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Posted On: 10/2/18 12:44 PM
The second stop on my gym journey brought me to the beautiful campus of McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland. There is an influx of young talent in the Baltimore area and the Eagles are one of the fortunate teams that will feature plenty of it this season. Coming off a 15-14 record last year, head coach TJ Jordan had no player on the roster above 6-foot-3. Noah Locke (Florida) carried the scoring load with Drew Green and Curtis Jacobs playing vital roles in their success as well. This year’s roster will look much different and size in the frontcourt will definitely not be an issue.
Drew Green | 2019
In terms of impacting the game in multiple ways, Green was the Eagles’ best player last year. It was his first year in the MIAA since transferring from Lake Clifton, so there was adjustments that he had to make and get used to, but his athleticism is undeniable. With another offseason under his belt, Green took advantage by muscle and improving his jumpshot. By the looks of it thus far, this team will have balanced scoring, but if you had to choose a primary option consistently, Green would be the guy. He recently received a Division II offer from Chesnut Hill. Other Division II programs are showing interest in the 6-foot-3 guard.
Curtis Jacobs | 2020
Jacobs is one of the best overall athletes in the area. The 6-foot-4 forward is a standout wide receiver on the football field and has 14 offers from high major programs, and while he’ll likely choose to play football at the collegiate level, there’s little doubt that he could earn a few offers from his skills on the basketball court. Jacobs will have more opportunities to score this year. He has the ability to knock down open three’s, but he’s most effective in the open floor or as a slasher in the half court where he can utilize his athleticism. Because of his background in football, Jacobs is no stranger to physicality. He is an above average rebounder and a good on ball defender.
Jared Billups | 2021
While Billups is technically a returner, he could also classify as a key addition for a couple of reasons. One being that he was sidelined last year after getting surgery to repair a knee injury. He did catch some action late in the season, but was limited. After putting on 20 pounds this spring/summer, Billups looks and plays like a completely upgraded player. The 6-foot-4 guard is a ‘defense first’ type of player, but has tremendous athleticism that allows him to score efficiently around the rim. While his jumpshot is still a work in progress, he’s capable of connecting off the dribble in the mid-range area. Billups will make his impact by doing all of the little things like contesting shots, rebounding, having active hands in passing lanes and diving on the floor. Billups is the first of the special young crop of players we’ll highlight here.
David Brown | 2021
Brown is going to be one of the biggest impact players in the MIAA as a conference. The 6-foot-4 St. Mary’s Ryken transfer brings another scoring option to the Eagles lineup. He can feel it up from three off the catch and has improved both as a scorer and play maker off the dribble. He is a decent on ball defender and can rebound well with his athleticism and length. Like any new player who comes to the MIAA A Conference, there will be a feeling out process that he’ll undergo, but once he gets comfortable, Brown should be a consistent contributor for McDonogh this season.
Preston Howard | 2022
Howard is one of the highly anticipated freshman the Eagles will feature. At 6-foot-5 and a nice frame, Howard will help address the lack of size they experienced last season. Howard is more than just a big body, though. He has nice tough from 15 feet and in and athleticism to finish over the rim. Howard will have an impact defensively distorting shots around the rim and closing down the glass to help spark transition opportunities.
Everett Cooper | 2022
Another area that McDonogh struggled with last season is at the point guard position. Cooper, a 5-foot-8 quick and savvy guard, will give them the necessary ball handler. As a freshman point guard, there will be plenty of growing pains for Cooper, but his toughness and competitiveness will allow him to hold his own against some of the top guard in the conference. Cooper can score when called upon, but will likely fill the role of being an offense initiator and a pesky defender.
Dani Dennis Sutton | 2022
I’m no football expert, but after seeing highlights of Dennis-Sutton on the football field paired with his 6-foot-6 240-pound frame, there’s a good chance that he’ll have his choice of where he wants to play college football. As physically imposing as he is on the football field, Dennis-Sutton is on the basketball court. There won’t be many players in the conference that have the strength that the big-body freshmen does. To go with the body, he has the athleticism to be a problem for anyone in the painted area as a shot blocker and rebounder. Between Dennis-Sutton, Howard and Jacobs, the Eagles should have zero issue rebounding the ball this season.
McDonogh will be one of the teams I closely track this season. I don’t expect them to win the conference, but they’ll be one of the most exciting teams from a basketball standpoint. Head coach TJ Jordan and assistant coach Gerry Abrams do an excellent job enforcing offensive sets on almost every possession. Last year, we knew almost every time down that Locke would be the primary target to score, but this season, they have a number of guys who can put the ball in the basket. They don’t have a stud per say like they did in Locke, but my prediction is the ball will move better and the scoring will be balanced throughout. This will be a big year for McDonogh in terms of growth. In my opinion, they’ll be a top team in the area in the next 2-3 years.