertson. . . .
Gwynn Park used a veteran lineup during its run to the 2A state semifinals a season ago, but the Yellow Jackets will need a cast of new faces to jell quickly if they hope to approach last year’s 24-3 record. Guard Justin Faison is the only returning starter after emerging as a dynamic scorer and distributor on the perimeter during his first season at Gwynn Park. He’ll need to develop chemistry with newcomers such as junior Shawn Slade and football recruit Isaiah Coulter. . . .
Central had a resurgent season a year ago and should be poised to challenge for a 2A South region title with the return of leading scorer Trent Dixon (17 points per game) and senior guards Timothy Jones (12 points, four assists, three steals) and Javani Brown (14 points, five rebounds). The addition of transfers Amari Shivers (Friendly) and the return of Deonte Cooke after a one-year stint at Bladensburg should also be a boon to a roster that already is expected to be a contender again this winter. . . .
Largo will again be a league dark horse with a guard-heavy lineup featuring a wide variety of players that are around 6-3, according to Coach Lewis Howard. He expects senior swingman Ardie Dorsey and guard Kendall McGill to lead the Lions, who must replace their top five scorers from a year ago. . . .
Fairmont Heights will be the biggest beneficiary from the closing of Forestville High School this year. The Hornets have four former Forestville players on their roster, including leading scorer Darren Lucas-White. Considering Fairmont Heights also returns intriguing junior Kimani Benjamin, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder a year ago, it could be due for a big jump in Coach Chuck Henry’s second season at the helm. . . .
Oxon Hill relied heavily last year on graduated star Shawn Moss, but the Clippers should remain competitive with the return of point guard Evan Smith and senior forward Deandre Cuyler. . . . Friendly welcomes new Coach Marc Vincent, a familiar face in the area who previously served as the head coach at Bishop Ireton and as an assistant with Montrose Christian.
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