Posted On: 10/19/18 5:00 AM
It’s mid-October, and that means we’re about a month away from the official start of another high school season. In the upcoming days, we will be previewing respective conferences and regions around the DMV. In this edition, we take a closer look at the IAC.
(1) WHO MIGHT THE “CONTENDERS” BE?
At this point in time, we think that Episcopal will be the team to beat in the league. George Mason commit Xavier Johnson is a major reason why. He is one of the most, if not the most experienced player in the conference, and one of the most reliable point guards in the area.
Another team who we think will be tough to beat this year is St. Stephens & St. Agnes. Towson commit Charles Thompson and emerging 2020 guard Xavier Lipscomb will be vital to their success. The Saints have a great blend of young and improving talent to go along with their seasoned seniors.
Bullis is another team we think could be very good this year. Nendah Tarke will have to set the tone on the defensive end, but he is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the conference. We think guys like Malcolm Alexander, Cole Hanin, and Erik Reynolds are ready to make a big jump. Rodney Rice is a freshman who we think has a lot of potential, and we’re excited to see how he can positively impact this team.
(2) WHO COULD BE THE “DARK HORSES”?
It feels funny calling Georgetown Prep a “dark horse”, but it’s hard to ignore the amount of talent they lost to graduation. Kamdyn Curfman and Dejean Desire are definitely two of the best seniors in the area. Belo “Bo” Oranye gets better every time we see him, and Zion Russell will be a big time addition for the Hoyas. Stefan Marcelle is a freshman who we are excited to see grow and develop.
We like St. Albans a lot this year, and think that on a given night they could upset any of the top teams in this league. Phillip Jordan is one of the toughest guards and best leaders in the league, and Cole Matthiesen is a great running mate. Mike Katsock is a good shooter who will bring size and a high IQ on the wing. Rowan Brumbaugh is a growing freshman point guard prospect who could also make an impact.
(3) WHICH TEAM MIGHT HAVE THE BEST BACKCOURT?
This is a loaded question, and this league does not lack for talent at the guard position. We think Episcopal has the best back court. The Johnson brothers are really solid, and Jack Fitzpatrick is a really solid pickup for the Maroon.
(4) WHICH TEAM MIGHT HAVE THE BEST FRONT-COURT?
We have to say that St. Stephens & St. Agnes has the league’s best front court. Charles Thompson is probably the best defensive player in the league, and Andre Screen has a chance to be that next year.
(5) WHICH TEAM HAS THE MOST DEPTH?
St. Stephens & St. Agnes has a lot of depth and versatility at each position. Their wing rotation of Christian Depollar, Jared White, Chris Milton, Jamal Barnes, and Chase Beasley is a good one.
(6) WHO COULD WIN LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR?
Of course, we could be totally wrong about all this stuff, and Kino Lilly will average 35, lead Landon to the league championship, and win league player of the year. This might sound funny, but it’s certainly possible after what he did over the summer.
Another player who could defy the odds and easily catch fire is Kamdyn Curfman, who is perhaps the best shooter in the DMV. Curfman will draw the opposing team’s best perimeter defender throughout the season, but he’s very crafty, his range is limitless, and we could see him having a very productive campaign.
Xavier Johnson is an obvious candidate for this award. If EHS is as good as we think they will be, he will be the odds on favorite to win it.
If Nendah Tarke can propel Bullis, he will be a favorite to win this award. Tarke has the potential to be the most dominant player in the league with his blend of athleticism and playmaking ability to go along with his relentless motor.
Charles Thompson is definitely the vocal and emotional leader of St. Stephens & St. Agnes, but he can also play the game at a very high level. If the Saints do as well as we think they could, Thompson will be a big reason why.
(7) WHO MIGHT THE LEAGUE’S TOP BREAKOUT CANDIDATES BE?
Malcolm Alexander is certainly one of our top breakout candidates in the league. We love how efficient he is with the ball, and he will have the opportunity to get up and down alongside an explosive back court.
Tymu Chenery is a player with a lot of talent and potential who could really break out this year. He’s got a good blend of size, athleticism and skill on the wing which enables him to consistently put the ball in the hole.
One kid who has a really high ceiling and could breakout this year is Zion Russell. He has as much athleticism and natural ability as any guard we’ve seen. There’s no doubt that he’s hungry and ready to make an impact.
Chris Milton is a wing prospect who might be in for a breakout year at SSSAS. He’s looked really good so far this offseason, and will likely play his way into a key role.
(8) WHO MADE OUR PRESEASON ALL-IAC TEAM?
KAMDYN CURFMAN | GEORGETOWN PREP ’19
CHRISTIAN DEPOLLAR | ST. STEPHENS & ST. AGNES ’19
DEJEAN DESIRE | GEORGETOWN PREP ’19
XAVIER JOHNSON | EPISCOPAL ’19
PHILLIP JORDAN | ST. ALBANS ’19
CANIN REYNOLDS | LANDON ’20
XAVIER LIPSCOMB | ST. STEPHENS & ST. AGNES ’20
ASA SHANNON | EPISCOPAL ’19
NENDAH TARKE | BULLIS ’19