The inaugural Cadet Classic took place at St. John’s (DC) on Thursday and Friday featuring four programs: St. John’s (DC), St. Maria Goretti, St. Joe’s Prep (PA) and Christian Brothers College High School (MO). It was a great opportunity to…
The inaugural Cadet Classic took place at St. John’s (DC) on Thursday and Friday featuring four programs: St. John’s (DC), St. Maria Goretti, St. Joe’s Prep (PA) and Christian Brothers College High School (MO). It was a great opportunity to take in some hoops before the holiday weekend, and we’ll start with the guards who made an impact throughout the event.
Daquan Davis Daquan Davis 6'2" | CG St. John's | 2024 State #111 Nation MD | St. John’s (DC) ’24
Davis is as tough as they come. He’s been this way since showing up on the high school scene as a freshman at St. Frances, but has since rounded out his overall skill set and become one of the best guards in the DMV regardless of class. In the game against St. Joe’s Prep, who was equipped with several tough, young guards, Davis got going in the second quarter and never looked back. He registered 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from deep. His ability to score from all three levels makes him a handful for any matchup and the trait that draws me to Davis most is he never takes his foot off the gas. He also hauled in five rebounds and dishes out four assists in the effort.
Dionte Alexander Dionte Alexander 6'3" | SG St. Maria Goretti | 2023 State MD | St. Maria Goretti ’23
Alexander really impressed with his performance against Christian Brothers in a win on Thursday evening. The 6-foot-3 southpaw senior finished with a stout stat line of 25 points, six rebounds and five assists. He was efficient with this scoring attack as he shot 7-of-12 from the field, 4-of-7 from three and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. Where I was most impressed with Alexander was his playmaking off the bounce. Christian Brothers threw a number of presses and other defensive looks to stall Alexander from scoring, but he adjusted by attacking with comfortable pace and making the right reads to open teammates as a result of his penetration. Goretti runs actions for Alexander to catch the ball in handoff situations and he processes quickly what to do based on how the defender reacts. On multiple occasions he quickly got into his fluid jumper as his defender tried going under the handoff, but was too late to get a solid or respectable contest. Overall, it was a very efficient showing from Alexander as he continues to put forth a productive senior campaign.
Jalen Harper Jalen Harper 6'2" | PG St. Joseph’s Prep | 2024 State PA | St. Joe’s Prep ’24
Harper came out immediately playing with a quiet confidence and helped St. Joe’s get out to a strong start against St. John’s. They’d end up on the losing side of things, but it wasn’t before Harper could leave his impact on the game with 12 points and five rebounds. The 6’3 junior made St. John’s pay for clean looks off the catch from the left wing as he buried his two triples early in the first frame. He then attacked closeouts effectively by slithering his way into the paint for mid-rangers or layups with either hand. The best basketball is certainly ahead for Harper.
Nassir Binion | Christian Brothers ’24
St. Maria Goretti knew that Binion was Christian Brothers’ main guy coming into Thursday’s game. The 6’3 guard was aggressive from the gate and used his length to his advantage on drives and finishes. He led the attack with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting. While he mixed up his approach by knocking down two mid-range jumpers, Binion made his impact getting to the cup and finishing or putting his defender in a position where they were forced to foul.
Anthony Gause | Christian Brothers ’24
Gause handled more of the ball-handling duties for his team, but certainly brought a scorer’s mentality as a point guard. The 6’2 junior followed up Binion with 11 points on 5-of-18 shooting and couldn’t seem to get going from three as he shot just 1-of-6, but the shot did look smooth. He was responsible for helping break the Goretti pressure or push the tempo in transition and making things happen for others. He also grabbed five rebounds and dishes out a couple of assists in the loss.
Malik Mack Malik Mack 6'0" | PG St. John’s | 2023 State #260 Nation MD | St. John’s (DC) ’23-Harvard commit
Enough cannot be said about what Mack brings to this talented St. John’s team. As the senior leader, the southpaw lead guard seems to step up in any spurt of a game when his team needs him most. The Cadets got off to a slower start against St. Joe, but it was Mack who paced them with eight points in the first quarter until the others started getting involved. After he held down the scoring attack, he started to adjust and make plays for others as they got going. When they needed him to score early, he did. When they needed him to help get others going, he did. When they needed him to help deliver the knock out blow late, he did. All to the tune of 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and nine assists.
Jaron McKie Jaron McKie 6'1" | CG St. Joseph's Prep | 2025 State PA | St. Joe’s Prep (PA)
It wasn’t McKie’s best night shooting the ball, but it was clear that St. John’s strategy was to make him uncomfortable from the opening tip and they have plenty of guards to help do so. The 6’2 sophomore scored 11 points on 2-of-10 shooting from field with his two makes coming from beyond the arc. Despite as many not falling, McKie showed good shot preparation and has sound fundamentals on his release. His overall feel and approach helped support why so many are high on him long term.