Dodd Living a Dream

Terps newest commitment, Damonte Dodd talks to TSR about his decision to commit to Maryland.

Tuesday night was like Christmas in February for the Maryland men's basketball team, a program that deserves some gifts for all their struggles this season. Shortly after roaring back in the final minutes of a 75-70 victory over Miami, Mark Turgeon and his staff had another reason to celebrate. A fairly big reason, in fact.

Their newest reason to smile came in the form of Damonte Dodd, a 6-foot-9 center from Queen Anne's County High School in Centreville, Md., who committed to the Terps after their win Tuesday night.

The newest addition to the Terps' 2012 recruiting class may not be highly touted or may not have his name adorned with stars all over the Internet, but Turgeon and his staff saw something special in the 230-pound center.

While Dodd had only gathered offers from schools such as Morgan State, Coppin State, Delaware State and Central Connecticut, schools such as Georgetown and Dayton began expressing interest in recent months, according to Dodd's coach, Dale Becraft.

Dodd, who is averaging nearly 24 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks per game this season, originally caught the attention of Maryland assistant Scott Spinelli. After Spinelli expressed his interest in Dodd, Turgeon made the trip to Centreville to sit in on a practice.

“I treated it like every other practice,” said Dodd. “Just worked hard, prepared for the games coming up and just did what we usually do.”

Ultimately, Turgeon and his staff expressed their desires to keep Dodd, who they felt has a “tremendous upside” (per Becraft), in the state of Maryland. Luckily for the Terps' staff, Maryland was the school Dodd had long dreamed of attending.

“They stick together on and off the court and are like a family,” said Dodd of the program. “They know what they want and they play hard to get the win. Whatever happens, happens and they just go out and play hard.”

The Maryland staff certainly picked an opportune time to bring the local big man to College Park for an official visit, as the win over Miami on Tuesday turned out to be one of the Terps' best efforts all season.

“I can't wait to get up there,” said Dodd of the Comcast Center. “I wish I was playing there last night. It was a good crowd and the team welcomed me. It was really nice.”

In terms of his game, the big man says his skills really began to blossom when a growth spurt along with a healthy dose of offseason workouts took his game to another level in between his sophomore and junior year.

Among his self-proclaimed strengths, Dodd lists rebounding, blocking shots and running the floor. Still, Maryland's newest commit feels there is some aspects of his game that need refining before he dives into the ACC.

“I need to get stronger, shoot better, work on posting up and that type of thing,” said Dodd.

Despite the acknowledgement that aspects of his game need work, Dodd is confident that he'll be successful in taking his game to the high-level ACC. “After the Kent County game I had 42 points and I thought those were NBA numbers,” said Dodd. “Then I had a 30-point game and then I realized I could [play in the ACC],” he said.

Until next season, Dodd will be waiting patiently to become a part of a program he has long dreamed of joining.

“It is pretty cool being able to go there and play,” he said. “It is pretty cool that I am going to Maryland.”

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