Desmond's Big Decision

2011 basketball prospect Desmond Hubert is down to UNC and Maryland for his college choice

With regards to the recruitment of Desmond Hubert, the young man has publicly stated that the decision will come down to North Carolina or Maryland. While this recruitment may not have the significance of the Tom McMillan recruitment that came down to Carolina and Maryland, it is still important to both teams and to the young man himself. The next four years of his life are at stake and no one should find fault in whatever process it takes for him to reach a decision he can live with.

One of the main issues is the nature of the North Carolina offer. As fans, we do not know if the offer is unconditional, time-conditional, based on whether another player goes pro or whatever form it takes. We believe the Maryland offer to be unconditional at this time but we are only guessing. It could be based on strings as well. And certainly Hubert could be summing all of these factors up before making a public announcement.

Based on needs, Maryland most assuredly needs Hubert sooner than Carolina will probably need or use him. Percentages say that Jordan Williams will be in the 2011 NBA Draft. And even with Williams, the Terrapin front line is undersized and not established. Any viable option would be welcomed to be sure. I know for sure Moses Malone has some eligibility left, can somebody give him a call?! The Tar Heels have their big men returning with James McAdoo bucking for time the minute he dons the powder blue uniform. There is even a report that UNC would ask Hubert to red-shirt. Hubert is more likely to get a decent chance at viable minutes in Terrapin red.

From all I have read though, Hubert is not your typical basketball player. He is a genuine student-athlete in the best sense of the word. While he may dream of the NBA, he does not day-dream about the league in class. He seems to be a young man who wants to embrace college life and is using basketball as a means to get an education as opposed to the vast majority of top 100 prospects in the country. On that basis, I cannot blame him for wanting to attend Chapel Hill and that awesome basketball environment. Minutes or no minutes, he would be on a top 10 team that always seems in a position to make a title run. He would be getting a top education and could work himself into the line-up as his body fills out and the opportunity arises. And the number of North Carolina alums in the NBA would fill a school bus.

At Maryland, he would also get an equally good education and a chance to play on a top ACC team. There would be no sure thing in terms of playing for titles, but he would be playing for a coach who knows how to teach basketball and develop big man skills. Roy is a great gatherer of talent whereas Gary is the better coach and teacher. That statement is always made with a disclaimer, just this author's opinion. Their head-to-head meetings have always shown that if the talent level is even close, Gary will win that game. You learn more from Gary but probably earn more if you play for Roy. His teams have enough talent to hide the flaws of various players whereas at Maryland, we do not have that luxury just yet.

Under Gary, Hubert will definitely be asked to produce as soon as he puts on the uniform. If he wants the minutes, if he can shoulder some of the early load, Maryland is the best place for him. It is closer to home, he will get a chance right away to see how his game translates at the college level, he will be asked to grow and get better.

If his dream is North Carolina and they have made him a legitimate offer, there is honestly no way he can turn that down. I love Maryland, love my school and love my coach and players. Maryland basketball just is not at the level of UNC and perhaps it never will be. Every young man should pursue his dream. We as fans would love the best talent, the best young men to represent our school and Hubert does seem to be an excellent example of a true student-athlete. A lot of fans have been very indifferent because Hubert's so-called basketball stock has dropped some and he's now considered a “3-star” player with no offense and not physically strong enough to compete. These are the “numbers people” who are guided by rankings and have probably never seen any of the players they are talking about. We are all guilty of that.

Whatever decision Hubert makes should be applauded. In reading his story, he projects himself as a wonderful young man who any college would love to have. I hope he ends up at Maryland, not because he is the key to four years of NCAA title runs and numerous championships. I want him at Maryland because he is just the type of young man that we need to represent us as an institution. For a coach, winning is everything. Hubert is a winner and a young man who cannot help but make his team and his teammates better for his being a part of their unit.

Where the decision stands is unclear because we are not privy to the strings and stipulations if they exist. For myself, I just would love to see Desmond Hubert in a Terrapin uniform one day. For what it's worth, these are the kind of players that we should be recruiting regardless of their so-called star rankings.

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