HYATTTSVILLE, Md. -- 2014 marked the first year of the Metro Challenge 60. Designed to bring together the top talent from the greater Washington D.C. area, Saturday's event at DeMatha High School accomplished that goal. Nationally, the class of 2015 is a bit thin on point guards but it was junior point guards like Bryant Crawford, Kevin Dorsey, Drew Edwards and Justin Robinson who ruled the day at the Metro Challenge.
Point guards step up
Nationally, the group of point guards in the class of 2015 is considered to be a bit thin. Saturday at the Metro Challenge, a handful of floor generals did a good job of either boosting their stock or proving that they belong amongst the nation's top players at the position. They also showed that there are some guys who can play in the D.C. area.
The highest ranked player of the bunch, Bryant Crawford of Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga hit the floor with a chip on his shoulder. The 6-foot-2 junior said that he wasn't satisfied with how his high school season went and that No. 51 was looking to prove he still belonged as a top tier prospect.
Crawford definitely looked to be fully recovered from last summer's knee injury that hampered him some during the season. He had a little more explosion to his first step, had defenders bouncing off of him on his way to the rim and he was shooting the ball better off the dribble between 15 and 20 feet.
According to Crawford, Indiana, Georgetown and West Virginia -- where he's looking to visit soon -- have been working him the hardest. He also mentioned Louisville and Kansas as teams that were out during the season who plan to watch him this spring and summer.
"I feel like I need to get my name back out there," Crawford told Rivals.com. "Everything that people say I can't do I'm trying to prove that I can do."
Next up in terms of rankings is Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI's Kevin Dorsey. Currently ranked No. 127 in the class of 2015, the 5-foot-11 point guard made a pretty compelling case that he is currently a bit underrated. Extremely quick, capable of getting into the lane at will and a ferocious on the ball defender, Dorsey isn't the biggest guy around but he plays with plenty of heart.
Most notable was the way that he scored and shot the ball. On a very good Paul VI team, Dorsey's role is to run his squad and defend and provide some scoring when needed. Saturday, he was much more aggressive as a scorer than Rivals.com has ever seen and looked comfortable in doing so.
Two lesser-known players also took big steps and looked like future high major floor generals as well. 6-foot-1 Justin Robinson of the Saint James (Md.) School and 6-foot-3 Drew Edwards of Towson (Md.) Calvert Hall.
A long and speedy ball handler, Robinson is a confident player who gets into the lane, pushes things in transition and is able to play at top speed without being out of control. He is wiry strong, competes on both ends of the floor and looks poised to have a breakout summer playing for Boo Williams in the Nike EYBL. He listed offers from Old Dominion, Providence, Radford and St. Peters and said that others like Rutgers, Illinois, Iowa, Butler, George Washington, George Mason and Harvard were also involved.
Finally Edwards may be a bit more of a combo guard than a true point guard. However, given some opportunities to run his team throughout the day, Edwards looked very comfortable. He is a high IQ player who plays a well-rounded game. He's a threat to make jumpers from deep, can attack either right or left and always seems to make the right decision. Plus, he'll get in there and get a tough rebound when he needs to.
Edwards plays for Maryland 3D during the spring and summer and should be a hot name on the East Coast. He listed offers from Dayton, LaSalle, Richmond, Bucknell, Providence and Virginia. He said that he likes the idea of playing more point down the road.
"I'm being recruited as both a one and a two," said Edwards. "I kind of like the point better and feel that I make good decisions with the ball in my hands. I feel comfortable in that role."
Offers mounting for Reaves
Thanks to a strong junior season at Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI, 6-foot-4 Josh Reaves moved into the 2015 Rivals150. Reaves recently debuted at No. 121 and proved on Saturday that he was worthy of his ranking.
A high end athlete who has proven himself as a slasher, perimeter defender and transition finisher. Reaves showed that he has much more to his game.
He put the ball on the floor and made plays for himself and others. He was shooting well from deep and showed some wiggle to his game offensively that he hasn't always shown in the past.
