Friday, October 24, 2008

Preseason Teams to Watch: Montrose Christian

We are less than a month away from the start of high school basketball season in many parts of the country. That means in less than a month the first National Prep Basketball Poll of the season will be released.

Over the last several weeks, PrepNation Basketball Contributor Jeremy Plowman and Editor Jamie DeMoney have been analyzing top teams and players, and collecting information from high school coaches across the country.

Today, we continue giving readers a sneak peak at the preseason rankings (which will be released November 3) with another "Team to Watch" capsule.

Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)
Coach: Stu Vetter (764 wins in 32 seasons)
2007-08 record: 21-4 (East Coast No. 10 in final National Prep Poll)
Top players: F/C Mouphtauo Yarou (6-9), Sr.; F Isaiah Armwood (6-7), Sr.; G Terrance Ross (6-5), Jr.; G Justin Anderson (6-5), Fr.; G Dominic Milburn (6-4), Sr.
Team strength: Athleticism, balance
Question mark: Inexperience at perimeter positions, chemistry, depth
Outlook: Vetter, a two-time national coach of the year whose teams have finished regionally ranked or better in six straight seasons, expects this year's team to be one of the best he's ever had. Vetter says the roster includes four players capable of developing into NBA players. That group includes Villanova recruit Yarou, a native of Benin in West Africa who joined the team midway through last season. Vetter says Yarou is the best big man he's coached since current NBA player Linus Kleiza. Yarou is a hard worker, and, for an import, has a surprisingly good feel for the game. Armwood, who has also pledged to play at Villanova, is the team's only returning starter. He can jump out of the gym and should put up big numbers this season after being hampered by injuries a year ago. A pair of very talented newcomers will be counted on to lead the Mustangs' backcourt. Ross is a transfer from Portland Jefferson, where he led the Democrats to a state championship and was named Oregon 5A player of the year. Anderson, a native of Spotsylvania, Va., is getting early consideration as the nation's top-ranked player in the Class of 2012. He is the complete package, according to Vetter: He is athletic, shoots and handles the ball well, and is a good rebounder. Montrose Christian could further bolster its national ranking resume with a strong showing against a tough national schedule. The Mustangs will compete in Iolani Classic in Hawaii and face nationally ranked Oak Hill (Va.) at the end of the season. Vetter also expects to compete in the yet-to-be-finalized national prep tournament that would be held in early April in Washington, D.C.

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