BECKLEY — Trey Doomes already knew what to look for, having played against Jordan McCabe a number of times in AAU basketball since the eighth grade.
“Yeah, he caught a lot of guys [in practice on April 13] in the head who weren’t ready for his passes,” said Doomes, an incoming freshman with the WVU men’s basketball team next season out of Acworth, Ga. Doomes played on the No. 2 high school team in the nation as a senior — NSU University School, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “I’ve played against him so many times. I know what he’s capable of doing. You have to be ready at all times when he’s on your team.”
The two future WVU guards played together for the first time Saturday, in the annual Scott Brown Memorial Classic, at the Beckley Convention Center.
They put on a show in the pre-game festivities. McCabe, a 6-foot guard with deadly no-look passing skills, won the 3-point contest, knocking down 18 of 25 in both rounds.
Doomes, a 6-1 athletic guard who isn’t afraid to guard anybody on the floor, won the dunk contest when he hauled in a bounce pass from McCabe from the upper row seating area — some 40 feet away — and then threw down a double-pump jam with authority.
Doomes and McCabe’s EIN team came away with a 138-114 win. McCabe
(19 points, seven assists) and Doomes (24 points, seven rebounds) were named co-MVPs.
Beginning next season, they will take their act to a WVU team in need of replacing star guards Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr., but that is their future.
Their pasts, too, are interesting and intertwined enough that McCabe readily takes credit for playing a role in getting WVU interested in Doomes and Doomes interested in the Mountaineers.
“I committed as a sophomore and the [WVU] coaches were asking me if I knew of any wings out there,” said McCabe, a native of Kaukauna, Wis., who led Kaukauna High to two state titles and was named Wisconsin’s Mr. Basketball this year, as a senior. “Trey was one of the first guys I thought of. We’ve been playing against each other since the eighth grade and we’ve stayed in touch through social media.”
That was in 2016, while McCabe was working to prove he had more to his game than just flashy ball skills that once got him on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” when he was a pre-teen, and Doomes was looking to find a bigger school that provided better competition and an opportunity to grow his own game.
“I wasn’t even thinking about West Virginia,” Doomes said. “They had never really recruited me at that point. I had other schools I was looking at.”
That all changed once McCabe got involved.
“Jordan kept telling me how there was going to be a great opportunity at WVU, with Jevon and Dax graduating,” Doomes said. “WVU started to build a relationship, and it became a school I was really interested in. Once me and my family took our visit, I knew it was the right place for me.”
As a senior, Doomes did find the right school. NSU Universty School finished runner-up in the GEICO High School national championship tournament, falling to Montverde (Fla.) Academy — the school former WVU standout Devin Williams attended — in the finals.
NSU’s roster also included Vernon Carey Jr., the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect in the 2019 class; Scottie Barnes, a five-star prospect in the class of 2020; and four-star prospect Drue Drinnon, a New Mexico signee.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to go there, but it was the best move for me,” Doomes said. “I’m pretty much a momma’s boy and she didn’t get a chance to see me play as a senior, but I had the opportunity to face better competition and play on a great team. It was an unbelievable experience.”
McCabe, too, grew his game past the little kid known for performing his ball-handling tricks at the halftime of college and pro games and into a player respected for his overall talent.
He scored 26.7 points and added 7.8 assists per game as a senior and scored on a last-second drive that handed Kaukauna the Wisconsin WIAA Division 2 state championship last month.
“That whole label, I guess you could call it, on me being just a show, that’s out of here now,” McCabe said. “That tag is gone now that I’m signed to a Big 12 school with a Hall of Fame coach. That kind of puts everything in the past.
“The biggest thing for me is, everything that happened before this doesn’t really matter to me anymore. The state championships or all the points scored, the people of West Virginia probably don’t know all of that. I have to re-prove myself and do everything I can to help WVU win.”