Colby’s Fall Tour: Takeaways From DeMatha
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As fall workouts continue, I made the way down to Hyattsville, Md. to DeMatha Catholic High School, one of the more nationally known high school basketball brands. Entering his second season as the head coach of the Stags, Mike Jones…
As fall workouts continue, I made the way down to Hyattsville, Md. to DeMatha Catholic High School, one of the more nationally known high school basketball brands. Entering his second season as the head coach of the Stags, Mike Jones said goodbye to 10 seniors from last year’s roster and welcomes a very intriguing young group of freshmen to the fold. The returners from last season’s 18-12 team look to take on bigger roles and help build off of their semifinal appearance in the WCAC playoffs where they came up short against Paul VI. An uptempo system that includes relentless full court pressure, it’s no surprise when Coach Jones extends to an 11 or 12-man rotation. This year doesn’t look to be any different given the overall talent.
Let’s go over some takeaways from my visit
Seniors stepping up
The Stags will lean on two seniors this season to provide leadership, production and experience of playing in big games. Starting with, a 6-foot-8 lefty forward whose stock has taken off since the beginning of summer. Thomas brings springy athleticism, ability to play inside/out and much needed size in the frontcourt. The other senior is guard Anthoney ‘AJ’ McClary. A 6-foot-1 combo guard, McClary plays with burst and can be a threat to score it from multiple levels. His work ethic and vocal leadership will be pivotal for Coach Jones and his staff in sustaining the sort of culture they want their on-court product to represent.
Underclassmen taking on bigger roles
2025is a prospect who has intriguing upside even as a junior. He stands 6-foot-6 and is continuing to grow, brings plus length to the perimeter as well as improved scoring ability from inside the arc. His versatility and both ends will be crucial in the WCAC where depth at the wing position runs deep with talent.
2025is primed for a productive junior campaign. The 6-foot-4 guard supplies floor spacing with his ability to knock down three’s off the catch. He moves well without the ball and is becoming more confident as a driver, which should demand the full respect of his defender. He’s a tough-nosed defender who brings effort and willingness to play within the team’s principles.
2025‘s worth on this roster cannot be understated due to the fact that he can act as a true primary ball-handler and make plays for others. The dual-sport standout’s ability to embrace physicality translates from the football field to the hardwood. He’s quick, shifty and plays with a chip on his shoulder that spreads through those with whom he shares the floor with.
2026is one of the more explosive shot making guards you’ll find in the DMV. He can extend his shot to NBA range with comfort and is a type of guy who can rattle off multiple three’s in as many possession to change the course of a game. Meeks also brings an edgy competitiveness similar to Wallace that helps permeate through his teammates.
Babatunde ‘Baba’ Oladotun is considered widely as one of, if not the top freshmen in the country. At 6-foot-8, a wiry frame and a fluidity within his shooting, there are plenty of early resemblances to a young Kevin Durant. Their body and makeup are very similar and Oladotun’s mindset as an aggressive scorer won’t take long for others to see that his potential is limitless.
is a 6-foot-6 combo forward that brings his hardhat whenever he takes the floor. He’s more skilled than you’d assume with grab-and-go ability following defensive rebounds. His competitive motor, versatility on the defensive side and budding offensive skill set are all indicators in being one of the better freshmen in the league.
Derek ‘Beau’ Daniels doesn’t take on the look of a normal freshman. At 6-foot-7 with a frame that includes broad shoulders and mass, Daniels is a commanding presence in the paint. He runs the floor with purpose, rips down rebounds and tries to throw down dunks anytime he catches around the basket.
is another electric lead guard that will be a bright spot moving forward. He stands 5-foot-10 with impressive end-to-end quickness, playing with effective change of pace with the ball paired with an advanced overall feel. McKnight has a tight handle and is more than capable of creating scoring opportunities for himself or others especially once he reaches the painted area.
is a 6-foot-6 combo forward who is at his best in the open floor where he can produce with or without the ball. He finishes well with either hand on drives and uses his size and length to make things hard on the defense as he gets downhill. Similar to all of the freshmen mentioned, Proctor is just scratching the surface of his potential, but shows early signs of being a notable talent.