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Washington Post Pre-Season Top 20

Posted by Michael Glick at Dec 4, 2002 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
THE POST TOP 20 BOYS' BASKETBALL As of December 6th 2002 1. O'Connell (30-6) Last Year: 3 • WCAC runner-up has premier front court with junior C Brian Johnson (15.7 ppg) and junior F Freddie Stanback (12.1 ppg). 2. Oxon Hill (22-2) Last Year: 7 • Two-time defending Pr.George's 4A champion looks for fourth state tournament appearance in past six seasons. 3. Montrose Christian (23-6) Last Year: 11 • Nationally ranked team brings back three starters, including 6-8 senior Linas Kleiza (18.5 ppg). 4. Gonzaga (22-9) Last Year: 17 • Eagles return four starters, all of whom averaged at least nine points per game. 5. Spingarn (24-7) Last Year: 10 • Three-time defending DCIAA champion has four starters back. Lost to DeMatha in last season's City Title Game. 6. DeMatha (31-3) Last Year: 1 • Two-time defending WCAC and City Title champion enters season with 18-game winning streak, but without Morgan Wootten. 7. Spalding (29-7) Last Year: 18 • University of Maryland-bound senior C Will Bowers (12 ppg) is expected to lead reigning MIAA champion. 8. Riverdale Baptist (20-10) Last Year: NR • Crusaders have two Division I-bound starters: F Sheray Thomas (Kentucky) and SF Orlando Wright (South Carolina State). 9. National Christian (23-7) Last Year: 14 • Eagles will be bolstered by the addition of Patrick Ewing Jr., who transferred from Marietta (Ga.) High. 10. Thomas Johnson (25-2) Last Year: 4 • Maryland 4A finalist has two starters back and seeks third state title in past seven seasons. 11. Herndon (12-10) Last Year: NR • Hornets add transfer Ricky Lucas, a senior forward who averaged 7.6 points per game at Montrose Christian. 12. Dunbar (13-12) Last Year: NR • Crimson Tide has the area's leading scorer from last season, South Carolina-bound G Tre Kelly (27.9 ppg). 13. Potomac (Va.) (22-6) Last Year: 16 • Junior F Jason Flagler (14.8 ppg) and junior G Bryan Butler (14 ppg) are back from team that made Virginia AAA semifinals. 14. Magruder (22-4) Last Year: 9 • Defending 4A West Region champion has seven players back, as it pursues third straight appearance in states. 15. Suitland (12-11) Last Year: NR • Rams have seven players back from team that lost to Oxon Hill in the 4A South Region quarterfinals. 16. Notre Dame (26-6) Last Year: 8 • Dragons return three starters from team that won the Beltway League tournament last winter. 17. Gwynn Park (24-3) Last Year: 6 • Maryland 3A finalist has five players back, including two starters. Looking for fourth state berth in last five years. 18. Annapolis (25-1) Last Year: 12 • Four-time defending Anne Arundel County champion has won its last 59 league games and has four starters back. 19. Chopticon (24-1) Last Year: 15 • 19 Four starters are back, including T.J. Carter (18 ppg) and Jonathan Pease (15.3 ppg). Reached Md. 3A semis last year. 20. Hayfield (27-3) Last Year: 5 • The defending AAA Northern Region champion has three starters back, including Michael Lee (14 ppg). © Copyright 2002 The Washington Post Company
Preseason boys basketball top 20 As of Dec 4, 2002 1. Archbishop Spalding Last season: 28-5, ranked No. 4 The Cavaliers should roll locally behind 7-footer Will Bowers and a deep supporting cast. 2. Lake Clifton Last season: 16-10, No. 16 With a blue-chip frontline of 6-8 seniors Tavon Nelson and Kyle Garrison, the Lakers are the team to beat in Baltimore City. 3. Annapolis Last season: 25-1, No. 2 The Panthers add quickness and depth to the potent trio of Laronja Owens, Josh Johnson and Elliott Devoe. 4. Douglass Last season: 28-0, No. 1 The Ducks lost all five starters from their unbeaten Class 3A state title team, but a few returning players and transfers should make them a force again. 5. Randallstown Last season: 25-1, No. 3 The Rams build around guard Levi Stukes in their quest of regaining the 3A state title. 6. Mervo Last season: 17-9, No. 8 The Frazier brothers, Paul and Chester, and their mates have no intention of giving up their 4A North regional title. 7. Mount St. Joseph Last season: 24-8, No. 5 Quality 6-6 players Will Thomas and Anthony Fair give the Gaels hope of challenging Spalding in the Baltimore Catholic League/Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. 8. Calvert Hall Last season: 22-9, No. 7 Defense and speed, buoyed by senior guards Marques Thompson, Vince Delaney and Jack McClinton, will compensate for the Cardinals' lack of depth. 9. Dunbar Last season: 21-6, No. 6 A lot depends on Michael Thompson's play in the paint and the leadership of guard Mo Barksdale for the Poets to contend in the city. 10. St. Frances Last season: 10-18, unranked A wealth of speed may help the Panthers turn it around for the first time since the days of Mark Karcher (1995-97). 11. Southern-AA Last season: 15-8, No. 17 The Bulldogs have one of their deepest teams in recent memory and could make their first trip to the 2A final four since 1996. 12. Walbrook Last season: 18-6, No. 10 Velmar Coleman and Dustin Lawson will make the Warriors a threat in the city Division II race and the tough 4A North region. 13. McDonogh Last season: 17-10, No. 11 The Eagles will turn up the tempo with guards Corey Davis and Jon Brick and forward Mike Popoko. 14. Aberdeen Last season: 17-7, unranked Guard Dejon Brown leads a deep group of talented players. Robbie Jackson, a 7-foot sophomore, needs time to develop but should help the Eagles. 