MD Coaches Working to Push Baru Over the Hump

The past two weeks Adjehi Baru has gotten visits from Coach Williams and Coach Ehsan.

The buzz surrounding center Adjehi Baru’s pending college commitment is heating up, as Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams and Assistant Coach Robert Ehsan have both made appearances the 2011 recruit’s high school during the past two weeks.

Both watched Baru perform during an open gym at Steward School (Richmond, Va.) last week, and Ehsan apparently caught up with the prospect again on Sept. 16. “They seemed very high on Baru,” said Steward Head Coach Elliott Gravitt.

Maryland sits in the top five on Baru’s list of potential colleges, and Terrapin scouts will welcome the senior to College Park during an Oct. 23 visit. The fact the Maryland is so high on Baru’s list “obviously says a lot about Maryland and the way they’ve recruited” Baru, said Gravitt.

According to Gravitt, it’s important for recruits to base their college decisions on a few important factors, including their comfort level with certain schools and their coaches, as well as academics. “I think that’s something Baru really values, getting a great education,” Gravitt said. “He’s a really serious student. He said he wants to study computer science.”

If the Terps can add Baru to their roster, the team won’t only potentially benefit from his smarts, but would also thrive on his tenacity and physical presence. Standing at 6-foot-9, Baru would presumably complement Jordan Williams as an imposing, tough defender whom driving guards would struggle against in the paint.

Gravitt said Baru could help the Terps immediately on defense, citing his shot-blocking ability. “He’s just got a really good court awareness in terms of the defensive end of the ball.”

While Baru is a formidable opponent on defense, he can change the game when the ball is in his hands as well. “I’ve noticed since I first got him till now, his mid-range game has really flourished,” Gravitt said. “He’s a really good passer.” Baru averaged about four assists a game last season.

Gravitt noted that Baru’s teammates feed off the standout’s relentlessness on the court. “He’s such a dominant player offensively and defensively,” Gravitt said. “It’s good for me to be able to tell my guys, ‘This is how hard you have to go.’”

Baru has been going hard in the weight room, too, lifting with his team and working with a personal trainer this offseason. Gravitt added that Baru should continue bulking up and working on his jump shot and ball handling in order to reach his full potential at the college level. “I think strength is going to be a huge part of him,” said Gravitt.

Baru also grinded it out on the court against top-notch competition this summer, playing for AAU’s Team Loaded.

But Baru has a carefree side as well, as Gravitt called him a “fun-loving guy,” adding that his players seemed to like being around him.

And if Steward players share Gravitt’s opinion on Baru, they should feel very comfortable with him on the court, too. Although Gravitt said Baru isn’t an especially vocal leader, the coach called Baru the team’s “go-to guy.”

A“He…has the ability to make everyone around him better,” Gravitt said. “We’re lucky to have him.”

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