Team Takeover (DC) secured their second Peach Jam Championship in 2018, rattling off an undefeated regular season before cruising to a 7-1 record in North Augusta, South Carolina. Head coach Keith Stevens is one of the very best in the business, and if there is one thing that has become a trend over the years it's that Team Takeover doesn't rebuild, they reload. In total, DC's EYBL affiliate will feature a league-high 10 four or five-star recruits on their roster, more than any team in the league. Included among those ranked players are three veterans set to return from their 2018 championship team, as well as six players from last year's highly-successful E16 roster.
When 10 top-150 players are operating in the same rotation, it can be fairly difficult to accurately pinpoint a 'star'. Hunter Dickinson returns for his third year, and the 7-foot-2 big man is the most experienced member of the rotation and also holds the highest ranking. Dickinson (247 Composite No. 24) was a crucial piece of Takeover's frontcourt a year ago, averaging 9.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while shooting 58.2 percent from the floor in 23 games for the Peach Jam Champions. Dickinson is playing the best basketball of his career, evidenced by him winning the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Most Valuable Player award in March. Dickinson is a fundamentally-sound big man with great touch around the basket, and he is a perfect fit for Takeover's system.
After Dickinson, predicting the rest of Takeover's production is a bit of a crapshoot. Sophomore guard Trevor Keels will handle the majority of the ball-handling duties with highly-ranked junior veteran Jeremy Roach (247 No. 15) out for the season with a torn ACL. Roach and Keels (247 No. 31) are also teammates on Paul VI (VA) during the high school year, and Keels took off in a full sprint after assuming the point guard duties from Roach after his injury. Keels earned 2019 WCAC Player of the Year and VISAA All-State honors, two selections that are extremely impressive to pull off as an underclassman. Keels can do a bit of everything. He defends, attacks in the halfcourt, and can fill it up from the perimeter. Keels will have a plethora of weapons at his disposal, and the 6-foot-4 point guard is at his best when he is distributing to his teammates.
Takeover junior Hunter Dickinson (247 Composite No. 40)
Four guards will share the backcourt minutes with Keels, and three of them - Lynn Greer III, Dimingus Stevens, and Chuck Harris - are top 100 recruits in the 2020 class. Greer (247 No. 96) joins Takeover after running with Philadelphia's EYBL affiliate Team Final (PA) a year ago. The 6-foot-3 Philly-native will play big minutes in Takeover's rotation, and he'll be looking to improve on per-game averages of 9.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 2018. Greer shot an underwhelming 31 percent from the floor, but his three-point shooting (38.1%) was on point throughout the season.
Stevens (247 Composite No. 93) will make a major impact in the rotation, and the 6-foot-5 combo guard earned DCSAA Second Team All-State honors for Woodrow Wilson (DC) during the 2018-19 high school season. Stevens is terrific in transition and a deadly shooter when left open on the perimeter. His strength, athleticism, and shooting ability makes Stevens a strong candidate to lead Takeover in scoring.
Harris will provide a major spark off the bench. Harris (247 Composite No. 96) starts at point guard for Gonzaga (DC) in the WCAC, and the 6-foot-1 junior is an ultra-competitive two-way guard that plays like the typical Team Takeover guard. Harris is tough-as-nails and doesn't shy away from physicality as he navigates the floor. Harris recently received an offer from Butler, and he should continue to see the offers roll in with a showing on the circuit. Columbia-commit Canin Reynolds rounds out the backcourt, and the diminutive point guard provides Takeover with a high-level passer off the bench.
Dickinson will receive big minutes at the center position, and he'll receive help from four 4-star recruits. 6-foot-7 swingman Terrance Williams returns to the Takeover rotation after chipping in averages of 7.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 22 games for the 2018 Peach Jam Champions. Williams (247 No. 92) continued his winning ways during the 2018-19 high school season, helping Harris guide Gonzaga to the WCAC championship. Williams averaged 17.8 points per game en route to Gonzaga's conference championship, and he can score from all over the court. Williams is ultra-experienced in the Takeover system, and if he can continue to play his role and make open shots, he should see his production skyrocket in 2019.
6-foot-8 junior Woody Newton joined Team Takeover last July for the E16 Peach Jam, and he has significant upside. A long, athletic athlete capable of defending multiple positions, Newton (247 Composite No. 78) employs a guard-like skill-set and is a high-major asset in transition. Newton is perfect for this Takeover rotation, as he is able to impact the game strictly with his motor and nose for the ball. Newton should continue to realize has massive potential this spring after a strong junior season for Mt Zion Prep (MD).
Myles Stute is also a member of Gonzaga's WCAC championship team, and the 6-foot-6 swingman played a large role on Takeover E16 unit from a year ago. Stute (247 Composite No. 115) provides Stevens with an evolving athlete who is equally-talented in the halfcourt and in transition. Stute will be an elite glue-guy for Team Takeover, and his ability to score, defend, and rebound at a high-level will be a major asset moving forward. Last but not least is 6-foot-11, 245-pound sophomore Efton Reid. A VISAA First-Team All-State selection, Reid (247 No. 44) offers up huge size for Takeover and a terrific complement to Dickinson. Reid takes up a ton of space down low and is a smooth operator in the pick-and-roll.
Takeover junior Terrance Williams (247 No. 92)
Takeover has plans to repeat, and they will enter 2019 as a favorite to pick up their third Peach Jam trophy in 10 years. Keels understands Takeover's past success and is excited for this unit to make their own path.
"Much respect to my older brothers for laying out a blueprint with that Peach Jam Championship Run," Keel said. "But this year's team is a little different, we have to continue to believe in the TAKEOVER WAY, which is take it one game at a time and play for each other. They had an identity as a team and that’s what we have to establish heading into this EYBL season in order to make another run at the championship."
If that identity is properly-established, Team Takeover will be extremely tough to eliminate. Their defense will be unquestionably elite, and with the number of ranked prospects on their roster, anything short of a Peach Jam repeat would be a tough pill to swallow for the massively successful grassroots basketball program.
Team Takeover celebrates their 2018 Peach Jam Championship win