Archbishop Wood has a very good boy’s basketball team. For the past few years, they have been one of the elite programs in the vaunted Philadelphia Catholic League. Tommy Funk (Army), Tyree Pickron (Quinnipiac), Collin Gillespie (Villanova), Karrington Wallace (Central Connecticut State), Matt Cerruti (Lock Haven) and Seth Pinkney (Quinnipiac commit) have forged a legacy that is being capably carried forth by Julius Phillips (senior), Daeshon Shepard (Sophomore), Rasool Diggins (sophomore) and Jaylen Stinson (sophomore).
Wood remains one of the most respected scholastic basketball programs in the Greater Philadelphia region.
Tonight… They were the second best team in the gym at McDevitt High School.
Named Head Boys Basketball Coach McDevitt in May 2017, Will Chavis has quickly turned the program into a contender for one of the highly coveted spots in the Catholic League Final Four at the Palestra.
Defeating Archbishop Wood before a full house tonight, let’s everyone know: McDevitt is for real…
They have a prolific scorer. Robert Smith, a 6 ft, 180 lbs junior southpaw is on a fast track to a 1,000 points in just 2 seasons. Smith is a crafty player with great vision and offensive skills. For a player just beginning his junior season his skills are advanced. He is smooth. He can shoot, handle and pass. He does an excellent job of breaking down opponents and taking what the defense gives him. He can stroke it from outside as well as get by his man and take it to the rim. He is especially effective going to his left hand.
Tonight, he earned every one of his 18 points. Wood sophomore, Jaylen Stinson was given the task of containing Mr. Smith. For those who have yet to observe Stinson play defense, let me try to adequately describe his approach.
Jaylen’s commitment to man-to-man, on ball, defense is truly spectacular. For much of the game, it appeared that Stinson and Smith were “slow dragging” in a $1.00 basement party. Still, Smith never forced anything and showed great patience throughout the hard fought contest.
Smith’s running mate, junior PG Ahmir Harris played an exceptional floor game. He was very composed and make several big shots when Wood trimmed the lead to an uncomfortable margin.
But, the player of the game was junior PF Jamil Manigo. A decidedly undersized “big”. Manigo had to contend with Wood’s high flying super athletic front court of Shepard, Phillips and Jackson. Keep in mind… Each of the Wood forwards jumps considerably higher than Manigo. Each of the Wood forwards runs faster than Manigo. But, it wasn’t a track meet… It was a basketball game.
At first glance, one thinks Manigo he should be playing in a 35 and over league. He’s not exactly svelte. I don’t think there was ever a moment when he could have jumped over a copy of Daily News.
But tonight… He seriously out played his Wood counterparts. As noted earlier, he is undersized, but make very effective use of guile and skill to compensate. Manigo is not a great athlete, and could be even more effective if he worked on his conditioning. He has a strong lower body, and shows impressive body control in his midrange and post game. Displays command of several offensive moves in the post. He possesses a very soft touch. He is a very good rebounder on both ends of the floor.
Manigo is ready made for small college basketball… D2s and D3s should be lining up to talk to the kid. He put up 19 points and controlled the boards, while helping to limit Phillips to 7, Shepard to 9 and Jackson to 0. IMPRESSIVE!
Lastly, it should be noted that on 6 consecutive occasions, McDevitt emerged from time outs of the end of quarter stoppages and ran plays that led to relatively easy baskets… Six straight times!
That is a testament to Will Chavis’ ability to make in-game adjustments and his player’s commitment to executing.
Damn good win! Damn good coach! Damn good team!