Virginia Independent School State Championships Recap


Maryland 2016 target Thon Maker continues to turn heads and has the attention of some of the top schools in the nation. (Mandatory Credit: Don Petersen/Roanoke Times)

TSMD got a chance to take in Richmond, Virginia while watching numerous Maryland basketball prospects take the court in the Virginia Independent Schools state championships. Terps commit Melo Trimble bowed out early with a loss to Paul VI on Friday in front of Mark Turgeon, while newly offered 2015 wing Chris Clarke played in the championship game against Paul VI and another Terps target Joshua Reaves. And of course there was the man of the hour, Carlisle’s Thon Maker, one of the most talked about talents in the country.

1.) Maryland offers 2015 wing Chris Clarke

The Maryland Terrapins have had their eye on Clarke for awhile, but after his 25 point performance last Friday, Mark Turgeon finally handed him an offer. Clarke, who plays for undefeated Cape Henry Collegiate, has had a monster season averaging 25 points per game this year.

He’s long, athletic, and does a great job moving without the rock, but where he really makes his money is with a great nose for the ball. Clarke is a great rebounder for his size, and knows where to be when the ball goes in the air. Maryland is definitely looking for athletic wings, and if they needed a glue guy, he’d be their man. Sure, he has work to do with his jumper, but his length and athleticism are a very solid combination.

While Clarke is currently outside of the Top 100 players in his class according to 247, his strong performance during this season and a good summer of AAU should see him rocket up the boards. Right now, he holds offers from Maryland, Creighton, and has interest from Indiana…

2.) Melo Trimble bows out early…

Trimble, fresh off a season low eight points against Bishop Ireton in the WCAC playoffs, had another tough go of things in Petersburg. O’Connell lost to rival Paul VI by twenty, and Melo was constantly hassled by their defense. He finished with 15, but none of it was easy for him and his shot wasn’t falling.

It’s nothing to be concerned about, mostly because the rest of his teammates didn’t make it easy for him by making any shots. Still, Trimble has cooled a bit lately. The more and more I see of him, the more I think he may be a shooting guard. He’ll come in and play point for Maryland, but he could definitely play the two spot as well because he knows how to move off the ball. It’ll be interesting to see where Turgeon plays him upon his arrival.

3.) Thon Maker is as advertised

Sophomore big man Thon Maker of Carlisle is a top three player in his class, but he may well end up as the best. The 7-footer took home the Division II championship game with a big win over Christchurch School, and showed why he’s so highly coveted. Maker finished up with 25 points and 14 rebounds, and scored in a variety of ways including an alley oop off the backboard to himself.

Look, he’s definitely skinny (208 lbs according to his handler), but Maker doesn’t need to fit a position. He runs the floor exceptionally well, and has an absurd amount of athleticism. Plus he’s a great rebounder for his size who likes to block shots. He’s also got a hook shot from the block that is unguardable. Maker may not be a traditional center, but the hype surrounding this kid is warranted.

Right now, he’s not looking at any schools in particular, but Duke is widely believed to be in the lead for his services. Maker’s handler stated he holds a 4.08 GPA, so there are absolutely no limits on where he can attend. Maryland hasn’t offered him yet, and I’m not sure they will, but with a wide open recruitment for him, they may as well.

4.) Joshua Reaves continues to shine

Reaves is another 2015 wing that Maryland is taking a look at, and as Paul VI won the Virginia Independent School State Championships, this kid played a major role. Every time I watch Reaves play, he just seems to blossom. I’d never even seen him take a shot from outside before until last weekend, but then he whipped it out for everyone to see. Reaves is very similar to Chris Clarke in that he’s a great defender, long, and likes to do the gritty work that doesn’t come with tons of accolades.

That’s not to say Reaves can’t score, because he’s got a solid first step and speed with the ball in his hands. He can get around defenders well, and when he went up against Clarke in the championship game, it was a very close matchup. Clarke had the upper hand with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, but Reaves ended up with a victory.

Right now, Reaves has offers from Villanova, Penn State, Boston College, and VCU, but Mark Turgeon has been present for so many of this kid’s games that it’s hard to imagine Maryland won’t offer him soon.