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Posted On: 10/23/18 5:00 AM
With each week that passes by, we inch closer to the official start of another high school season. We’ve been previewing respective conferences and regions around the DMV over the past several days. In this edition, we take a closer look at the MAC.
Flint Hill quietly finished their previous campaign in strong fashion, and despite their defeat at Saint James in the MAC Championship, the Huskies return plenty of firepower which makes us think they can finish the job this year. Qudus Wahab will likely be the most dominant player in the league with his length, motor, ability to protect the rim, score in the low post, and rebound at a very high level.
Maret is a team that we think has a chance to be sneaky good this year. Yale commit EJ Jarvis is one of the most feared rim protectors and post defenders in the area, and his matchup with Wahab will be a can’t miss affair. Raphe Ayres is an experienced wing who can shoot it, and junior Teo Rice is developing nicely into a reliable two-way lead guard.
One thing we’ve learned about Sidwell is that no matter who is on the court, you can never count them out of a game. Elijah Williams will miss the season with a torn ACL, which could prove to be a significant loss, but Jason Gibson is probably the most dangerous guard in the league. If Gibson can score consistently each night, we think the Quakers will defend well enough to stay in most games.
St. Andrew’s has a lot of talent, and they could be quite good this year. Boston College commit Kamari Williams and Longwood commit Heru Bligen are the two seniors to watch on this team. Their ability to make their teammates better while playing to their own strengths will be key to the Lions success.
Along with Bligen, St. Andrew’s has two other very good guards which make up an intriguing three-headed monster in the backcourt. 2020 Colin Smalls, an intelligent, hard-nosed guard who can score and defend, gives the Lions depth and dependability. 2021 Chace Davis is a talented young guard who can be explosive on the offensive end.
Don’t be surprised to see Flint Hill come out with a 6’8, 6’10, and 6’11 on their front line. Dowar Jioklow, a versatile lefty, is a 6’8 junior who can stretch the floor and make plays with his high IQ. Noel Brown is a bruising 6’10 paint presence who will help with inside scoring, rebounding, and rim protection. Pair these two with Wahab, and on a given night you could see why a team could find it difficult to score.
While their front-court is relatively thin in terms of a dominant paint presence, St. Andrew’s has good depth on the wing to go along with their three-headed backcourt. Benny Williams is an improving wing in the local class of 2021 who has a high ceiling, and Spencer Hayes is a crafty 2020 wing with good size at 6’5. 6’8 Kamari Williams is the centerpiece of the Lions wing rotation, and his ceiling is also very high with his potential to play at a high level on both ends.
Our top three candidates for MAC Player of the Year are Jason Gibson, EJ Jarvis, and Qudus Wahab. Depending on which team does best, we believe the award will go to the player from that team.
We spoke a little about Benny Williams, and he’s definitely a candidate to break out this season along with fellow sophomore Chace Davis.
A kid who has shown flashes in the past, and has a good chance to be very productive this year is 2021 guard Jordan Rayford of Georgetown Day. Look for the long, shifty lead guard to be aggressive in using his size and scoring prowess to initiate the Hoppers offense. Rayford is a talented prospect who can also create for others, and rebound well out of his area.
RAPHE AYRES | MARET ’19
HERU BLIGEN | ST. ANDREW’S ’19
JASON GIBSON | SIDWELL FRIENDS ’19
JORDAN HAIRSTON | FLINT HILL ’19
EJ JARVIS | MARET ’19
JAMEL MELVIN | POTOMAC SCHOOL ’20
JORDAN RAYFORD | GEORGETOWN DAY ’21
COLIN SMALLS | ST. ANDREW’S ’20
QUDUS WAHAB | FLINT HILL ’19
KAMARI WILLIAMS | ST. ANDREW’S ’19