That turn of events made Maze, a junior college all-American, one of the hottest commodities left on the market, with Kentucky being one of several schools making a hard push for his services.
"I've been through everything in life. There's a reason I didn't go to Maryland.—maybe there's a better situation out there for me," said Maze, a 6-foot-3 native of Suitland, Md., who this past season averaged 20.7 points 4.5 rebounds and nearly seven assists per game, shooting 50.5 percent from the field overall and 72.9 percent from the free-throw line.
The finalists for Maze are Cincinnati, Tennessee and Kentucky. He'll visit Cincy this weekend, Kentucky next weekend and Tennessee a week thereafter. All three have offered and all three have been out to Kansas to see him in recent weeks, including UK head man Billy Gillispie.
"He seemed like a straight-up, honest man, up front. He's a demanding coach. It's not gonna be easy, but if you can get the job done he can get you to the next level. He's put players in the league. But yeah, you're gonna be in shape, you're gonna play defense [for Gillispie. My impression of him was great," Maze said.
"He needs a scorer. He needs somebody who can come in there and create off the dribble and play with intensity and fire. That's me," he said. "He needs somebody who, when the shotclock is down to 10 seconds, can make a play, whether I get to the basket or create for one of my teammates.
"I know Kentucky basketball is a very, very big deal."
Though he nearly committed to Tennessee before choosing Maryland, Maze said there's no favorite heading into the three-week visit stretch. He plans to play pick-up ball at each school in order to determine where he'd fit in best on the court, while also evaluating each school off the court.
Maze wants to "come in and play right away, have the ball in my hands, maybe come off some screens and spread the floor," he said. "I definitely want to play for a team that has good players and wants to win. I want to win a national championship. I'm not gonna go some place just to score a lot of points and do this and that."
After making his decision, he'll finish up with a session of summer school and then will head to whichever school he's chosen.
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