HYATTSVILLE, MD – Notes from the 2018 Metro Challenge at DeMatha High School on March 24:
MYLES STUTE, GONZAGA (DC) 2020 FORWARD
Stute finished as the event’s leading scorer at 23 points per game and third-leading rebounder with 9.5 per game. He turned in one of the most impressive single-game performances of the day, going for 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting - including 4-of-7 from 3-point range - and grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds as his “Duke” squad fell to “Virginia.”
20 point son 8-of-13 shooting while hitting all three of his 3-point attempts and grabbing 9 rebounds
Stute enjoyed a solid season as a reserve at Gonzaga while averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, but is looking to greatly expand his role next season.
“With Allin [Blunt] and Myles Dread leaving, I’m hoping to do a lot of the things they did and then expand on what they did,” he said. “With my role last year coming off the bench, I just tried to make the most of it and go in there and provide impactful minutes and provide that energy and be a spark for my team. I wasn’t satisfied at all with the way our season ended, losing in the [WCAC] championship, losing in the [DCSAA] semis to Wilson and then ending with a loss to Paul VI at Alhambra. I really thought that we could achieve more, and we were right there in my mind, so I think we can build off that coming into next season and just take that up 10 notches and really go into it hard.”
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Stute looked good playing on the wing Saturday, flashing his improved handle and 3-point shooting. Overall he shot 18-of-30 from the field (60 percent), and led all players in field goals made and attempted. He finished 7-of-10 on 3’s.
Stute said his primary goal for the spring and summer with Team Takeover is to continue expanding his perimeter game, both offensively and defensively.
“I want to be the best two-way player in the area, that’s my mindset going into next season,” he said. “So, with that being said I really want to work on my defense, whether that’s helping, on-ball defense on the wing, pick and roll defense, taking charges, that’s really what I want to achieve next season. Offense-wise, I feel like going into college at the next level I’m going to be a wing, so I’m really working on my ball handling skills every day, getting shots up, working on my playmaking skills – not only for myself but for others as well – making plays for my teammates, and also just being a leader.”
Stute currently holds offers from George Mason, George Washington, James Madison, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and listed interest from Georgetown, Maryland, Providence, Villanova and Virginia. He’s still got the bulk of his recruitment ahead of him, but said he already knows what qualities he’ll be looking for in a school.
“I just want to take the path that God holds for me,” he said. “On the court, I want to be on a personal level with the coach, understand what his plan is for me and understand who is coming in with me as well, and understand the system to where I know what I can do and the plays I can make and be a leader.”
JAMES BISHOP, MOUNT ST. JOSEPH (MD) 2019 GUARD
Bishop started to see his name really take off last spring and summer with Team Thrill, and carried that into a strong junior season at MSJ.
With McDonald’s All-American and Maryland commit Jalen Smith graduating, it will fall on Bishop to lead the Gaels next season, and its a role he’s anticipating.
“It’ll be good being one of the senior leaders and trying to help my team get to another championship,” he said. “I’m ready for it.”
Bishop averaged 16.5 points in a pair of contests Saturday, and led all players in assists with 14.
“[I’m trying to] Become a better point guard, learn how to facilitate - stuff like that,” Bishop said. “And also try to win the UAA.”
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Bishop currently holds offers from Kansas State, LSU, Marquette, North Carolina State, Temple, Tulsa, VCU and Virginia Tech. He said he won’t focus on trimming his list of suitors down until after the summer.
“[I want] A school that’s going to help me get better,” he sid. “A school that’s going to help me grow as a man and somewhere they’re going to let me play my game.”
JORDAN TOLES, ST. FRANCES (MD) 2020 GUARD
A two-sport standout, the 6-foot-3, 201-pound Toles put together breakout campaigns in both football and basketball this past season.
Toles said he played football from third grade sixth grade, then gave it up before returning last year. He quickly emerged a solid defensive back prospect, pulling in offers from Maryland, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
On the hardwood Toles was a key reserve for St. Frances, and displayed his expanding offensive game on Saturday while averaging 14.5 points per game.
The highlight of his day came when he scored 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting in his Kentucky team’s loss to Michigan State. He excels at attacking the basket, and is able to use his athleticism and strength to overpower smaller defenders.
“The football mentality helps me in basketball, with just being aggressive consistently and playing my heart out every play,” he said, “because in football if you give up one play, that’s a touchdown. And then the basketball mentality - my quickness and my ability to jump and read plays before they happen - helps me in football.”
