The Terps are on the lookout for a class of 2015 point guard, and on May 8 they identified a viable candidate on the left coast. Woodcreek (Roseville, Calif.) floor leader Noah Blackwell pulled in his most significant offer to date when UMD assistant Bino Ranson let the point guard's Team Superstar AAU coach know Maryland wanted him in its program.
"I was so excited. I know it's a huge offer," the 6-foot, 180-pound Blackwell said. "I had a couple other offers, but none like this. I feel like it's really cool that a program of Maryland's caliber offered me, and this should get my name out there on a national stage."
Blackwell said he first came in contact with Ranson during the recent Jayhawk Invitational in Kansas, which Maryland's assistant attended. The Woodcreek product was well aware Ranson liked his game, but he didn't think an offer would come so soon.
"It was really a shock to me," said Blackwell, who also holds offers from Cal State Fullerton, St. Mary's, Oregon State, Portland, Northern Arizona, LMU and Long Beach State. "I was just sitting in class [May 8] and all of a sudden all these Twitter notifications come up on my phone. I texted my Team Superstar coach to see what was up, and he said Maryland had offered me. So I was really, really surprised and excited."
The California point doesn't know a whole lot about the Terps yet, but he plans to start digging in short order. Right now the only information he has is what Ranson has let him know via text and social media.
"Honestly, me and Coach Bino have been in contact like every day, just seeing how things are going," Blackwell said. "He said he loved the way I played and how I would fit into the system very well at Maryland. He's very relaxed but also very outgoing when he's recruiting. He's also like a father figure, because you can talk to him about anything."
Blackwell plans to visit College Park, Md., for the first time this summer. He has never been on the East Coast before but said he wouldn't mind being 3,000 miles from home for college. Especially if said college provides him with a prime opportunity he can't turn down.
"I am aware that Maryland is in need of a point guard. I know they need a guy like me, and that's something I'll be looking at and talking about more when I go out there," Blackwell said. "I think I could have the chance to come in there and really make an impact."
Now that UMD has offered, though, Blackwell expects a few more larger programs to follow suit. He said San Diego State could be next to pull the trigger, while Texas Tech, USC, Oregon, Washington and Oklahoma are also intrigued.
Blackwell has not taken any recent visits, but plans to see UMD, Oregon State and San Diego State this summer. Ideally, he'd like to have his college chosen before his senior basketball season begins.
"I think I'm going to start getting a lot more exposure now, because I've really been working on my game and coaches have started to notice," Blackwell said. "With my former [AAU] team I wasn't always pushed, and sometimes I didn't always play with a high motor. But now I'm always playing with a high motor, and I'm being pushed by my coaches, which has really helped me."
Last year for Woodcreek Blackwell averaged 20 points, five assists, two steals and two blocks. He said he led his team in every statistical category save rejections.
"What I do well is I get my teammates involved -- I love the pick and roll and I can hit the big man – I handle the ball well, and I can knock down the open jumper," Blackwell said. "What I need to work on is defensively I need to step it up a little bit. Then finishing over bigs at the rim is something else I'm working on with my trainer. Those are the two big things I need to improve on."
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