MMA postgrad hoops team showing unselfishness, drawing attention as season approaches

WOODSTOCK – Massanutten Military Academy’s postgraduate basketball doesn’t begin its regular season for another month, but head coach Chad Myers has already gotten an in-depth look at the 2018-19 roster since the Colonels reported to campus last month. Two differences from last season’s team already stand out to Myers.

WOODSTOCK – Massanutten Military Academy’s postgraduate basketball doesn’t begin its regular season for another month, but head coach Chad Myers has already gotten an in-depth look at the 2018-19 roster since the Colonels reported to campus last month. Two differences from last season’s team already stand out to Myers.

The Colonels have quickly shown a propensity for sharing the basketball, Myers said on Friday afternoon, which likely speaks to the second trait the longtime prep coach has noticed in his newest squad: MMA might not have one or two go-to scorers, something that has generally been the case for Myers’ teams.

Last season the Colonels got the bulk of their scoring from guards Rasir Bolton and Tyrese Martin, who signed with Penn State and Rhode Island, respectively, and Myers said this season could see MMA use a collective effort on the offensive end.

“We’re more than talented enough to that,” said Myers, who noted that he’s got six players on the roster who won state championships in high school in Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama. “And a guy could emerge. It’s only been a month. But right now it just kind of depends on the day who’s hot, who’s got the hot hand.”

As it stood on Friday afternoon, Myers said MMA’s new starting five looks like it will include point guard Dereon Seabron, two-guard Jarren McAllister, small forward Brandon Suggs, center Mahamadou Diawara and either Jarvis Vaughan, Connor Withers or Nate Spurlock at the four. Of that group, only McAllister – who originally had signed with Virginia Tech before coming to MMA – is listed as shorter than 6-foot-5.

And just as Myers has had the chance to get a good look at his roster, so too have college coaches. Myers said that as of Friday afternoon MMA had seen coaches from 48 different NCAA Division I schools visit campus to watch workouts over the past two weeks, likely the biggest turnout the Colonels have had in Myers’ time at the school. That number figures to rise before the end of the live period in early October.

Seabron, a 6-7 point guard from Norfolk, has drawn the most interest from the current crop of Colonels. Seabron, the 2018 VHSL Class 4 Player of the Year at Lake Taylor High School, which beat Handley in the state championship game, has around 25 Division I offers, Myers said, including LSU, Oklahoma State, Virginia Commonwealth University and East Carolina University.

Myers added that Seabron has gotten interest from Maryland, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgetown, North Carolina State, Tennessee and Minnesota, all of which have sent coaches to MMA to get a peek at the Colonels’ point guard.

Suggs (6-7, Powder Springs, Georgia) has offers from Auburn, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M, according to Myers, who added that McAllister, who announced over the summer he was granted his release from his national letter of intent with Virginia Tech, holds offers from Xavier, ECU and VCU.

The 6-foot-10 Diawara, the lone returnee from last year’s MMA squad, has received offers from ECU, Rhode Island and Old Dominion. Vaughan, who attended Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, had given a verbal commitment to ODU before choosing to prep at MMA.

Myers said the college head coaches who have attended workouts at MMA have included N.C. State’s Kevin Keatts, VCU’s Mike Rhoades and Oklahoma State’s Mike Boynton, and he added that he’s expecting Virginia Tech’s Buzz Williams and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon to visit campus in the coming week.

MMA plays an exhibition game against Oak Hill Academy on Oct. 16 before opening regular-season play on Oct. 27, and Myers said much of the Colonels’ focus until then will be on team defense.

“Normally it’s like getting guys to play with each other and play with other good players, so we’re actually a little bit ahead in that,” he said. “I think the biggest thing for us will be just what we’re doing defensively. I think it’s kind of communicating defensively. We’re gonna try to do a lot of the same stuff that we did last year pressure-wise and man-to-man and switching screens and all of that stuff.”