Toles’ basketball recruitment is currently a notch below his football interest - his hoops offers are Denver and Mount St. Mary’s - but he’s looking to see that list grow rapidly while playing with Team Thrill.
In the long run, Toles said he hasn’t decided which sport he’d prefer to play in college, and would like to do both if possible.
“It’s not really that hard, it just depends on how you take care of your body,” he said. “I think a break time is coming up for me because I’ve been playing football, basketball - this is my third season this year with no break. So I’ll probably take like a week, two-week break. A couple of days I had football practice and basketball practice on the same day.”
CASEY MORSELL, ST. JOHNS (DC) 2019 GUARD
The high school season was one of change for Morsell, who saw his offensive role expand under new coach Pat Behan. He ended up averaging a team-high 13.5 points per game while earning First Team All-WCAC honors, but still felt he could have done more.
“it was definitely a bigger role,” he said. “My sophomore year it was kind of a ‘role-player, glue guy’ type of role, and then this year I had to be that guy: a scorer, rebounder, passer leader and the guy who helps bring everyone together. So that was definitely an adjustment and it resulted in many ups and downs for me, but I’m improving on it and I’m learning from my mistakes.”
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder’s versatility has made him one of the most sought-after players in the area 2019 class, with offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Florida, Georgetown, Maryland, Penn State, Temple, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He said his goal for the spring and summer is to continue to produce more consistently.
“I had a lot of ups and downs stat-wise, and it resulted in my high school team losing a lot of games,” he said. “So just staying more consistent this upcoming spring and just getting better each game, and obviously playing with and against great players. I just want to take my game to another level.”
RAHIM ALI, POLY (MD) 2020 GUARD
Ali has experienced plenty of success in his two varsity seasons at Poly, winning a pair of Maryland Class 3A state titles.
“It was good, but you’ve always got to stay hungry,” Ali said. “I still want two more, so I just keep working so I can have better years. … I can say that I was involved more [this year]. My first year, Dre Perry, he did everything, so it was kind of like, cool to sit back sometimes. My second year, I had to step up and do more stuff for the team.”
The 6-foot Ali’s great vision and feel for the game was on display Saturday, along with his his improving jumper. He notched 17 points while connecting on five 3-pointers in a loss.
“I’m working on getting bigger and more explosive,” he said. “I’m trying to get more explosive so I can finish at the rim a little bit more with the bigs. And I’m just trying focus more on becoming a become a better point guard and looking for different options out of the offense.”
JOSH ODURO, PAUL VI (VA) 2019 FORWARD
Oduro enjoyed a breakout season after transferring from Battlefield to Paul VI, and has seen his confidence and recruitment grow.
“It was a pretty smooth transition,” he said, “because my teammates helped me out along the way. I feel pretty good about my season; we won the state championship as a team and I got better as a player playing with all of those great players on the team.”
At 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds Oduro already has a college-ready frame, and his game has quickly caught up. He was Saturday’s leader in both rebounds (11.5) and blocked shots (2.5) per game, displaying good hands and anticipation. In one loss he scored 15 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, 8 of them offensive.
“I think some of the strengths of my game are playing defense knocking down shots,” he said. “Shooting and defense.This spring and summer I’d like to get in the gym, get my body right and make it easier for me to get up and down the court, and then continue working on the strengths that I’ve already got.”
Columbia, Lafayette and Towson have all offered Oduro.
“I think it’s come along far since Battlefield,” he said of his recruitment. “I feel like it’s starting to pick up, and colleges are starting to recognize how well I’m playing.”
TREVOR KEELS, PAUL VI (VA) 2021 GUARD
The highly-touted Keels was as good as advertised during a solid freshman campaign for Paul VI, which went undefeated in the WCAC during the regular season.
“My freshman year went great,” he sad. “I didn't have a lot of confidence going into the season, but [Brandon Slater], [Jeremy] Roach and Ant [Harris] gave me confidence and we played team basketball.”
Keels said attacking and finishing were the strongest parts of his offensive game, and he showed it on Saturday, dropping 17.5 points per game. He had 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in one loss.
“I’m just trying go get better playing up 16’s,” he said. “I’m just trying to develop my game more and be more explosive.”
The 6-foot-4, 205 pound Keels has now had a full season of playing with and against older players - an experience that he feels should prove beneficial this spring and summer.
“Yes, it’s really helped me,” he said. “Playing against high major D1 players like Myles Dread going to Penn State, and then you’ve got other people who are going to play at a high level.”