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A guide to D.C.-area players to watch in March Madness

A guide to D.C.-area players to watch in March Madness

Tooba Shakir 54 years ago 0 0

For D.C.-area high school basketball fans, there will be more than a few familiar faces playing when the men’s and women’s tournaments get started this week.

Between the men’s and women’s brackets, there will be 40 local players suiting up, 16 on the men’s side and 24 on the women’s. That number, while large, represents a pretty steep decrease over the past two seasons. In 2022, there were 68 local players dancing and last March there were 52.

The Howard men, who fell to Wagner on Tuesday in a play-in game, had the most local representatives on their roster with five. The Princeton women are also loaded with area players (four). As for the high schools, the biggest producer of men’s players is DeMatha (three) and the women’s side it’s a tie between Bishop McNamara and Georgetown Visitation (three apiece).

Here are a few storylines to follow this weekend, followed by a complete list of local participants:

Casey Morsell, N.C. State: It’s been a while since Morsell was starring for the St. John’s Cadets. Now in his fifth year of college, the sharpshooting guard plays a vital role for the Wolfpack, one of this month’s biggest surprises. After winning the ACC tournament as a No. 10 seed, the red-hot Wolfpack earned a No. 11 seed and will meet No. 6 Texas Tech on Thursday at 9:40 p.m. in Pittsburgh.

Ellie Mitchell, Princeton: At this point in her college career, the former Georgetown Visitation star has established herself as one of the best defensive players in the country. She was named the Ivy League’s Defensive Player of the Year award for a third consecutive season and, during last week’s Ivy League tournament, she broke the program’s 46-year-old record for rebounds in a career. The No. 9 seed Tigers will need some of that grit Saturday, when they face No. 8 West Virginia at 6:30 p.m. in Iowa City.

Jeremy Roach, Duke: On a Duke team known for its young talent, Roach provides a steady veteran presence. In his fourth season in Durham, the former McDonald’s all-American at Paul VI has evolved into the kind of reliable, playmaking guard that can often spur a tournament run. The No. 4 Blue Devils kick things off against No. 13 Vermont on Friday at 7:10 p.m. in Brooklyn.

Jakia Brown-Turner, Maryland: After four years at N.C. State, the former Bishop McNamara standout decided to return home for one last season of college basketball with her hometown team. It didn’t take her long to carve out a role in College Park, as the versatile guard averaging 13.8 points and 6.5 rebounds. No. 10 Maryland will face No. 7 Iowa State on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Stanford, Calif.

Hunter Dickinson, Kansas: The towering DeMatha product made a name for himself among college basketball fans with a standout career at Michigan and a high-profile transfer to Kansas this past offseason. Dickinson has played well for the Jayhawks, but he enters the tournament nursing a shoulder injury. His health and production could determine whether the Jayhawks are in for a long run or an early upset. No. 4 Kansas faces No. 13 Samford on Thursday at 9:55 p.m. in Salt Lake City.

Madison Scott, Ole Miss: In 2020, Scott joined Dickinson as All-Met Player of the Year. The late-blooming Bishop McNamara star has continued to evolve at Ole Miss, earning first team all-SEC honors this season as a senior. She does a little bit of everything for the Rebels, averaging 12.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists. No. 7 Ole Miss faces No. 10 Marquette on Saturday at 4:45 p.m. in Notre Dame, Ind.

Other men’s players in the field

Quincy Allen, James Madison (Maret)

Marcus Dockery, Howard (Bishop O’Connell)

Rob Dockery, Texas A&M (Jackson-Reed)

Shane Feden, James Madison (Woodbridge)

Jordan Hairston, Howard (Flint Hill)

Bez Mbeng, Yale (Good Counsel)

Ryan Prather Jr., Akron (Clarksburg)

Will Reynolds, Grambling State (DeMatha)

Jerrell Roberson, James Madison (DeMatha)

Myles Stute, South Carolina (Gonzaga)

Saxby Sunderland, Longwood (Flint Hill)

Thomas Weaver, Howard (Riverdale Baptist)

Elijah Williams, Howard (Sidwell Friends)

Jelani Williams, Howard (Sidwell Friends)

Other women’s players in the field

Jordan Campbell, Florida Gulf Coast (Loudoun Valley)

Kennedy Clifton, Rice (Bishop Ireton)

Mimi Collins, N.C. State (Paul VI)

Jadyn Donovan, Duke (Sidwell Friends)

Simone Foreman, Holy Cross (St. Andrew’s)

Azzi Fudd, U-Conn. (St. John’s)

Laila Grant, Presbyterian (Holy Cross)

Parker Hill, Princeton (Churchill)

Simone Lewis, Holy Cross (Georgetown Visitation)

Olivia Martin, Duke (Quince Orchard)

Jalyn McNeill, Drexel (Good Counsel)

Riley Nelson, Maryland (Bullis)

Chet Nweke, Princeton (Stone Ridge)

Afia Owusu-Mensah, Sacred Heart (CMIT North)

Kiki Rice, UCLA (Sidwell Friends)

Qadence Samuels, U-Conn. (Bishop McNamara)

Adrianna Smith, Maine (Bishop O’Connell)

Fadima Tall, Princeton (Georgetown Visitation)

Delaney Thomas, Duke (St. John’s)

Jasmine Valentine, Drexel (Pallotti)

Lee Volker, Marquette (Paul VI)

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