Recruiting Impact of Maryland to Big Ten

Ever since getting the job at Maryland, Head Coach Mark Turgeon has really worked to keep some of the top talent home. The DMV region as it is called (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) is the top region for basketball talent in the country, and recently Turgeon had been make good strides in keeping some top kids home. Now with the Terps off to the Big Ten, how do things change?

In his time at Maryland, Mark Turgeon has signed or kept the pledge of Nick Faust and Sam Cassell who are natives of Baltimore, Seth Allen who hails from Virginia, and in the 2013 class he scored signatures from Damonte Dodd and Roddy Peters who are both Maryland natives and four-star talents. One of the big factors for all of those kids was the ACC.

Now that will change, and some of the top power brokers in the region have differing perspectives on how the move will impact recruiting at the University of Maryland.

Keith Stevens is the head of the powerful Team Takeover AAU program. Stevens says he doesn't think it will be a major impact because of how schools from outside the region have already made recruiting the area a priority.

"I don't think it hurts Maryland at all," said Stevens. "You look at our program with Indiana having three kids from us commit to play there, and then also schools like DePaul and Notre Dame, I don't think our kids will have a problem going to Maryland if it is the right situation from a playing time or development standpoint."

D.C. Assault, which has long been a power program in the area, recently had Peters go to Maryland, and Damon Handon who helps with the program has a slightly different take.

"I think it will be a definite transition," said Handon. "The kids identify more with the ACC as opposed to the Big Ten. First of all the style of play is different in the Big Ten. Also you get used to the rivalries with North Carolina, Duke, and Virginia, and who do you replace that with, Penn State? I just think it will be a big transition."

In fact Handon thinks one of the biggest selling points for a school like Maryland with local recruits is no longer available to them.

"The travel for families is a big deal," said Handon. "One good thing about a local kid going to Maryland is their family can watch them play on the road and at home. You can drive to Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, NC State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. In the Big Ten it isn't that easy to get to Iowa, Minnesota, or Ohio State."

For his part Washington (DC) Gonzaga Head Coach Steve Turner, who has had some of the top players in the area on his squad over recent years, isn't sure what it means one way or the other.

"Early on I don't know how it impacts recruiting," said Turner of the move. "I think who it impacts more are the people like me. We grew up on ACC basketball. Now we just lost our ACC team, but I think at the end of the day kids are going to the school that they are recruited by and like the best."

One factor that multiple people noted is now the Big Ten schools have a much easier task in recruiting the talent rich area.

Johnathan Watford runs Hoops Scouting Report a scouting service in the DMV area, and has been a fixture in basketball circles in the region for over 20 years. He says Maryland just made things more difficult by bringing more schools to the table.

"The really good kids in Maryland might rather play at a school like Michigan State or Indiana or Ohio State that is in the top 10 then at Maryland if they are going to play in the Big Ten," said Watford.

He continued, "I could see kids go to the Big Ten, but Michigan State or Indiana. That is the way I see it. I think that is the biggest thing. This opens up the region to other schools in the Big Ten like Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, and those schools. I think Maryland going to the Big Ten makes it easier for the other Big Ten schools to recruit the DMV which means Maryland now has more competition than ever because the ACC and Big East schools are still going to recruit the area as well."

Turner also echoed those sentiments.

"I think it immediately helps Penn State," said Turner. "If some kid wants that atmosphere and they are a bigger football school. They are going to be a bigger player in football in that conference immediately. That could help them in that regard."

While there is no consensus quite yet on the impact this has on Maryland's recruiting, one thing is for sure, a lot of people will be very interested to see how this plays out and if it ends up being a good move long term for the school.


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