Coach's Take: Noah Blackwell

Woodcreek (Roseville, Calif.) coach Paul Hayes breaks down new Terps hoops offeree Noah Blackwell.

In all honesty, Noah Blackwell was not a prospect I was all that familiar with. And until recently, I seriously doubt Maryland was that familiar with him either.

But after viewing him at an Under Armour event in Kansas City recently, the Terps quickly became fans. Blackwell, a 6-foot-2 multi-purpose guard, plays for coach Paul Hayes at Woodcreek HS in Roseville, Calif., about 20 minutes from Sacramento. Coach Hayes took a few minutes to tell us all about his prized recruit.

"Next year will be Noah's fourth year on varsity," said Hayes. "He started here as a freshman. I was originally going to put him on JV, and then we had a 30 minute tryout. That was the end of his JV experiment.

"He had the skills, he had the athleticism, but most of all, and the most important factor to me, was that he had the poise and composure, even as a freshman. You don't often see that type of maturity in a young kid like that. Noah fit from Day One in terms of being able to run a team and play under pressure. He's a special young man."

Hayes then gave us more insight into Blackwell, the person.

"Noah's just rock solid all around," said Hayes. "He comes from a very solid family situation, and has the type support system all young people need these days. He's never been a disciplinary problem, he never misses school, he's coachable, polite, unselfish, he's got it all in the intangibles department.

"Noah is just very well grounded, not caught up in the hype, and showing leadership without being overbearing. He does all the necessary schoolwork, and he'll qualify without a problem. He's pretty diligent in all phases of his life, and everyone here at the school likes him. Noah is very popular here at Woodcreek."

Coach Hayes went on to describe Blackwell as a hoops prospect.

"Well, Noah averaged just under 20 points for us, and about 4.2 assists, but that only tells part of the story," said Hayes. "He could have easily averaged over 25 points, but he's not the type kid who's out for numbers or stats. And the way our team is put together, he played all five positions at one time or the other. "He played a lot of '2' and '3' for us, and we even posted him down low on occasion, because he could jump over people and get things done near the hoop. I'm pretty sure most schools are looking at him as a point guard because of his feel for the game and the way he finds people, but he can play off the ball as well. We're talking about a very versatile player."

Hayes gave TT an update on his recruitment, and what the Maryland offer meant to Blackwell.

"Noah is taking it all in," said Hayes, in terms of those schools showing serious interest. "Up until recently, we've had offers or interest from Long Beach State, St. Mary's, Portland State, Oregon State (under the previous staff), San Francisco, USC, Oklahoma, and Wichita State. When Noah got back from Kansas City, he told me about the Maryland offer.

"He hadn't heard from them at all prior to that tournament I don't believe. But I can tell you he was very excited about it. It's a big school, with a strong tradition. The offer meant a lot to him.

"It sure sounds like they're going to be seriously involved with Noah. It's a long way from home, but again, he's looking for a good fit in a strong program, so we'll see where it goes from here. My opinion is that Noah is going to strongly consider them based on the interest they're showing him. I would imagine he will try to visit there at some point before long."

Assistant Bino Ranson has been the point man on Blackwell's recruitment, and we expect Mark Turgeon to pick up the ball here before long and evaluate him personally during the live July period. Blackwell plays on the Under Armour based Team Superstar AAU program, located in Fresno.

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