15. Lansdowne Last season: 15-9, unranked Forward Barry Cornish and the seniors who played on the 18-1 JV team two years ago could lead the Vikings to big things in Baltimore County's Division I. 16. Long Reach Last season: 18-6, No. 19 The backcourt of Mike Smelkinson and Jared Bradford and the 6-5 duo of Zach Hines and Terrell Blackwell make the Lightning Howard County's top team. 17. Woodlawn Last season: 14-9, No. 20 With 6-8 senior Thomas Hickson in the pivot, the Warriors are one of the standouts of Baltimore County. 18. Southern-Balto. Last season: 14-7, No. 12 If Sheldon Walker can get some help, the Bulldogs will compete in the city Division II race. 19. Gilman Last season: 21-13, unranked The 6-6 seniors Victor Abiamiri and Luke Wilson make the Greyhounds the MIAA B Conference front-runner. 20. Meade Last season: 19-7, No. 13 Graduation hit the Mustangs hard, but you never know what the transient school will turn up to help Terrance Johnson and Dan Brearly. Copyright © 2002, The Baltimore Sun
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Bowers signs with Maryland for tall order

Posted by Michael Glick at Nov 13, 2002 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
Prep basketball: Bowers signs for tall order By KEVIN BRADFORD, Staff Writer Archbishop Spalding senior Will Bowers admitted he didn't even like basketball as a freshman. With that mindset, who could have predicted he would make it this far? "I wasn't a college basketball fan when I was young. I didn't like basketball in ninth grade. I only played because I was tall," Bowers said Back then, Bowers was a tall, but skinny 6-foot-7, 190-pound freshman who was struggling to grow into his body and deal with life on junior varsity as the tall kid on campus at Spalding. "I was only the fourth or fifth best player on junior varsity," Bowers said. As Bowers grew taller and filled out each year, his talents and outlook on the sport also changed for the better. "I'm a completely different player now. Back then I was weak, uncoordinated and didn't like the game. Now I have a deep love and passion for the game and that's the difference," Bowers said. Now a 7-foot, 250-pound center, his meteoric rise into a national college basketball recruit was completed yesterday when he signed a national letter-of-intent with the University of Maryland. With the simple stroke of a pen during a ceremony in Spalding's gymnasium, Bowers made history. Proudly donning a red Maryland hat and T-shirt, Bowers became the first Anne Arundel County basketball player to sign with the Terrapins out of high school. "It's a great accomplishment. I just feel so happy and fortunate to get a scholarship to Maryland," Bowers said. "All the hard work paid off. This is just the beginning for me. I hope I have a lot of great years in basketball ahead of me." Bowers said he isn't sure if it has sunk in yet. "I'm trying not to get too focused in on what's happening. This is probably one of the most important days of my life. I'll look back on this day and remember it clearly," he said. Bowers couldn't have planned a better time to go to Maryland, which won its first national championship in school history last year in its second straight trip to the Final Four. The Terrapins also opened their new 17,847-seat Comcast Center on Tuesday night. "All that stuff combined made it impossible to turn down Maryland. Even without the national title and the new arena, it would've still been hard to turn them down when they're in your own backyard," Bowers said. "I thought after I made my decision that I might have some second thoughts down the road, but I didn't. I'm 100 percent Terrapin." The timing also makes Bowers a part of Maryland's second straight star-studded recruiting class. He is joined by 6-10 center Hassan Fofana, forward Ekene Ibekwe, wing guard Mike Jones and swingman D.J. Strawberry in the Terps' 2003 recruiting class. "With the recruiting class last year and now with five of the top 100 players in the country ... once you win a national title it's easy bringing in players," Bowers said. "I feel so fortunate. I think I can fit in well, especially with the offense they run. I've watched Maryland play countless times. "Obviously Coach (Gary) Williams is a great person with a lot of morals and character. He's also a real funny guy with a dry sense of humor. He was easy to get along with." Spalding coach Mike Glick said he will never forget meeting Bowers when he was a freshman. "Will was one of the first players I met here when I got the job four years ago," Glick said. "If you said to me at the end of his ninth grade year that he would get a basketball scholarship to Maryland, I would've taken that bet. He wasn't even the best ninth grade player in our school." Glick said Bowers made himself a better player in the offseason. "I'm so proud of Will as a player and person. He was a late bloomer. He had to grow into his body. He had the passion and goal for something and he went after it. He got in shape and made great strides as a player and athlete," Glick said. "At the beginning of this summer, he was a good player. But some felt he wasn't good enough to play at Maryland. But once our season ended, he made himself better through hard work and dedication." Bowers averaged 12.2 points and six rebounds per game and was a force inside defensively with 61 blocks last year as a junior. He earned first-team Capital-Gazette Newspapers' All-County and All-Catholic League honors, and was also named to the Baltimore Catholic League All-Tournament team. Bowers has a 1,310 SAT score and 3.2 grade point average. He said he's leaning toward majoring in business in College Park. Published November 14, 2002, The Capital, Annapolis, Md. Copyright © 2002 The Capital, Annapolis, Md.