"Schools are recruiting me as a two," said Reaves. "I feel comfortable out there and I think I put in a lot of work on it this year at Paul VI."
More news and notables
2015's No. 58 player Franklin Howard missed all of his junior season with a knee injury. However, Howard told Rivals.com on Saturday that he expects to be cleared by doctors on Monday. Howard has grown to a legitimate 6-foot-5 and from the sounds of it injury didn't hurt his recruiting at all. He listed Ohio State, Syracuse, Georgetown and Virginia as his most active suitors and also listed Maryland, Connecticut, N.C. State, Seton Hall, Florida, USF and Virginia Tech.
As a freshman, shooting guard D.J. Harvey became the first ever player for the storied Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha program to start his very first game. He was impressive in his first year and backed it up on Saturday. Harvey has outstanding 6-foot-5 size with a solid frame, can shoot jumpers and is a skilled player. Xavier has beaten everybody else to the punch in making an offer but the 2017 prospect has loads of interest from schools like Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia and Texas.
A new name on the scene is class of 2016 shooting guard De'monte Buckingham. A powerful and athletic 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Henrico (Va.) High, Buckingham was tough to stop going to the rim. He is a transition finisher, rebounds extremely well and showed promise as a jump shooter. How consistent he can be with the jumper will be an important part of his game down the road but high majors are taking notice. Buckingham said that his most recent offer came from Maryland and that he's also got offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Radford, Richmond, ODU, and VCU. He almost mentioned that North Carolina, Xavier, Villanova and Cincinnati have shown interest.
6-foot-2 shooting guard Jon Davis confirmed that he has asked for a release from DePaul. The Clinton (Md.) Christian product also said that he has decided to go back to the class of 2015.
One of the few committed players on hand, 6-foot-7 Marcus Derrickson of Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI had himself a nice day. The future Georgetown Hoya mixed an inside/out game. Ranked No. 72 in the class of 2015, the power forward looks to have gotten in pretty good shape and he can be a high volume rebounder when he commits to playing in the lane. When Derrickson grabs some offensive rebounds and gets easy buckets near the rim, he then becomes a headache for defenders because he steps all the way out to the three point line and shoots with confidence.
Final notes from the Metro Challenge 60
Class of 2016 prospect Randall Broddie is on the cusp of making his way to four-star status. A 6-foot-3 combo guard from Oxon Hill (Md.) Potomac, Brodie is a scorer off the dribble whose offense comes pretty easy. His jump shooting is spotty right now but not because he can't shoot. Brodie has poor shot selection at times and will be more efficient when he mixes in a few more passes. Nonetheless, his talent is quite evident and he should be a high major recruit.
We really liked the physicality of wing Oladoyin Fadojutimi. A 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Takoma Park (Md.) Takoma Academy, he attacks the rim and is a strong rebounder for a two guard.
Thin and raw, big man Sylvester Ogbonda from the class of 2015 shows a lot of potential as a shot blocker. The 6-foot-9 center can run the floor, works hard on the glass and showed nice touch on a few short jumpers. High majors will certainly be taking a look at him this summer.
Another committed player, LeRoy Butts had an active day. The Rutgers bound 6-foot-7 combo forward was active on the glass, ran the floor and certainly didn't turn down any shots. Although he forced a few jumpers, he looked engaged on both ends of the floor and racked up a few double-doubles thanks to his energy.
Four more that we noticed were 2016 combo forward Joe Hampton, 2017 point guard Chris Lykes, 2015 wing Nico Clareth and 2016 big man Corey Manigault. Hampton is a top 50 player nationally in his class and is a skilled combo forward who is very similar to Villanova freshman Kris Jenkins. Standing just 5-foot-6 or so, Lykes was the smallest player in attendance but he is a big time competitor who has speed and plays with no fear. A teammate of previously mentioned Drew Edwards at Calvert hall, Clareth is a high end athlete who attacks the rim and plays with physicality. Finally, Manigault is yet another division one player at loaded Paul VI. He is 6-foot-8 with long arms, a good frame and a willingness to play tough on the glass.