We're excited about this class and the three guys that we have signed, all three we were recruiting at Texas A&M and we have built relationships with. I feel like they're quality young men from quality families and they're good pieces. Whenever you're adding to the team you try to add a piece that you don't have. We feel like we've added three different pieces that will fit into what we have and hopefully this will make us a better team.
On bringing in Shaquille Cleare:
Well it's big. We were able to build a great relationship with him at A&M and Coach Bino did a great job here at Maryland. We felt like we were in the driver's seat the whole time with him but it was still not easy to get him. To get a guy we think is going to be an excellent player here at Maryland, a big body, a national recruit, can matchup with a lot of people, it was big. It's hard to get the centers. It's hard to get the big guys and then guys that really wanna be centers. Shaq considers himself a five man, a center and wants to play that position so it's nice to get those type of young men.
Thoughts on adding to recruiting class:
I think we're pretty well set at three. We're still actively trying to get some things done but I don't think there's a great chance of that happening right now. But I do think there are gonna be some kids who are gonna sign late that we agreed upon not to sign early because we're waiting on some academic issues. We wanna make sure they're gonna make it and we didn't wanna handcuff them or handcuff us on some situations. So, we feel like as we move forward toward late signing day we're still in really good shape with some players.
How many players in this category:
Have any given you a verbal commitment:
Differences between recruiting at Maryland and Texas A&M:
No it's hard everywhere. Recruiting is hard. You gotta really work at it. You gotta be lucky and you gotta get in early. For us to get the job in May and secure this class I think it was pretty good. Selfishly, we all wanted a little bit more. We wanted to add another piece or two early if we could. But, no. It's all the same it's just different parts of the country. I do think, hopefully by adding this class we can add some late and then just continue to recruit well. Recruiting is never easy. I mean, even if you win four straight national championships recruiting won't be easy. You gotta work at it. You have to work at it at A&M. You have to work at it at Wichita St. You gotta work hard here at Maryland. I just feel like if we do our job, work hard and get lucky we've got a chance to be involved with the best players. Which is nice.
How valuable a guard like Seth will be:
He's a basketball player. He wants to be a point guard. He's good with the ball in his hands. Hopefully, being a former point guard, I can teach him a lot about the game and make him a better point guard. But he can also play the two. He's an explosive scorer. It gives us a lot of leeway. Being a former point guard, the more point guards I have on the floor the better. Obviously you can't play five point guards in the ACC and win but to have guys that think the game and have a feel for the game, the more of those guys you can put on the floor the better of a coach you're gonna be. So, I think Seth has a good feel for the game, a good understanding and can run point but can also be an explosive scorer for you.
On the size of his roster:
Well we weren't the biggest team, so we went after him pretty hard and added him and Shaq. We've added some length and I've just always liked Jake. The first time I saw Jake, in the summer a couple summers ago, I really liked him. I liked his length and his skill set. So, Jake gives you great versatility and Seth's a big guard. He's 6-foot-2 and 195, a big strong kid. We were looking for length, and we still are. And I think to compete at the highest length you've gotta have good basketball players but the more size and length you have that helps too.
How big he wants the class to be:
My guess would be five at the most, as we speak today. But things change daily in recruiting. But we're not gonna add a piece just to add a piece. We're gonna make sure it fits and that the piece we add is gonna make us better. That's where we are but we're still plugging away on a lot of situations.
Latest on Pe'Shon:
I think it's the same. He got the CAT scan and went and saw the foot specialist. It's really a hard area to read. He's in a cast. In another two weeks he's gonna take the cast off. He has another MRI and then I think we'll have a better idea then. We're still at 12 weeks today. But hopefully two weeks from now they tell me something different. Whether it's six weeks or five weeks or eight weeks or something like that. But right now we're still at 12 weeks.
On the possibility of redshirting Pe'Shon:
Yeah I don't know yet. I think if the doctors came back after these next two weeks and said it's still twelve weeks, it'll definitely be not in the back of our mind anymore but in the forefront but we wouldn't announce it because there's a chance he could heal quicker and be back. I think that's just a week-by-week thing as we go. After a four or five week period it'll be a week-by-week thing. In the end we're gonna do what's best for Pe'Shon and our program. If it's 12 weeks I don't think there's any way we'd play him. We'd save him.
