By MARCUS HELTON
As the 2014-15 high school season tips off, many familiar faces will be looking to make their mark in new uniforms. The most noteworthy player movement this offseason involved the number of high-profile players who departed the area (Allonzo Trier, Marcus Derrickson, CJ Keyser, Josh Reaves and Joe Hampton were among the big names) but there were plenty of moves going on within the DMV.
Here’s a look at some of this season’s potential impact transfers:
RELATED: DMV Transfer List
PRIVATE SCHOOLS RELOAD
No team seems ready to benefit from the influx of quality transfers like Montrose Christian, which deviated from its recent approach of bringing players in from out of state and instead stayed local. Among the new Mustangs are 2015 forward and Tulane signee Taron Oliver (returning to Montrose after a year at Riverdale Baptist), DMVelite 80 Most Valuable Player Alani Moore (DeMatha), high-flying 2016 wing AJ Wilson (DuVal)[PICTURED, RIGHT], athletic Sacred Heart signee Jermaine Okaegbu (Springbrook) and 2015 sharpshooter Kyle DePollar (Whitman).
Capitol Christian finished last in the highly-competitive Capital Beltway Athletic Association last year but have to be considered one of the favorites this season, as coach Van Whitfield has assembled a roster that looks absolutely loaded on paper. The Warriors hit Virginia heavily, bringing in 2018 center Nate Watson (Churchland, Va.), 2016 wing Chris Orlina (Woodside, Va.) and 2017 guard Devante Carter (Woodside). Locally, Capitol Christian added TC Williams’ top player in speedy 2015 guard Andrew Hill, and Heritage Christian standout 2015 guard Jared Harrington.
Defending IAC champion Bullis lost several key players to graduation, but added explosive 2017 wing Chyree Walker from Paul VI and 2016 guards Mickey Bell (Sidwell Friends) and Alex Leder (Landon). The trio has already made its mark, helping the Bulldogs to third place in the Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament at St. Maria Goretti last weekend.
The most high-profile player to switch schools locally is Minnesota commit Kevin Dorsey, who headed to Clinton Christian after a short stint at Montverde (Fla.). Dorsey, who spent his first three years of high school at WCAC power Paul VI, gives the Eagles the floor general they had been lacking following the graduation of last year’s starting backcourt. Touted 2017 wing Melo Eggleston also joins the Eagles after spending his freshman year on the junior varsity at St. Frances.
As the DMV has continued to develop a reputation for producing top basketball talent, players from around the nation - and beyond - have come to the area in hopes of challenging themselves.
The most high-profile transplant this season is Paul VI’s V.J. King, a highly-touted 6-7 wing guard from St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH) who is considered one of the top 20 players nationally for 2016. King’s presence gives an immediate boost to a PVI team that was hit hard by outgoing transfers this offseason.
Other newcomers to the area who should garner immediate attention are St. Frances 6-8 2015 power forward and Kansas State commit Eric Cobb (Potter’s House Christian School in Florida), St. Maria Goretti 2017 wing Elijah Clarence from Sweden, St. James 2017 forward Omar Habwe (Rockbridge County, Va.), Evangel Christian 2015 guard Eugene Everett (St. Raymond’s, NY) and St. Vincent Pallotti 2017 center Amanze Njoku-Ibe (St. John’s Neumann, Pa.) and 2016 guard Edwin Cancel (St. Benedict’s, NJ).
PUBLIC SCHOOL DIFFERENCE-MAKERS
Defending 2A state champion Potomac (Md.) loses three starters, including star guard Dion Wiley (Maryland) and forwards Dayjar Dickson (Niagara) and Quadree Smith (IMG Academy). The Wolverines added a potential key piece, though, in former Parkdale 2015 guard Kaine Wilson, who has established himself as one of the top scorers in Prince George’s County. Wilson and Memphis-bound 2015 guard Randall Broddie give Potomac one of the state’s most offensively dynamic backcourts.
Patterson also finds itself among the state title favorites after adding underrated 2015 guard Gary Blackston (PICTURED, RIGHT) from Joppatowne and a pair of Mervo standouts: 2015 forward Demetrich Williams and talented 6-8 2017 big man Koran Moore.
Oakland Mills added potent 2015 wing Will Robinson to its collection of talent, and defending 1A state champion Edmondson picked up one of the area’s most underrated players in 2015 wing Keandre Cook (Northwestern-Baltimore). Baltimore City rival Lake Clifton made a huge addition of its own in 2015 wing Gary Jefferson, who comes over from Archbishop Spalding for his final high school season.
In Virginia, productive 2016 forward Tyler Scanlon has made the move from Paul VI to Westfield, where he also starred on the football field this fall. 2016 guard Terrance Ward - who holds a Division I offer from James Madison - joins defending 5A State champion Potomac from Christ Chapel to give the Panthers a dynamic weapon as they seek to repeat, and Hylton added 2016 guard Jerry Carter, Jr. from Bishop O’Connell.
Here’s a few other players who should make leaps both production and recruitment-wise in their new surroundings:
Quinton Drayton, Bowie 2017 wing (DeMatha)
Brandon Edmonds, Saint John Paul The Great 2017 Guard (Paul VI)
Oladoyin Fadojutimi, Eleanor Roosevelt 2015 Guard (Takoma Academy)
Josh Fulton, Milford Mill 2015 Guard (St. Frances)
Colen Gaynor, Parkside 2015 Wing (Stephen Decatur)
Quintin Gilchrist, Bishop Ireton 2017 Guard (South County)
Grant Golden, St. James 2016 Forward (Sherando)
Trevor Lecuona, Oakdale 2015 Guard (St. John’s Catholic Prep)
Charles Meikeljohn, Annapolis 2015 Wing (Archbishop Spalding)
Jaylen Melvin, Paul VI 2016 Forward (Potomac, Va.)
Justin Milstead, IDEA Charter 2016 Guard (Archbishop Carroll)
Robert Montgomery, Takoma Academy 2015 Forward (Watkins Mill)
Cameron Norman, Good Counsel 2017 Guard (Severn School)
Donovan Walker, Springbrook 2015 Guard (St. Maria Goretti)
Tyler White, Georgetown Prep 2016 F/C (Marshall)
Camari Wilkerson, Old Mill 2016 Guard (Glen Burnie)