Prince George’s County 2016-17 boys’ basketball preview

Posted by Michael Glick on Nov 30 2016 at 04:00PM PST

Top teams: Douglass (20-2), Potomac (Md.) (11-11), Central (14-7), Gwynn Park (24-3), Largo (16-7)

Top players

G Donald Carey, Douglass, 6-3, Sr.

G Trent Dixon, Central, 6-0, Sr.

G Justin Faison, Gwynn Park, 5-9, Sr.

Skinny: Douglass lost to just one team (Gwynn Park) during last year’s 20-2 campaign, and despite the graduation of leading scorer Cameron Hayes, the Eagles are ready to make another run at a region title. Though they have just two starters back, point guard Donald Carey and forward Zion Cousins (Howard) are both Division I recruits and should form a devastating inside-outside combination. Forward Demarius Pitts and guard Ross Allen were also key members of last year’s team and will take on bigger roles to offset the personnel losses. Douglass enters this year on a 24-game home winning streak, which means another prolific regular season could spell trouble for opponents in the postseason. The Eagles have just one region title since 1986. Is this the year they get over the hump again? . . .

After a couple subpar seasons using inexperienced players, Potomac (Md.) is poised to be back in the state title hunt with the addition of 6-7 DeMatha transfer Christian Dyches inside and former Friendly star Travis Henson on the perimeter. The Wolverines also return all five starters from last year’s team, led by leading scorer Gary Robertson. . . .

Gwynn Park used a veteran lineup during its run to the 2A state semifinals a season ago, but the Yellow Jackets will need a cast of new faces to jell quickly if they hope to approach last year’s 24-3 record. Guard Justin Faison is the only returning starter after emerging as a dynamic scorer and distributor on the perimeter during his first season at Gwynn Park. He’ll need to develop chemistry with newcomers such as junior Shawn Slade and football recruit Isaiah Coulter. . . .

Central had a resurgent season a year ago and should be poised to challenge for a 2A South region title with the return of leading scorer Trent Dixon (17 points per game) and senior guards Timothy Jones (12 points, four assists, three steals) and Javani Brown (14 points, five rebounds). The addition of transfers Amari Shivers (Friendly) and the return of Deonte Cooke after a one-year stint at Bladensburg should also be a boon to a roster that already is expected to be a contender again this winter. . . .

Fairmont Heights will be the biggest beneficiary from the closing of Forestville High School this year. The Hornets have four former Forestville players on their roster, including leading scorer Darren Lucas-White. Considering Fairmont Heights also returns intriguing junior Kimani Benjamin, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder a year ago, it could be due for a big jump in Coach Chuck Henry’s second season at the helm. . . .

Oxon Hill relied heavily last year on graduated star Shawn Moss, but the Clippers should remain competitive with the return of point guard Evan Smith and senior forward Deandre Cuyler. . . . Friendly welcomes new Coach Marc Vincent, a familiar face in the area who previously served as the head coach at Bishop Ireton and as an assistant with Montrose Christian


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