See who I have as my top five WCAC boy’s basketball players as the season heads into its final month.
The 2015-16 WCAC boy’s basketball season is heading into its final month. Just like years past, there have been a lot of exciting games and upsets. Around this time last year, I made a list of my top five players in the conference. I’m doing the same thing for this season. It’s hard to make this list because there are so many good players. But through all the sweat and tears, I was able to come out with my fab five. This year’s list features familiar names and a couple of new additions. See who made the cut.
1. Markelle Fultz, Guard, DeMatha (MD)
DeMatha’s guard Markelle Fultz is getting better and better in front of our eyes. Fultz jumped from No.12 to No.10 in the ESPN 2016 Top 100. He was named to the McDonalds All-American and Jordan Brand Classic rosters. The five-star guard is averaging 18.5 points per game and helped DeMatha to a 16-3 record. We all know Markelle is an elite scorer but this season he has shown he can do more than that. He has proven that pass the ball, rebound, and play solid defense.
Take note of his performance at the Les Schwab Invitational over the holiday break. When the Stags played Garfield, Fultz went for 20 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. He also scored 27 points against Westview. In the game against top-rank Montverde Academy, Markelle scored 31 points even though his team couldn’t come away with the win. Fultz will be heading to Washington next season and there is a good chance he might be a potential lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
2. VJ King, Forward, Paul VI (VA)
Forward VJ King continues to impress in his second season playing for Paul VI. King leads the conference in scoring at 24.4 points per game. He has scored 30 or more points in five games. When he plays against teams in the WCAC, King is averaging 20.1 points per game and 26.8 points per game against non-conference teams.
Just like Markelle Fultz, VJ was named to the Jordan Brand Classic Roster and McDonalds All-American Roster. VJ has great size for his position and can score from anywhere on the court. There is no question, King will be considered for the WCAC Player of the Year award. VJ will be going to Louisville next year and has the potential to be an impact player.
3. Anthony Cowan Jr., Guard, St. John’s (DC)
Over that last few seasons, St. John’s guard Anthony Cowan Jr. has established himself as one of the areas top guards. The Maryland commit is a terrific all-around scorer that can get to the rim and draw the foul. Cowan is averaging 23.1 points per game which is second best in the WCAC. He was named Most Outstanding Player at the Beach Ball Classic and made the All-Tournament team.
After being snubbed from the McDonalds All-American roster, Cowan scored 19 points against Paul VI and 40 points while knocking down seven three-pointers against Kobi Simmons and St. Francis (GA). That was the second game Cowan scored 40 points. The first time he did that was last season when St. John’s played against Bishop O’Connell. Cowan is only ranked No.69 in the ESPN Top 100 but the way he is playing; he should be ranked higher.
4. Chris Lykes, Guard, Gonzaga (DC)
The WCAC is a conference is filled with very good guards and Gonzaga’s Chris Lykes is one of them. Lykes is averaging 23 points per game and has helped Gonzaga to a 15-2 record and be ranked No.10 in the country according to USA Today.
Lykes scored 30 points in the Purple Eagles 73-70 win over DeMatha Catholic High School. Chris is only 5 foot 6 but he makes a big presence on the court. Right now he holds offers from Georgetown, Villanova, Miami, George Mason, Dayton, and others.
5. Corey Manigault, Center, Paul VI (VA)
This was a very hard choice but rounding off my list of top five players in the WCAC is Paul VI big man Corey Manigault. The Pittsburgh commit has taken his game to a whole new level this year. Corey is strong and has good size. He is very aggressive offensively and a tremendous rebounder.
He is averaging 13.6 points per game during his senior campaign. At the Hoophall Classic, Manigault scored 18 points while adding 15 rebounds. When Paul VI played Neumann-Gorretti at the Slam Dunk to the Beach, Corey had 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Sure Paul VI is not a top three team in the WCAC but players like Corey, VJ King, Aaron Thompson, and Brandon Slater makes them a threat when playoffs come around.
*All stats are from the Washington Post.
Be sure to comment on who you think are the top players in the WCAC.
Ryan McFadden is a freshman at Iona College and alumni from DeMatha Catholic High School. He is the founder of Inside The Locker Room and sports writer for the Ionian. Follow him on Twitter @RMcFadden15.
Follow Inside The Locker Room on Twitter @lockerroom2015.