Every week, across several sports, players around the DMV shine in individual performance. Every Monday, I’d like to take a minute to highlight some of those performances, including what I view as the best performance and name that athlete the “DMV Star of the Week.”
This week’s DMV Star of the Week is Maryland forward Julian Reese.
In Maryland’s surprising NCAA Tournament appearance, Reese led the Terrapins in the opening round win over West Virginia with a team-high 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks while playing 37 minutes.
“I think Julian Reese has been one of if not the best big man in the Big Ten Conference for the last two months,” Maryland Head Coach Kevin Willard said following the Terps 67-65 win. “And so anyone that’s surprised by what he did today hasn’t been watching us.”
Reese scored in double-figures in 13 of Maryland’s final 14 games this season, including the loss to Alabama on Saturday night that ended the Terps season. In that game, Reese scored a team-high 14 points in just 20 minutes due to early foul trouble. He eventually fouled out of the game.
Reese is a 6’9 sophomore from Baltimore, MD and is going to be a key piece on Maryland’s roster, assuming he’s back with the Terrapins next season. With the current state of the transfer portal in college basketball, you never know. But after his first season with Kevin Willard in charge of the program, it’s hard to imagine him wanting to be anywhere else.
Reese and the Terps' season came to an end with a disappointing 73-51 loss to #1 Alabama on Saturday / Photo: AP
“It was kind of difficult, being patient, waiting my turn, knowing I was going to get a new coach next year,” Reese said on his freshman year.
His freshman year, he averaged 5.7 PPG in just over 17 minutes per game. This season, his average jumped to 11.4 PPG in nearly 27 minutes. If you look at just the final two months of the season, Reese averaged over 13 PPG.
Assuming he’s back in College Park, I think Maryland should expect a big jump from year two to year three with Julian Reese.
The DMV saw seven teams in action this past week, including the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, and the Maryland and Howard basketball teams along with the D.C. Defenders XFL team and Washington Nationals at Spring Training
Here are some honorable mention performances for DMV Star of the Week:
Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin recorded 6 points this past week, including 3 points in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Minnesota in which he scored twice
Wizards guard Bradley Beal scored 20+ points in all three games this past week, including a 36 point performance in Tuesday’s 117-97 win over Detroit
D.C. United forward Christian Benteke netted his second goal of the season in Saturday’s 3-2 loss against New York City FC
Howard basketball forward Shy Odom scored a team-high 15 points in Thursday’s loss to Kansas, adding 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
Maryland women’s basketball guard Diamond Miller helped the Terps advance to the Sweet 16 on Sunday with a dominant 24 point, 6 rebound and 7 assist performance in a 77-64 win over Arizona
D.C. Defenders running back Abram Smith rushed 23 times in Saturday’s win over St. Louis, running for 218 yards and 3 touchdowns in an absolutely dominant performance
Here’s what’s coming up this week in DMV Sports:
Washington Capitals: (33-31-7, 6th in Metropolitan Division)
3/21 vs. Columbus
3/23 vs. Chicago
3/25 @ Pittsburgh
Washington Wizards: (32-39, T-12th in Eastern Conference)
3/21 @ Orlando
3/22 vs. Denver
3/24 vs. San Antonio
3/26 @ Toronto
D.C. United: (1-1-2, 11th in Eastern Conference)
3/25 vs. New England
D.C. Defenders: (5-0 overall, 1st in XFL North)
3/27 vs. Houston
Washington Nationals: Spring Training
3/20 vs. New York Mets
3/21 vs. Saint Louis
3/22 vs. New York Yankees
3/23 @ Houston
3/24 vs. Saint Louis
3/25 vs. Houston
3/26 @ Miami
3/26 vs. OL Reign (Regular Season Opener)
*Denotes games I will be covering in-person
Maryland basketball’s season came to an end in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament in a 73-51 loss to #1 Alabama on Saturday
Howard basketball’s season came to an end on Thursday in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in a 96-68 loss to #1 Kansas