Posted On: 11/14/18 10:58 AM
Taking a note from fellow contributor Adam Ayalew’s “All-Met Candidate” series, we’re going to take a look at 11 guys across the state of Virginia who should compete for the coveted Gatorade State Player of the Year. While taking everything into consideration, we’re going to be looking at three categories in particular: individual production, team performance and the competition level that the programs play. We will release each candidate in alphabetical order over the next few weeks.
To get it started, we look at Paul VI senior and Virginia Tech commit Anthony Harris.
Harris has been a starter for one of the top programs on the east coast since he was a freshman. Now that he’s a senior, he’s going to be the leader and go-to guy for a very talented Panthers program. What’s a little unfair for Harris is that some of his best contributions don’t show up in the stat sheet. He’s an excellent on-ball defender, he competes for loose balls and he continually makes the right play, whether it benefits him or not. Still, he’s improved his outside shooting immensely, he’s a good slasher that can finish with both hands and he can play on or off the ball to keep defenses on their heels. The fact that he’s a two-way impact player who’s also efficient should make up for the fact that he likely won’t put up the huge box score numbers some of the other candidates will.
The Panthers have fallen just short of the WCAC Championship the last few years, and if you ask anyone in the DC area that is the most important championship for the teams involved. Still, they were able to rebound and win the VISAA Division 1 state title, taking down rival Bishop O’Connell. Harris spent the summer with Team Takeover, winning the Nike EYBL Circuit and “The Ei8ht” in Las Vegas. In other words, Harris seems to be on winning teams every year, and he’s a big reason for it. He’s the senior leader and four year starter, so it will be important for him to set the tone this year, and leading his team to a WCAC Championship would go a long way.
According to anyone in the DMV, there is no competition like the WCAC, which many call the best conference in America. I’m not entirely sure if that’s the case, but it is an absolute superb conference of basketball that I like to call a “purgatory” level of basketball. They play with many college rules, including a 30 second shot clock and no on ball five second call, and the schools are allowed to actively recruit. Needless to say, this is one of the top conferences around, and PVI also plays a number of national powerhouse programs from outside of the area.