Alani Moore, Markelle Fultz shine at DMVElite 80
Special to NBCSports.com
BOWIE, Md. — The second annual DMVelite 80 took place on Saturday, bringing the top college prospects from the DC/Maryland/Virginia area together under one roof to compete in a camp environment and offering a unique look at the top players in what is arguably the country’s most fertile recruiting ground, regardless of AAU or shoe brand affiliation.
Alani Moore, a 2016 point guard who recently transferred to Montrose Christian (Md.) from DeMatha Catholic (Md.), stole the show during game play and took home MVP honors. With offers from Penn State, Rhode Island, Towson and Vermont, Moore had a strong summer playing with DC Premier and impressing in the Reebok Classic Breakout, among other events.
Standing just 5-foot-9, Moore was locked in from deep, while also creating open looks for his teammates and penetrating the lane with ease. Moore follows in the footsteps of last year’s event MVP and Cincinnati-commit Justin Jenifer, another diminutive but electrifying point guard.
Another player who turned heads with his performance was fast-rising 2016 combo guard Markelle Fultz of DeMatha Catholic (Md.).
A prime example of how much a strong July performance can impact a prospect’s recruitment, the 6-foot-3 Fultz has been offered by Xavier, DePaul, Rhode Island Towson and High Point despite never playing a game at the varsity level for DeMatha.
Fultz played JV for DeMatha last year before starring throughout the AAU season with DC Blue Devils, finishing out his summer with DC Premier 17U and leading Premier in scoring at the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas. The rising junior recently visited Xavier and spoke highly of the visit and campus, implying that the Musketeers could be an early favorite for his services.
One of the top high-academic prospects in the country, 2016 Boys’ Latin (Md.) wing Kodye Pugh was impressive, showing great development since last year’s event. Standing 6-foot-7 and carrying a 3.89 GPA, Pugh holds offers from Georgetown, Temple, Northwestern, Rice, Princeton, and George Mason while being actively recruited by more than a dozen other programs. The junior showed off solid ball handling skills and was extremely active on both ends of the floor. With some added strength, Pugh appears he could be next in the line of skilled forwards out of Baltimore.
Doubling as a leading receiver and kick returner for one of the area’s top football teams at Westfield (Va.), 2016 swingman Tyler Scanlon solidified his reputation as one of the most hard-nosed players in his class. The morning after leading his team to a win on the gridiron, Scanlon was going through intensive drill work and setting the tone, showing no signs of fatigue. With a 3.9 GPA, Scanlon could be a star at the Ivy League level and has already been offered by George Mason, Rice, Toledo and Fairfield.
A player whose recruitment has the potential to blow up soon, 2016 wing Christian Matthews of National Christian (Md.) currently holds offers from Cincinatti and Rhode Island and generated major buzz on Saturday with his athleticism and refined skill set at 6-foot-6. Maryland, Rutgers, Pitt, Okahoma, Miami, Xavier and West Virginia have recently begun to recruit Matthews, as well.
A strong 2017 group at DMVelite 80 was led by DeMatha (Md.) swingman D.J. Harvey, a top 10 player in the sophomore class with early offers from Memphis, Tennessee, Texas and Xavier, among others. Harvey was not dominant, but showed flashes of brilliance at various times throughout the day. Other 2017 standouts included versatile St. Frances (Md.) small forward Andre Rafus and point guard Jamir Moultrie of Bishop McNamara (Md.), while Good Counsel (Md.) sharpshooter Cameron Norman was one of the event’s biggest breakout performers.
- 2015 wing Jordan Oakley of La Plata (Md.) took home the “Mr. Hustle” award for the day; he projects as a potential low-major Division I prospect who could make an impact with his versatility at the next level.
- 2015 scoring guard Nico Clareth of Calvert Hall (Md.) currently holds 15 offers and will begin to take visits to campuses in the upcoming weeks.
- Athletic 2015 Dulaney (Md.) wing Isaiah Lamb may be a mid-major sleeper. After tearing his ACL in his sophomore season, he has returned and become a hot commodity, being offered by Siena, High Point, Winthrop, Radford and UNC-Greensboro, along with attracting major attention from several local programs such as Loyola (Md.) and Towson.
- One of the area’s top big men, 2016 Mount Carmel (Md.) power forward David Erebor said that Clemson is recruiting him heavily and plans to visit the campus soon.
- Another 2016 big man, Justin Gorham is primed for a big season at Calvert Hall (Md.) after a strong summer. Miami, Iowa and Maryland have recently been in contact with Gorham, while Towson, Elon and James Madison have offered.
- High-flying 2016 Montrose Christian (Md.) forward A.J. Wilson provided some electricity on Saturday with a few high-level dunks and blocked shots. VCU, Towson, Penn State and Monmouth have offered while Maryland, Oklahoma and Cincinatti are monitoring his progress closely.
- Arguably the region’s most aggressive slasher, 2015 Oakland Mills (Md.) wing Will Robinson has an affinity for Temple and has visited frequently, but still has not received an offer from the Owls. Robinson claims a DePaul offer and is being targeted by several mid-major programs.