THE METROPOLITAN AWARDS – 2018 Player of the Year Preview
BY MATT COHEN
The Metropolitan Awards are almost here! The event will take place from 6:30 to 9:00 on March 12 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington D.C. The voting committee of Marc Stern (Capitol Hoops), James Parker Jr (PYBL) Marcus Helton (DMV Elite), Arize Ifejika (More Than Basketball), Ron Bailey (I-95 Ballerz), Jake Rosen (Jake in the Paint), Dave Dickerson (Hoop Kidz), Josh Morgan (Triple Threat Classic), Kyle McFadden (MD Sports Access), Colby Giacubeno (Prep Hoops MD) and Troy Queen (Sports Majors) will vote on 10 categories, including senior player of the year. There are 15 nominees for the award. Below is a preview for each candidate.
– Jared Bynum, Georgetown Prep (MD)
Bynum was the star player for a Georgetown Prep team that broke a decade long title drought this year. Bynum averaged 17.8 points this year, is a reliable senior leader and has unlimited range. Bynum was the Montgomery County player of the year and IAC player of the year. Bynum will be playing at Saint Joseph’s next year.
– Jermaine Harris, Rock Creek (MD)
The 6’7” forward had a dominant 2017-18 season, averaging 20.6 points per game as well as nearly 13 rebounds per game. Harris’ best performance came against National Christian where he scored 35 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. The four-star recruit is committed to Rhode Island.
– Jalen Smith, Mt St Joseph (MD)
The McDonald’s All-American power forward is the top rated player in Maryland by ESPN. Smith, the 15th overall player in the nation will head to Maryland to play his college basketball. Smith was a completely unstoppable force for Mount Saint Joseph this year.
– Immanuel Quickley, John Carroll (MD)
Quickley, Maryland’s second five star recruit, is set to become a Kentucky Wildcat this fall. The 6’3” point guard is a dynamic scorer, who left his mark on the court every single time he checked into the game.
– Donovann Toatley, Riverdale Baptist (MD)
Toatley finished ninth in the D.C. metro area in scoring, averaging 22.4 points per game. Toatley scored 39 and 35 in two games against RCCA respectively, 21 against DeMatha, 26 against Poly and 38 against Wilson. Toatley will be going to Chattanooga.
– Malik Miller, Friendship Tech (DC)
Miller is the fifth leading scorer in the D.C. metro area, averaging 23.3 points per game. His season high was a 32 points game against Westlake. Miller had less than 20 points only five times, and never had less than 10.
– Jordan Miller, Loudoun Valley (VA)
This George Mason commit is the leading scorer on one of Virginia’s top teams. Miller averages nearly 18 points per game. He scored less than 10 only once, and scored at least 20 nine times.
– Noah Locke, McDonogh (MD)
Locke, rated by 247 Sports as Maryland’s third best player, is a four star shooting guard committed to Florida. Locke has been highly regarded as a dynamic scorer, with a dead-eye shooting stroke.
– Xavier Johnson, O’Connell (VA)
Johnson, a Nebraska commit, was named the 2017-18 WCAC player of the year. O’Connell fared better in the WCAC than expected, and Johnson was the biggest reason why. Johnson averaged 18.4 points per game, and he put on his best performances in the biggest games. Johnson had 31 against Georgetown Prep, 31 against St. John’s, 31 against Carroll and 27 against DeMatha.
– Matt Balanc, Springbrook (MD)
No player brought more energy to the court and to his team as Matt Balanc. Balanc played every second with his foot on the gas. Balanc is a human highlight reel with the unexplainable plays he can make. Balanc’s season was cut short by injury, though he was the key piece of the Springbrook team, averaging 17.6 points per game. His best performance was a 29 point display on the road against Paint Branch.
– Daniel Oladapo, Bladensburg (MD)
Oladapo led one of the biggest upsets Maryland has seen this year as Bladensburg defeated powerhouse Eleanor Roosevelt. Oladapo had 10 double-doubles this season, and scored 40+ points in a game twice.
– Vado Morse, Bullis (MD)
Morse may be the best shooter Maryland has to offer. Named Montgomery County’s offensive player of the year, Morse is seventh in the D.C. area in points per game, averaging 23. Morse scored a total of 100 points in this three games against Episcopal this season, and had two different 40+ point games.
– Demetrius Mims, Poly (MD)
Mims is a three star recruit committed to Long Beach State, and the star of a loaded Poly team. 247 Sports has him ranked as the 10th best player in Maryland.
– Darien Simmons, Arundel Christian (MD)
Darien Simmons took the national spotlight against Rockbridge Academy. In that game Simmons dropped 90 points, leading his team to a 112-60 win. Simmons also had a 50 point game this season.
– Ayinde Hikim, Wilson (DC)
Hikim was an integral part of a Wilson team that dominated D.C. Hikim is a dynamic point guard that always came to play in the biggest games. Hikim had 24 points against RCCA, 19 against Bladensburg and 21 in the DCSAA championship game against St. John’s.