Getting a good recruiting class his first season at Maryland:
It's huge. Players help you win games. It's obvious. Our best teams are when we had the best players at Maryland. You have to recruit. I'm thrilled to death with the three guys we got. We got three really good ones. They fit in. Great families. I expected to have one more sign. We thought we had another one in our back pocket that we were gonna get done and we didn't get it done. But no, I think we did make a splash for getting the job in the middle of May. It took me a couple of weeks to get Dalonte on board, a couple weeks to get Spinelli on board. So then you're talking first of June almost before we had our staff in place. New job, new area, moving families. I'm pleased. It's a great start for us and hopefully it's just gonna continue to be something that we do here, recruit good players.
On the recruit he thought he had:
Well there's a couple. One's moved on and then there's other that are still in play that will sign late. So we'll see. Things change. There's going to be guys that pop up during the year that we don't even know about yet; mature late and become great players. Hopefully there's a couple of those in our area and we get on them at the right time. You never know. Recruiting is different every year. You see something different, new unique challenges every year in recruiting. At this point I couldn't be more proud of what we've done and what we've accomplished.
On his style of play:
People ask me what my style is. I really don't know what my style is because I change year-to-year. We all wanna run and we ran the other night and scored 89 points but it wasn't a lot of fun giving up 84. The things my teams are always gonna do, hopefully, and this one hasn't figured it out yet, is defend and rebound. That's always gonna be there. Now when you have more depth, you're able to play a little bit faster and run a little bit more. Pressure the ball a little bit more, do different things that way. We've had to back off our pressure defensively a little bit. There's a lot of things that come with it now. We're not fully changing just because Pe'Shon went down. We've changed a few subtle things. I'm just trying to figure out whose gonna score for us and all that kinda stuff and how we're gonna score. Whether we can win in a half court game. We might not be able to; we might have to continue to run. So, there's a lot of things that I'm gonna figure out as the year goes on. To say that our style is gonna be totally different next year. It'll be different, but totally different, no. There's still gonna be a lot of things like the values, the base, the defense and the things that we believe in are always gonna be a part of every team.
On the attention to his recruiting:
I'm not surprised but I have no idea they're being dissected because I never read or get on the Internet or listen to the radio so I have no idea what's being said or written. I never will and don't ever plan to start listening to you guys. So that keeps me even keeled and doing what I'm supposed to do. And then I never get mad at you guys for saying something dumb or writing something dumb I don't pay attention. I really don't. It's who I am. I'd rather spend more time with my kids than read about what people are saying about us.
Greatest improvement over the last few practices:
I don't know if it'll change Sunday but we've done a much better job taking care of the ball in practice. It's been a major emphasis for us. And I think we're rebounding even better. We dominated the boards the other night, and we should have. But I think we're rebounding better. And I think we're starting to execute just a little bit better. Guys are getting a better feel for what we're trying to do offensively. We've had three good practices. We went Saturday and Monday Tuesday but those areas for sure I feel good about. Now we've overloaded them because we have four games in eight days. We've had to work out a lot of things, a lot of different press offenses, side out of bounds - we weren't very good the other night and we had to make some changes there just to get the ball in bounds with a comfort level. We've overloaded them the past few days. But they've taken it all in stride and they're getting better. And then it helps having Alex in practice. Just another body, a big-time player, a guy that was really nervous Friday but I think he's gonna settle into a comfort zone now that he can practice every day.
On Alex's ability to join the team in Puerto Rico:
Unfortunately, no. NCAA rules, he will not be able to go to any road games. Most of our games are at home of course.
On the need to sign a power forward/swing man in the spring:
Yeah, I mean that's pretty obvious we'd like to add a power forward if we can. But it's gotta be the right piece Like I said we got some guys on our list already but I'm sure some more will pop up between now and late signing.