HYATTSVILLE — In recent years, head coach Chris Lun and the Walt Whitman Vikings have had success bringing in transfers from private schools, and getting an immediate impact from them. Most recently, Alex Sanson joined the Vikings from Gonzaga, and led the team in scoring.
Now, with Sanson graduating, the Vikings appeared to have discovered their next impactful transfer with Jason Lewis.
While Lewis had yet another impressive game for the Vikings in the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha, Whitman proved to be no match for the St. John’s Cadets’ powerful lineup including four-star guard and University of Virginia commit Casey Morsell, as the Cadets rolled through the Vikings, 81-54.
St. John’s gained a 7-2 lead early in the game, and kept building on that lead. The Cadets led by as many as 21 points over the Vikings during the first half.
However, Whitman would claw their way back for a stretch in the second half. Lewis hit two straight three-pointers, and got Whitman to a 46-39 deficit.
Unfortunately, that was as close as the Vikings would come.
The Cadets pulled away once again, building a lead of over 20 points. St. John’s never took their foot off the gas for the rest of the game, and even with Morsell only playing 15 minutes, dominated Whitman.
Lewis finished the game with 19 points, after scoring 26 in Whitman’s first game of the summer league on Saturday. He’ll be needed to fill the scoring void left by Sanson. Lun said he feels Lewis is a very different player from Sanson, in that Lewis doesn’t have the same creativity that Sanson had. Lewis is just a pure knockdown shooter, and when he gets going, he’s really tough to stop.
Lewis shot seven of 16 from the field, and hit four of nine three-pointers.
“Jason [Lewis] obviously is a good shooter. He’s a smart player. He’s also very unselfish,” Lun said.
Lewis came to Whitman from St. Andrew’s and will be a senior.
Whitman’s other key transfer is Jaden Pierce, who joined the Vikings from St. John’s. Pierce will be a junior this fall.
Pierce was the smallest player on the floor, but he had an impact for the Vikings. He didn’t put up jaw-dropping stats, with two points, four assists and four rebounds, but he did all of the little things well, on both ends of the floor. He figures to be an important piece for Whitman this summer and this winter.
“Jaden [Pierce] is real tough,” Lun said. “He handles the ball well, and he’s a really good defender. He makes smart decisions; he’s a really unselfish player.”
Whitman also got 15 points form Brendan Shaver, who started for the Vikings during most of the 2017-18 season. Whitman also brings back returning starters including Rodrigo Ruiz and Josh Weinberg.
Morsell, in only 15 minutes played, scored 14 points, with four three-pointers.
“They’re good” Lun said. “I was telling the guys before the game, looking at our schedule. We play teams like St. John’s and Maret and Eleanor Roosevelt, Wilson. Those teams are nationally good. Obviously, we don’t come into these games expecting to win, but we see how good those teams are. I thought today for a while, we competed. We cut it down to seven. They’re clearly better than we are, but it’s a great experience.”