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Posted On: 10/5/18 1:55 PM
We are officially a month away from the private schools in the Baltimore area getting on the floor for their first practice. Public schools will officially begin Nov. 15. Here at Prep Hoops Maryland, we have a ton of preview content around the entire state, but as usual I’ll focus on the Baltimore and surrounding areas. This year, I’ve decided to put together a list of the top 15 backcourts going into the 2018-19 season. We start with no. 15-11.
15. Mervo | ’20 Emanuel Ludd & ’19 Aaron Harrison
The massive news came out of Mervo this week that star senior guard Will Thomas will likely be out of the entire season with a broken foot that requires surgery. Thomas was the engine that made everything go for the Mustangs, but the coaching staff and team can only move forward, which also means players having to step up. Ludd is a transfer from Digital Harbor who is a competitive, fiery point guard that can score in bunches. He’s aggressive defensively, but must work on being discipline. The 5-foot-11 guard is an above average rebounder for his size. Harrison is a 6-foot-2 guard who sat out all of last season after transferring from Mt. Carmel. For his size, Harrison has nice length that allows him to score effectively around the rim. He plays hard, but we’re looking for him to be more aggressive as a play makers especially with Thomas’ absence.
14. Parkville- ’20 John Godinez & ’19 Quintaun Blizzard
Godinez was one of the under-the-radar transfers from this summer. The 5-foot-10 floor general is extremely shifty with the ball and has a knack for scoring. With that being said, I still wouldn’t categorize him as a scoring point guard because when surrounded with other scorers, he looks to be more of a distributor. Parkville was in desperate need of a high basketball IQ point guard and that’s exactly what head coach Josh Czerski will get. Blizzard returns for his senior season after being a consistent contributor for last year’s team. At 6-foot-1 with extremely long arms, Blizzard can find driving lanes and attack them quickly off the dribble. He isn’t a pure shooter by any means, but has improved dramatically since his freshman season and has the capability of knocking down outside shots. These two complement each other well and will be a fun watch this season.
13. McDonogh- ’22 Everett Cooper & ’21 David Brown
The youngest backcourt that will be featured in this series, Cooper and Brown will both be new faces to the MIAA A Conference. Cooper is a confident, tough freshman who can score when called upon. He doesn’t avoid contact around the rim and is very crafty on drives. Cooper will have his hands full on a nightly basis in conference play, so it’ll be interesting to track how he does adjusting to the speed and physicality. Brown is a St. Mary’s Ryken transfer who has taken huge strides this spring and summer with Team Durant. Not only has the 6-foot-4 guard grown in height, but he has also put on some muscle, which was much needed for MIAA A conference play. Brown will be a second or third option offensively with his ability to shoot from the outside. He has the athleticism to play above the rim in the open floor and is a strong finisher in traffic. The Eagles have a young team overall, so Brown will be relied on heavily to produce in a multitude of ways.
12. Perry Hall- ’19 D.J. Cloude & ’19 Bryan Johns
It’s no secret that Perry Hall lost a ton of talent from last year’s team including their seniors and Anthony Walker transferring to Brewster Academy. Like I said earlier, when players leave, it leaves room for others to step up. Cloude has been on the team for the past two state title runs. He started for last year’s team and will be a go-to option as a scorer for this season. He has a Russell Westbrook-ish playing style in that when he is in the open floor, he like a bull in a china shop. He’ll hit an occasional jumper, but Cloude’s game is strongest when he puts the ball on the floor and is driving looking to finish or create for others. Defensively, he’s the definition of a pest. He’ll pick the ball up 94 feet after every score and has excellent lateral movement. Johns will be new to the scene as he had to sit out last season to focus on grades. The 6-foot-2 lefty has scary athleticism and can also shoot from three. When Johns is scoring, it’s either coming from beyond the arc or right around the rim. Both of these players shine brightest in the open floor, so don’t be surprised if Perry Hall bases everything they do off of transition.
11. Annapolis Area Christian- ’19 Dylin Borden & ’20 Mekhi Marshall
Borden and Marshall will be an interesting duo to see pan out because both players are very similar. Both are point guards who can fill the roles of being floor generals or more aggressive as scorers. Likely for this season, Borden will be called upon as more of the scorer, but will still have the ball in his hands often. Marshall will be more of a 3-and-D type of player, however when Borden is on the bench, Marshall can take over as the guy with the keys to the offense. Both have experience playing against high competition, and with last year being AACS’s first in the A Conference, they’ll lean on seniors such as Borden who are now more comfortable with the level and style of play.