Top DMV natives in NCAA Tournament
Who is the best DMV product dancing this March?
Here's a look at the top ten DMV natives in this year's tournament.
No. 10 - Nate Britt, North Carolina
Sophomore Guard, 6'1" 170 lbs, from Upper Marlboro, MD, Gonzaga College High School, and Oak Hill (senior season). 2014-15 averages: 5.5 points, 1.6 assists. Britt has found stiff competition for playing time in North Carolina's crowded back court. His 15.7 minutes per game are down from 20.9 his freshman season. Still, Roy Williams relies on Britt off of the bench as a smooth ball handler with uncanny court vision. The No. 4 seed Tar Heels get started Thursday night in Jacksonville against Harvard.
No. 9 - Kris Jenkins, Villanova
Sophomore Forward, 6'6" 255 lbs from Upper Marlboro, MD and Gonzaga College High School. 2014-15 averages: 6.4 points, 2 rebounds. Jenkins is a smart forward who plays smaller than his size as part of Villanova's deep rotation of sharpshooting swing-men. In 18.7 minutes per game, Jenkins has shot 39% from beyond the arc and averaged 1.4 made threes this season.
No. 8 - Mikael Hopkins, Georgetown
Senior Forward, 6'9" 230 pounds from Hyattsville, MD and DeMatha Catholic High School. 2014-15 averages: 5.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 blocks. While giant Josh Smith makes most of the low-post headlines for the Hoyas, Hopkins has quietly evolved into a premier rim protector over his four years under John Thompson III. Hopkins is 1-2 in his career in the NCAA tournament with losses to No. 11 N.C. State in the second round as a freshman and No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast in the first round as a sophomore. After receiving what many see as a favorable draw, Georgetown will look to exorcise the demons of past upsets against No. 13 seed Eastern Washington on Thursday night at 9:57 pm in Portland.
No. 7 - Darion Atkins, UVA
Senior Forward, 6'8" 234 lbs, from Clinton, MD and the Landon School. 2014-15 averages: 7.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 blocks. Atkins utilizes his 7'2" wingspan to help control the paint for the best defense in college basketball as Virginia has allowed just 50.8 points per game this season. The Cavaliers start off their tournament against upset-minded Belmont in Charlotte on Friday at 3:10 pm.
No. 6 - Josh Hart, Villanova
Sophomore Forward, 6'5" 205 lbs, from Silver Spring, MD and Sidwell Friends School. 2014-15 averages: 10.4 points, 4.4 rebounds Last weekend, in three Big East Tournament games at Madison Square Garden, Hart shot 21-29 from the field and averaged 17.7 points per game off of the bench to earn MVP honors as Villanova crushed the field. The regular season's conference sixth-man of the year winner will look to stay hot for the No. 1 seed in the East as the Wildcats look to reach their first Final Four since 2009.
No. 5 - Justin Anderson, UVA
Junior Forward, 6'6" 227 lbs, from Montross, VA and Montrose Christian School. 2014-15 averages: 12.3 points, 3.1 rebounds The 2012 Maryland Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the year missed the final eight games of the regular season due to a broken pinkie and an appendectomy. Anderson returned to action in the ACC tournament, but he failed to score during his 26 minutes of action off of the bench in two games. The No. 2 seed Wahoos could potentially avenge their sweet 16 loss from a season ago in the second round against Michigan St. in Charlotte.
No. 4 - Melo Trimble, Maryland
Freshman Guard, 6'3" 190 lbs, from Upper Marlboro, MD and Bishop O'Connell High School. 2014-15 averages: 16.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists After scoring in double digits in all but three games, Trimble ended the regular season just 43 points shy of Joe Smith's program record for freshman at Maryland. The dynamic scoring guard, who was selected as first-team all Big Ten by the media, will need to have his best games in March if the Terps are to prove they did in fact receive an unfair draw as the No. 4 seed Midwest reason. If the Terps make it out of Columbus this weekend, Kentucky awaits at the Sweet 16.
No. 3 - Quinn Cook, Duke
Senior Guard, 6'2" 185 lbs, from Washington, D.C., DeMatha Catholic High School, and Oak Hill (senior season). 2014-15 averages: 15.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists. The former McDonald's All-American is the only member of his original five-man recruiting class, that included Austin Rivers, to hear his name called on this season's senior day. This year, after serving primarily as a ball handler in the past, Cook has emerged as Duke's premier perimeter scoring threat, shooting 40% from beyond the arc. As the No. 1 seed in the South Region, Cook's Blue Devils could be on a collision course with his former DeMatha teammate Mikael Hopkins and Georgetown in the Sweet 16, if the seeds hold.
No. 2 - Treveon Graham, VCU
Senior Guard/ Forward, 6'6" 220 lbs, from Temple Hills, MD and St. Mary's Ryken High School. 2014-15 averages: 16.3 points, 7 rebounds. Graham, or 'The Freight Train' as he's known down in Richmond, is a match-up nightmare who can play anywhere on the floor from point guard to power forward. Graham has led VCU in scoring since his sophomore season, and just last weekend, his 20 points and 13 rebounds led VCU past Dayton for the A-10 tournament title. Graham will look to lead the Rams to the second weekend of the tournament for the first time since their Cinderella Final Four Run in 2011, when he was a senior in high school.
No. 1 - Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Senior Guard, 6'5" 202 lbs from Bowie, MD and DeMatha Catholic High School. 2014-15 averages: 16.8 points, 6.6 assists, 3 rebounds Fresh off of MVP honors at the ACC Tournament, Grant will lead the No. 3 seed Irish into first round action against CAA champions Northeastern on Thursday at 12:15 pm in Pittsburgh. Grant is the only player in the country who scores 16 pointes, shoots 48% from the floor, and drops 6.0 assists every game. If the seeding holds, No. 2 Kansas and then No. 1 Kentucky will look to end Grant's college career short of the Final Four.