Hoping for something special

It was only one commitment, and the announcement of an assistant coach, but Maryland fans are hoping it is the start of something special in College Park.

What started off as a bad week for the Maryland Terrapins got a double dose of good news on Tuesday. A day after Sterling Gibbs decided to play his college ball at Texas, the Terps more than made up for it in the long term.

The news started early on when Dalonte Hill agreed to terms to come back home and join the Terrapins coaching staff. Hill, who was the highest paid assistant in the country, took a pay cut to join the Maryland staff, and his ties to the Washington D.C. area are well known.

Adding Hill was huge for long term success, but in the short term it was Nick Faust who brought a smile to Head Coach Mark Turgeon's face. Faust, who had asked out of his letter of intent upon the resignation of Gary Williams and subsequent hiring of Turgeon, decided that Maryland was the right spot for him and re-committed.

The names are burned in the memory of Maryland fans. Michael Beasley, Donte Green, Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Nolan Smith, Jason Clark, Wally Judge, Thomas Robinson, Maurice Creek, Josh Selby, Will Barton, Roscoe Smith, and Kendall Marshall.

Those are just some of the high level players from the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C./Baltimore area (known as the DMV) who have decided the University Maryland isn't the place for them. While it is completely ridiculous and impossible to expect Maryland to completely dominate the talent rich DMV area, quite honestly they should have been doing better.

Overall from 2007-10 there were 26 prospects who were raised in that area in the Scout.com top 100, and another three who spent nearly their entire high school careers in the area. Of those 29 prospects Maryland landed exactly two of them. In 2007 they lured Baltimore big man Braxton Dupree, who later transferred to Towson, and then in 2008 Maryland was able to keep Sean Mosley home.

Outside of those two prospects, the Terps have either settled for second level local prospects or gotten their talent from other areas of the country. That is a sore spot for many Maryland fans, and now Turgeon might be on the road to changing that.

Convincing Faust to join back in the fold is just the start. Turgeon has a staff loaded with experienced recruiters with significant ties to the area.

Most fans can easily identify with what Hill has done in his time at Charlotte and then most notably and recently Kansas State. In his time in Manhattan, Hill landed Beasley and Judge from the DC Assault program. Hill played his AAU ball for DC Assault, and remains very close with program director Curtis Malone.

While Hill gets most of his notoriety based on recruiting DC Assault, he also landed Jacob Pullen out of Chicago, and had success in New York City recruiting the New York Gauchos program. Hill was the lead recruiter for Shane Southwell and also convinced Omari Lawrence to come to Manhattan.

Then there is Orlando "Bino" Ranson. Ranson was the point man for Faust, and was instrumental in getting him to commit to Maryland in the first place. Once it became clear that Ranson was staying on the staff, most felt Faust was a lock to stay with his pledge. Ranson got his start coaching the program that is now Nike Baltimore Elite, and has had success at James Madison and Xavier landing kids from the Baltimore area.

Finally there is Scott Spinelli. Spinelli doesn't geta ton of credit for being very good in the DMV area, but he is. Spinelli landed four-star pledge Naji Hibbert out of DeMatha Catholic at Texas A&M, and also originally secured the commitment of Denzel Bowles who transferred out of College Station, but went on to be arguably the best player in the Colonial Athletic Association the last two seasons while at James Madison.

Faust is just a start, he is the most highly visible recruit that could have helped Maryland immediately, but also the Terps made quick work in getting a commitment from Seth Allen in the 2012 class. At this point Allen hasn't been evaluated by Scout.com, but people who have seen him praise his ability.

Overall it is too early to know for sure how things will go at Maryland in the Mark Turgeon Era. Even with the loss of Gibbs, things are looking to be moving in a positive direction. Turgeon is known as a very good coach, he has a staff with recruiting proven ties, and is in an area where you can land players.

Only time will tell if Turgeon can get his share of the highly touted players to come from the area, but one thing is for sure, he has put himself in a position to make a splash.


Scout Hoops Top Stories