Posted On: 10/24/18 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 WCAC.
(1) WHO MIGHT THE “CONTENDERS” BE?
DeMatha is a strong favorite to retain the title, but repeating will not be an easy task. The Stags return their entire starting five, and a majority of their core rotation from last year, but Paul VI and Gonzaga also both return a good amount of key players as well. it will be interesting to see how things shake up as the season unfolds.
(2) WHO COULD BE THE “DARK HORSES”?
St. John’s and O’Connell are two intriguing teams to watch out for. The Cadets, who are led by Virginia commit Casey Morsell, have a nice blend of experience to go along with a strong core of young talent. The Knights, who lose their starting backcourt from last season, will have somewhat of a new look this year, but we think Ayan Teel will have a good chance to be one of the better point guards in the league.
(3) WHICH TEAM MIGHT HAVE THE BEST BACKCOURT?
This league does not lack for talented guards, but Paul VI probably has the best backcourt when considering their level of talent and overall depth. Anthony Harris and Jeremy Roach are not just two of the best guards in the area, but the entire country. There has been a lot of buzz this preseason about their freshman Dug McDaniel, and Trevor Keels is a big body who can play the point as well. Josiah Freeman is a skilled scorer with size, and Xavier Joyner is a shooter who can defend.
(4) WHICH TEAM MIGHT HAVE THE BEST FRONT-COURT?
When considering the best front-court, DeMatha comes to mind instantly. The Stags have the area’s most dominant big man in 7-foot junior Hunter Dickinson, and an improving division one post prospect in Paul Smith. We also like the versatility and length Earl Timberlake brings to the front line. Brown commit Carsten Kogelnik is a high IQ player who provides efficient play from the small forward position.
Gonzaga’s front court is not a conventional one, but they can play a physical style while also incorporating pace. Terrance Williams is one of the league’s best rebounders and most versatile scorers. Myles Stute is a freak athlete with an outstanding motor, solid defensive potential, and good touch from the perimeter.
Bishop O’Connell has a nice pair of forwards in Charlie Weber and Jake Berry. Weber is a bouncy power forward who can stretch the floor and rebound out of his area. Berry is a 6-foot-10 lefty who can shoot it from the perimeter and protect the rim.
Paul VI has one of the league’s best passing bigs in George Mason commit Josh Oduro. Oduro is a crafty scorer with great touch. Sophomore Avery Ford has good length, can block shots, and is a relentless rebounder.
Archbishop Carroll also has some good prospects in their front court, and on a given night could be very difficult to score against. 6-foot-10 Tegra Izay will anchor the paint, and 6-foot-6 bruiser Kyrese Mullen will be an absolute terror on the boards.
(5) WHICH TEAM HAS THE MOST DEPTH?
St. John’s has a great wing rotation which is highlighted by a talented two-way guard in Virginia commit Casey Morsell. 2020 Darius Maddox has emerged as a top-tier wing scorer nationally in his class, and the Cadets have a couple of talented underclassmen in sophomore Devon Savage and freshman Christian Watson. SJC also has a sturdy backcourt rotation with the addition of NYC product John Wilson to go along with super tough junior Ishmael Leggett, FDU commit Devon Dunn, and talented freshman Shane Lancaster. John “Mikey” Square and Jalin Abbott, who both stand around 6-foot-5, are both good athletes and rebounders who can defend a variety of positions.
(6) WHO COULD WIN LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR?
The player of the year race is clearly wide open, but we think Justin Moore is the favorite to win it this year. After missing a majority of his sophomore year with a knee injury, the Villanova commit bounced back in tremendous fashion last season, playing his best ball down the stretch when it mattered most. We expect Moore to pick up where he left off, and follow in the footsteps of his good friend Markelle Fultz, who won the award a few years back.
(7) WHO MIGHT THE LEAGUE’S TOP BREAKOUT CANDIDATES BE?
Chuck Harris is steadily developing into a very good lead guard at Gonzaga, and all signs are pointing to him having a very strong junior year. Harris has evidently made some improvements to his overall game, and is becoming a very crafty scorer with range.
Bishop O’Connell brought in Marcus Dockery, who recently committed to Maryland, and we think he could be one of the more explosive scorers in the league. Dockery is a hard worker who will also impact the game on the defensive end with his tenacity and overall toughness.
Bez Mbeng has had a very good summer, and will be the go-to guy for a young Good Counsel squad. Expect Mbeng to gain valuable experience while showing flashes of serious potential as he continuously improves over the course of the season.
(8) WHO MADE OUR PRESEASON ALL-WCAC FIRST TEAM?
HUNTER DICKINSON | DEMATHA ’20
ANTHONY HARRIS | PAUL VI ’19
CHUCK HARRIS | GONZAGA ’20
JUSTIN MOORE | DEMATHA ’19
CASEY MORSELL | ST. JOHN’S ’19
JEREMY ROACH | PAUL VI ’19
LOUIS TANG | ST. MARY’S RYKEN ’19
EARL TIMBERLAKE | DEMATHA ’20
CHARLIE WEBER | BISHOP O’CONNELL ’19
TERRANCE WILLIAMS | GONZAGA ’20