BALTIMORE, Md. -- While Baltimore prep hoops may have had a recent hiccup in the junior and seniors classes as far as elite, top-shelf talent, everyone in Charm City knows the next great wave of talent rests in the underclass ranks.
This week TT begins a series profiling that next wave in Baltimore, which spans from St. Frances to Mt. Carmel to even Gilman, which hasn't been known as a hotbed of hoops but has its own wave of freshman and sophomore talent rising up.
Stop one was this week, at the Baltimore Elite AAU program's workout April 22 in the city, where local veteran coach Bub Carrington rolled out a bevy of talent. All of the players had been contacted by the Terps or took in a game or two at Comcast Center unofficially this winter.
St. Frances rugged sophomore guard Khalil Richards is already hearing from Maryland, Indiana, Clemson, Notre Dame, Miami, among others, while he has early offers from Loyola, Siena and Cornell. The 6-foot, 175-pound lead guard averaged some 15 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals as a starter this season in the shadows of UNLV-bound Dwayne Morgan, Meanwhile, in the classroom, Richards sports a 3.75 GPA.
He has an uncanny way to find the basket, and get off shots, and backs down from no one. He fills the stats sheet with his strong floor game, doing a bit of everything, and locks up at the defensive end as well.
Said his AAU coach Carrington:
"Khalil is special. I love Khalil. He's got 'it,' as he can make every shot. He can make shots off the right foot, off the left foot, floaters, mid-range, long-range game. Been doing it all his life, in the gym all his life as ball boy, you name it, as his dad is a coach. His dad is a rec ball coaching legend around here.
"He's special. Him and [SFA sophomore guard Daquein] Bracy are going to bring us back with that Baltimore toughness in the little guard style."
Richards said he has seen Terps assistant Bino Ranson in the gym scouting the team be it workouts or games this year, while Maryland coaches have been in contact with his coaches.
"I just play hard, humble guy, get my teammates involved and I just want to win. I am not worried about my numbers. As long as we win I am happy," Richards said.
On the Terps, Richards said he would love a Terps offer and would strongly consider them if it happened.
"Maryland, it's a great program of course, and a very nice place down there," Richards said. "I have followed Maryland over the years and of course that would be a big offer."
Richards admits UConn has caught his fancy a lot now, moving past early childhood favorite Syracuse.
"But I have always liked their guard play, going back to when Kemba Walker played there," Richards said.
Richards is off to the Spring Fling this weekend in New Jersey with Elite, followed by Boo Williams in Virginia in May.
"I just want to focus on my leadership skills. Lead my team because eventually I am going to have to lead, and I am kinda the lead voice now," Richards said. "So that is basically my standard right now."
TT Baltimore Hoops Tour: Khalil Richards
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