"It's All About The Game"

DC Premier practice notes

 

 

 

 

 

Ron Bailey, Publisher

DC Premier is primed for big season.

 

April 8, 2016 - A visit to DC Premier’s 16u/17u joint practice this week revealed both teams are preparing for a successful 2016, Under Armour Association travel team campaign. Following is just a snapshot of what was learned.

New addition happy to be in fold

Upon walking into Episcopal School’s well apportioned gym, the first thing that jumped out was Nate Watson’s presence. A 6’9”, 250 pound Class of 2017 center, Watson this spring previously suited up for Team Melo, even competing with them in a scrimmage versus The District.

This practice was Watson’s first with DCP. As relayed by Twitter’s @RonBailey19 and @HoyaNation, the move is permanent; he’s running with Premier on the UAA Circuit going foward.

“It was good” said Watson of his first work with DCP. “The team is playing together, and helping each other out”. As such he’s excited for the upcoming season.

Another thing that was obvious was Watson’s increased explosion. Previously he was a strong finishing guy who didn’t really play above the rim. Now Nate finishes much more athletically, mixing well with his excellent hands and general aggressiveness around the cup.

Where does this increased ability to get off the ground stem from?

The Mitchell Twins, Makhi (right) and Makhel (left) are back on the hardwood together.

“Coach (Joe) Wootten has been working with me” laughed Watson, after admitting he’s much better off the ground than before. Those sessions with his head coach at Bishop O’Connell (VA), revealed Nate, include weight room work in which leg strength is focused upon. Watson’s weight load has understandably increased, including squatting “315 pounds three times”.

Duo is again doing it

Class of 2019 Bishop McNamara (MD) twins Makhi and Makhel Mitchell are again on the court together, after a freshman high school year in which Makhel suffered several setbacks, forcing him to play minimally. Both are happy to be on the court together once again.

“It feels good” noted Makhel, while Makhi simply said with a smile on his face “The Twin Towers are back”.

Makhi, a 6’8”, 240 pound forward did what he’s known to do – score/operate from midrange in, rebound and provide a presence.

Makhel, a center standing 6’9” and 250 pounds was surprisingly mobile considering his previous leg injury, and didn’t seem to tire as much as could be expected. He shared afterward workouts have occurred and “I’m coming along in the process of coming back”.

DCP’s 16u unit will be a force when both are online and fully available.

Common expectations

In some organizations players with multiple D1 offers and widespread interest may be cut some slack. DCP’s 17u coach, Torey Farrington doesn’t run that type of squad.

“If your point guard isn’t working the hardest and focusing” said Farrington, “It’s better to address it now than in NY”, referencing the UAA’s first leg, occurring next weekend.

A.J. Wilson, here scoring over Nate Watson (left) and Makhi Mitchell.

The player he referenced was ’18 lead guard Prentiss Hubb. Farrington stopped the scrimmage portion of practice and made Hubb run up-and-backs.

“Coach did that to show everyone he’s not playing around” said Hubb in understanding fashion.

Back from prep school

A.J. Wilson is back with DCP, this time the organization’s 17u crew, after a year at Elevate Academy. Of attending and playing for that Florida prep school, Wilson noted “It was a great learning experience” being exposed to “the college game”.

Schools have noticed, as “Hofstra, Quinnipiac, New Mexico State” have offered, while UCF and Maryland have shown interest.

During practice he showed why, continuing to display athletic ability that allows him to protect the rim and finish easily. Wilson, a 6’7”, 190 pound forward also seems more comfortable away from the rim.

Does he think his DCP unit will be successful this season?

“We’ve definitely been put in a great position” he affirmatively answered. “We have a lot of skilled players”.

Coaches’ slant

Both Farrington and 16u head coach Butch Cherry are bullish on the upcoming season.

“We’re going to be good” said Cherry, one of the best DMV travel team coaches in the last twenty years. “This is one of the highest I.Q. teams I’ve had!” Ever being the coach, he then pivoted, adding “We just have to produce”.

Farrington, a talented coach in his own right, one that readily steps on the floor and demonstrates what is being taught, indicated of his 16u crew “I think we have a really good team”. The fact his guys “don’t mind sharing” and “work together” informs that opinion.

Both get to est those beliefs when each team takes the New 24 (District Heights, MD) floor this weekend for Big Shots action, followed by next weeks foray to New York for Under Armour Association action.


 
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