7-footer joining Terps; other area athletes set to sign on dotted line ---------------------------------------------by Pat O'Malley and Katherine Dunn Sun Staff Originally published November 13, 2002 When Will Bowers of Archbishop Spalding signs with the University of Maryland today, he will become the first Anne Arundel County basketball player to receive a full scholarship from the Terps directly out of high school. Bowers is among dozens of local high school seniors planning to sign national letters of intent during an early signing period that begins today. In doing so, they acknowledge acceptance of athletic scholarships to NCAA Division I programs. The signing period for basketball and other sports -- including lacrosse, baseball and softball -- extends through next Wednesday. The 7-foot, 250-pound Bowers orally committed to the defending national champions in late July and will make his decision official today at a signing ceremony at Spalding in Severn. "Everything at Maryland fit into what I was looking for -- the location, coaching staff and their reputation for developing big men," said Bowers, a second-team All-Metro selection as a junior. Bowers averaged 12.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 61 blocks for the Cavaliers (29-7), the Baltimore Catholic League/Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champions last season. With Terps big men Tahj Holden and Ryan Randle leaving after this season, Bowers knows coach Gary Williams will need help inside. "It should be a perfect fit for Will as a center forward in the Terps' flex offense," said Spalding coach Mike Glick. "Will has a great upside. He runs the floor very well, has great hands and passes well, can take it inside or out with his soft touch. And he rebounds and block shots. There is no doubt in my mind that Gary will make him a better player." After visiting 17 schools in April, Bowers narrowed his choices to Maryland, Stanford, Notre Dame and Connecticut. In the end, he decided for Maryland partly because the school's proximity to his Hanover home will give his parents, Bill and Karen Bowers, a chance to see him play. "That was also important to me," said Bowers, who has a 3.3 grade-point average and scored 1,310 on the SAT. "We're a close family." Gus Durr, a 6-6 forward and Bowers' teammate at Spalding, will sign for a basketball scholarship at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg. In softball, Spalding's Keri Lounge, a three-time All-Metro second baseman, made an early commitment to play for Maryland. Copyright © 2002, The Baltimore Sun back to top
Commitments Are Sign of the Times Bowers, 4 Other Basketball Players Expected to Pledge Allegiance to Terps By Alan Goldenbach and Heather A. Dinich Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, November 13, 2002; Page D12 Spalding center Will Bowers has made a lot more friends since he orally committed to sign with the University of Maryland at the end of July. "People just come up to me on the street and introduce themselves," the 7-foot Bowers said. "They're like, 'Are you that kid that's going to Maryland?' It makes me kind of nervous. I guess I just blush a bit. They don't really know my name. I'm just 'That kid.' " "That kid" is one of many Washington area seniors expected to commit formally today at the start of the NCAA's week-long early signing period. Players in all sports except football, soccer, field hockey and men's water polo can sign national letters-of-intent during the period, although many will wait until the late signing period in April to commit. Maryland's men's basketball program is expecting four other commitments now: 6-4 shooting guard Michael Jones from Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass.; 6-9 forward Ekene Ibekwe of Carson (Calif.) High; 6-10, 270-pound center Hassan Fofana from southern Virginia's Hargrave Military Academy; and 6-3 guard D.J. Strawberry, the son of former baseball star Darryl Strawberry, of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif. Georgetown is expecting commitments from 6-8 Carroll center Darian Townes and 5-11 point guard Matt Causey of Lilburn, Ga. Virginia is awaiting letters from a pair of shooting guards: 6-3 J.R. Reynolds from Oak Hill Academy, and 6-5 Gary Forbes from Brooklyn, N.Y. Among top area boys' players who intend to sign today is Dunbar All-Met guard Tre Kelly, who will commit to South Carolina. Kelly led the Washington area in scoring last season at 27.9 points per game. Riverdale Baptist forward Sheray Thomas plans to sign with Kentucky, while Ricky Lucas, who will play this season at Herndon, his third high school in as many years, will likely commit to George Washington. Good Counsel forward Omari Isreal will head to Notre Dame. Among the top girls' players signing are West Springfield second-team All-Met center Janielle Dodds (Southern Methodist) and Largo center Melissa Washington (Wake Forest). © 2002 The Washington Post Company