SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — At 7-1, DeMatha (Hyattsville) sophomore center Hunter Dickinson doesn’t get to post up against many guys taller than him.
Sunday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic, he got a taste of what college basketball may be like.
Battling against Archbishop Molloy (Queens, N.Y.) 7-2 senior center Moses Brown, Dickinson more than held his own and the Stags took an 86-56 win.
Dickinson had 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting and eight rebounds while Brown had 21 points on 10-for-18 shooting and eight rebounds.
“When I play against people who are that athletic and as tall as me, that really helps me at the next level,” Dickinson said. “I think I did a good job of guarding him in the first half, but he got his points in the second half. I think I may have surprised him with my shooting.”
Stags junior guard Justin Moore, who led the Stags with 21 points and is seeing interest from Maryland, Villanova, Notre Dame, Virginia and Xavier, said Dickinson had a little help keeping Brown off the blocks.
“We did a great job of executing the game plan, making sure (Brown) didn’t get easy looks,” he said. “Hunter did a good job and we all helped on him.”
DeMatha (14-2) may be the No. 5-ranked team in the Super 25 boys basketball rankings, but with only a handful of seniors, none of whom start, coach Mike Jones wanted to see how his team would respond after losing Thursday to No. 8 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.).
“The loss on Thursday hurt, it bothered us,” Jones said. “We didn’t play well enough to win that game and it’s frustrating when you know what you’re capable of and we worked hard the last couple of days to come back.”
Molloy (7-5) was missing its other key player in Cole Anthony, so the Stags knew the Dickinson-Brown meeting would be important.
“The great thing is that validates all the things (Dickinson) has been doing,” Jones said. “The everyday grind, playing against 6-5 post men, that can be frustrating because you’re not going to get calls. He’s very skilled and his IQ is ridiculous and his passing skill is his greatest strength. He’s going to naturally get stronger at 7-1 and 245 pounds.”
Despite the loss, Brown also saw a positive to playing against Dickinson. Brown, who said he will make his college decision soon, started slowly but had 13 of his points in the second half while holding Dickinson to six points after the break.
“It was definitely good because I get to go up against somebody my size and get pushed around a little bit,” Brown said. “He tried to pull me out, hitting that three from the line. The first half, I didn’t come out with as much fire as he did. The second half, coaches told me I had to defend him before he catches the ball.”