Woodrow Wilson junior Dimingus Stevens (H/T Adam Ayalew)
Woodrow Wilson enjoyed themselves a memorable 2017-18 season, tallying a 33-9 record en route to their first ever DCSAA state championship. Head coach Angelo Hernandez turns over an almost completely new lineup in 2018-19, and on paper, they have every chance to be even better than last season. The Tigers will look to build on their 14-0 in-conference record last season and will test themselves frequently against national competition.
Wilson’s star will likely be a shared duty. Standout seniors Makhi and Makhel Mitchell transfer in from Montverde Academy, joining Boston College commit Jay Heath. The Mitchell twins, both committed to Maryland, are going to be a major headache for the majority of their opponents. The 6-foot-9 duo helped DC Premier win the UAA Championship, operating as difference makers on both ends of the floor. Makhi is currently the more offensively-polished player, while Makhel has turned himself into an elite defender. Their presence on the interior - provided they stay out of foul trouble - will keep a high-major big man on the floor at nearly all times, which is a huge advantage at the high school level. Heath, a senior guard, is the go-to option in the backcourt, and he’s a lethal scorer. The 6-foot-3 Boston College commit was one of the breakout players of the spring. Heath averaged 16.1 points a game for Team Melo in the EYBL, a mark that projects him as a huge piece of Wilson’s projected success. His offensive versatility should create havoc all season, and he’ll be a huge beneficiary of playing alongside the Mitchell twins.
Junior Dimingus Stevens joins Heath to make one of the more formidable backcourts on the east coast. The 6-foot-5 combo guard is the 59th ranked player in the 2020 class and the top-ranked player in DC according to 247 Sports, and he should build on the role he played on last year’s state title run. 6-foot-5 freshman point guard Darren Buchanan Jr is set to burst onto the national scene, and it’s nice that he’ll be able to learn from Stevens and Heath. 6-foot-7 sophomore Zaakir Williamson has tons of potential and will be a major factor in a glue-guy role. Wilson’s final roster won’t be complete until mid-November, but the start of their rotation is stocked full of talent and experience.
Wilson is going to be a force against local competition, but they’ll test themselves plenty in a number of national events. They’ll play highly-ranked IMG Academy at the ARS Hoopfest in DC, and that will act as a solid barometer for where Wilson stands nationally. They have at least six high-major players in their rotation, and the presence of the Mitchell twins will come with a target on their backs. The Tigers will be a must-see for high school basketball fans out east, and they would likely slide in a bit higher in our preseason rankings if we had access to their entire roster.