Top 100 Camp: Oak Hill big man David McCormack improved by getting smaller

Photo: Jim Halley, USA TODAY Sports

Top 100 Camp: Oak Hill big man David McCormack improved by getting smaller

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Top 100 Camp: Oak Hill big man David McCormack improved by getting smaller

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. —  Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) center David McCormack is making great strides. He recently had a visit to Virginia. Next weekend, he’s off to Duke and then North Carolina State.

He’s raised his game, going from a role player with the Warriors to putting up double-doubles on Wednesday against elite talent at the NBA Top 100 Camp here.

To get to where he is, the biggest move the 6-10 senior-to-be did was make fewer trips to the refrigerator.

He transferred last season to Oak Hill from Norfolk (Va.) Academy. Early in the season, he topped 300 pounds, making it tough for him play extended minutes. Since then, he said he’s dropped 40 pounds, putting him at 265.

“Through all the work and determination, I changed my game,” McCormack said. “I made sure dropped the weight. I played hard, I made sure I revolutionized my game.”

Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said the biggest reason for McCormack’s improvement has been getting in shape, which he has done steadily since January.

“He needed to get his body right, lose some weight, so he could play above the rim instead of below it,” Smith said. “He’s a lot more agile. He needed to get in shape so he could run the court every possession. He’s done a great job of doing what we ask him.”

At Oak Hill, his teammates knew he was getting in better shape, but his progress was steady, so it was more noticeable to outsiders who hadn’t seen him in a while.

“People were telling me during our season how good he looked,” Smith said. “Everybody who sees him now wants to recruit him and that wasn’t the thing before. Now, he probably has 25-30 offers. We saw him every day and we knew he was losing weight, but we didn’t notice. Other people would come in who hadn’t seen him and go, ‘Oh, my God.’ They didn’t know how disciplined he was. Now, he’s shown he’s that type of player who wants to be good.”

While he looks like a different person, he’s still a natural post. It’ s just that now that he’s in better shape, he’s developed other parts of his game.

“I want to make sure the college program fits me and the coaching style fits me,” McCormack said. “Playing back to basket — that’s my bread-and-butter, but I also need to work on my face-up game, the mid-range shot, the pick and pop and stuff like that to help my game.”

Smith said McCormack is coachable because he knows he’s a center, not a stretch-four.

“He’ll do what you ask him to do,” Smith said. “He has a great attitude and he’s a great student. He’s a big guy and there’s not many five men who want to play down low. Dave knows what he is and goes to work.”

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