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Posted On: 03/14/18 5:00 PM
Prep Hoops Maryland closed out the high school season at MPSSAA States, and we decided to do things a little differently this year in terms of coverage. Colby Giacubeno and I each drafted eight players from Championship Saturday.
We each selected a starting five and three substitutes. The draft was done in a “snake” format, and I got the first pick on a coin flip. Check out Colby’s team here, and let us know on twitter which team you think would win in a head-to-head matchup!
It was tough to choose between Demetrius Mims and Justin Lewis for #1 overall, but I decided to take the sophomore when considering his current production along with his superb potential. The 6-foot-8 forward, who boasts a 7-foot-2 wingspan, averaged 14.5 points, 12 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks in 2 games at Xfinity. Lewis brings ideal versatility to any modern front court, and his improved motor along with his underrated strength has helped him become very dominant at this level.
Part of the reason why I passed on Mims at 1 was because I had a feeling that I could pick Dashawn Phillip later in the draft. The 6-foot-5 senior, who is considered among the top available wings in the state, averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists in two games at Xfinity. Phillip is an aggressive scorer who can absolutely get it done on both ends of the floor. He rebounds well out of his area, defends with tenacity on the ball, and stays active and alert off the ball.
Joey Adams of North Caroline, who was arguably the biggest breakout performer in College Park last weekend. The class of 2018 guard, who averaged 26.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, is a cold-blooded scorer with deep range, but can get it done from all three levels. There may be other more traditional point guards that could also fit in with this team, but there’s no way I was going to let Colby snag Adams. He’s unranked at the moment, but you can expect Adams to make an appearance in our next update.
I could not believe that Daniel Oladapo was still on the board at #8, and there was no chance I’d pass him up here. The all-around productive 6-foot-7 senior forward, who averaged 22.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game over the weekend, can stretch the floor and play virtually any position in the front court. Oladapo is a strong presence on the offensive glass, and constantly works hard to give his team extra opportunities.
It was quite a luxury to be given the opportunity to select Anthony Higgs as my fifth starter. Over two games at Xfinity, the Ole Miss Commit averaged 10.5 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 1 steal per game. Higgs was arguably the most feared rim protecter in College Park last weekend. The thing that impressed me most about the 6-foot-8 forward is that he sacrificed his offensive production in order to do what was necessary for his team to win. Higgs excelled in his role for the Gators, and showed that he can contribute in a variety of ways.
Malik McCormick‘s role for this team would be to come in and provide instant offense off the bench as the 6th man. The class of 2019 guard, who averaged 14 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds, and 1 steal per game this weekend, plays with high energy and can put the ball in the basket from a variety of areas on the court. McCormick isn’t a slouch on defense either, which makes this pick that much more of a no-brainer.
There were a few very good players available for the backup big spot, but I couldn’t pass on Ronald Lucas here. I like the 6-foot-6 forward because he embraces his role, especially defensively. It also helps that Lucas went OFF in the state final, where he shot 6 of 7 from the field on his way to 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks. This pick admittedly comes with some risk, because the unsigned senior was a relative non-factor in Lake Clifton’s win over Oakdale. Finally, his role on this team would not be as big, and I’m banking on a state championship level performance from Lucas.
Truth be told, I really wanted to pick Tyler Holley here, but he was unavailable, and that prompted me to select 2020 guard Michael Gray of Lake Clifton. That being said, I don’t want to take anything away from this talented sophomore. I needed someone who could come in and defend at a high level, and that’s exactly what he does. Gray is an absolute dog on defense, and quite clearly takes pride in locking up whoever he is matched up with. In two games at Xfinity, he averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 2 assists.