"It's All About The Game"

Workout Series: DeMatha






Ron Bailey, Publisher

The Stags are again poised to make noise


September 11, 2009 – The basketball world in America, at all levels, is quite aware of DeMatha Catholic High School, an institution in Hyattsville, MD richly stepped in hoops history and talent. With names like Hall of Famers Morgan Wootten – the program’s esteemed former coach - and Adrian Dantley, one of the best who ever laced them up – in addition to standouts Adrian Dantley, Dereck Whittenburg, Sydney Lowe, Bobby Ferry, Austin Freeman and many others, there is no doubt why most people know of the school.

This year’s group of DeMatha Stags looks to be one of the better teams Coach Mike Jones has had in his eight years there; it’s a crew that’s boasts standout players in multiple graduating classes. Again, DeMatha is stacked.

Following are some of the players witnessed at a Stag workout yesterday. For the record, UMass, Mount St. Mary’s and Longwood had members of their coaching staffs present. They have joined a long list who have visited the school since December 9th, when the NCAA’s Open Contact period allows them to witness these unstructured workouts (for instance, on the 9th West Virginia, Indiana, Georgetown, Clemson, UVA, Notre Dame, and Pitt were all in the house).

Quinn Cook – 6’0”, 165 lb point guard, Class of 2011 – Possibly the Washington, D.C. area’s best player, Cook can score and pass at a high level. As Jones said “Everybody is recruiting him”, with basically all of those colleges offering a scholarship. Is the leader of this team, evidenced by him diving on the floor for a loose ball right before the session ended – he leads by example.

Jeremi Grant pats the ball as Victor Oladipo defends. Both are Team Takeover (AAU) standouts.

Jerian Grant – 6’4”, 185 lb guard, Class of 2010 – Having recently orally committed to Notre Dame, Grant is a player that is offensively diverse, being able to shoot, drive and pass.

Victor Oladipo – 6’4”, 185 lb guard, Class of 2010 – Extremely athletic, Oladipo will take his high flyer routine to Indiana, as he has committed to play there. Victor likes to guard the opposing team’s best perimeter player.

Mikael Hopkins – 6’9”, 210 lb forward/center, Class of 2011- Jones indicated the likes of “Georgetown, Maryland, Syracuse”, who have long been on Hopkins, plus “Florida, Texas, UMass, Ohio State, Clemson, North Carolina State, Pitt, Notre Dame, Villanova” and others offered Hopkins; he’s a developing, future skilled power forward, one capable of also rebounding and blocking shots.

Jeremi Grant - 6'6", 175 lb guard, Class of 2012 - Long and a good shooter, Grant trends upward well, as he is a matchup problem for opposing players.

Justin Black – 6’2”, 185 lb guard, Class of 2010 – Black has flown under the radar for some, but expect that to change, as Longwood, North Carolina A&T and Niagara are all interested in Justin, a strong player that drives, finishes, and handles the ball. The last two schools have offered scholarships, and A&T, according to his coach, Jones, “has an in-home scheduled for October”.

James Robinson seems to be transitioning to the point guard. Here he's being defended by Justin Black.

David Naves – 6’2”, 170 lb guard, Class of 2010 – Naves, according to his coach, “should be a Division I player”, given the young guy’s athletic ability, penchant for finishing, and shooting capacity. A sleeper.

James Robinson - 6’1”, 200 lb guard, Class of 2012 – A young player, Robinson has nevertheless carved a niche for himself as a combo guard transitioning to the point, playing with strength, who can score through contact and hit shots. Has a high development curve and good feel for the game.

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