Lots to talk about -- and we'll do it in Q&A form:
What's our opinion of Cliff Warren being added to the staff as full time assistant?
TT broke that news over a week ago; we liked it then, and we like it now. Warren has experience as a head coach and as an ACC assistant; he's well liked; knows the area; and is eager to get to work. His recruiting base is tied into the DMV, Georgia, Florida, as well as the Memphis and Chicago areas. He recruited Will Bynum from Chicago, Thad Young from Memphis, and is known as a relentless recruiter. Having a former DI head coach on the staff is a good thing.
What about Nima Omidvar as the DBO?
Omidvar is a Terp, knows the area inside out, has strong ties to Team Takeover, and has paid his dues at stops at Charlotte and NC State. Much like Warren, he's very well regarded, a worker and eager.
When will we hear about Richaud Pack's decision?
It could come at any time, actually before this Dish is even posted. He's down to TCU and Maryland, and on paper, you'd have to think the Terps will prevail, but around here, we've come to expect the unexpected. Pack would be a solid addition, as an experienced scorer at the DI level, who also brings plenty of intangibles to the table.
Do we anticipate any move on Robert Carter Jr. and/or Terry Henderson?
It sounds like Carter may be leaning to St. John's, and if so, a decision could come quickly, as in this week. Maryland, South Carolina and Baylor are also being mentioned. The Terps are interested, and they should be, as Carter is a physical force with skills.
TT mentioned Henderson's transfer awhile back, and he just got his release May 18. A slew of schools will pursue Henderson, someone we thought the Terps should have pushed hard for prior to his WVU commitment. I recall his dad saying the family was originally from Baltimore, and there was strong interest in Maryland on their part. His former AAU coach said UMD is making a push, as this kid is a proven scorer, a talented shooter, and an exceptional athlete.
You wonder if Maryland not pushing harder earlier might hurt its chances now, however. Sounds like UCLA is going to get a visit, and possibly Virginia. Henderson is probably better than any 2015 high school wing the Terps are pursuing (Allonzo Trier being the one exception), so yeah, I'd go after him for sure.
Do we anticipate any other fifth-year point guards being recruited?
None are standing out at the moment, so probably not, especially if Pack signs on. That's troublesome, because it still leaves the Terps awfully thin at the lead guard position for next year, unless the staff feels like Pack or Dez Wells can play there on occasion.
Is it a certainty that the Terps will sign a 2015 point guard?
Sure looks that way. Offers are already out to Justin Robinson (St. James, Md.), Noah Blackwell (Woodcreek/Roseville, Calif.) and Bryant Crawford (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.), and there's plenty of interest in Texas combo guard Wendell Mitchell (Rockdale). It's a necessity to sign one, because you simply cannot put Melo Trimble in a situation where he has to play the position 35 minutes a game, not even taking into account what might happen if he goes down with an injury.
Any new scratches from the 2015 class of possible Terp targets?
You'll see in some places the names of Diamond Stone, Carlton Bragg, Marcus Sheffield, Jaylen Adams, and others mentioned with Maryland. They're not going to happen, and we've said that for weeks.
Who's the hottest guy on the Maryland board right now?
Hands down, it's Allonzo Trier (Montrose Christian/Rockville, Md.). Trier absolutely tore it up in Hampton last weekend, and he's elevated himself to the "elite" level prospect. Maryland will push hard, and will make every effort with this 6-3 scoring machine, but I just don't see the Terps being in a solid position to land Trier.
And all indications are this recruitment will drag on for some time. In that case, if you can secure a Terry Henderson, you do it. Waiting on a guy like Trier, and keeping other wing options on hold could turn out to be disastrous.
What are those other wing options?
I suppose another name or two could be added, but for now, we have Josh Reaves (Paul VI/Fairfax, Va.), Malik Ellison (Life Center/Burlington, N.J.) and Chris Clarke (Cape Henry Collegiate/Virginia Beach, Va.). Of those three, the most likely candidate appears to be Reaves, who could be deciding this summer between Maryland, Penn State and possibly Georgetown or Temple.
There's not a lot of movement with Ellison, who has not had a very productive spring on the circuit. Clarke continues to post solid numbers in all phases of the game, but at the moment, the Terps do not seem to be putting the pedal to the metal. Creighton, Virginia Tech, Tennessee and others seem to be more engaged for now.
Getting back to the point guards, how might that play out?
Blackwell is very interested in Maryland, but again, he's a long way from College Park, he's playing well, and we expect more high major offers to come his way from schools much closer to his home.
Crawford had a Terp offer months ago, but no followup was done as there was not much need of a point guard prior to the transfers of Roddy Peters and Seth Allen. Recently Maryland made an attempt to get back in, and it's questionable as to whether that approach will work.
Louisville is getting lots of buzz with Crawford, and Villanova and Indiana are also in there strong. Early favorite Georgetown seems to have faded a bit. We'll see if this pursuit gets off the ground or not.
Robinson might actually be the best fit, as he's a pass-first point guard with solid skills, and has been well coached by Dan Prete at St. James School. If you want a pure point, this might be the guy, but again, he's got a slew of offers, and it's premature to speculate on how strong his interest in Maryland is.
Robinson is not great in any one area, but if there's one thing this program needs in its backcourt, it's a solid player who makes good decisions. We'll know more by summer's end how strong the interest is on Robinson's, and Maryland's, part is.
What's the latest on Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights, Ohio) and Jordan Murphy (Brennan/San Antonio, Texas)?
We've spoken to both this week. Ahmad had a strong visit to UMD, and then stopped by WVU. Those two, along with Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State may be the finalists. If Ohio State wasn't on the board, I'd feel fairly confident in projecting this 6-7 forward to the Terps.
This could come down to timing. When will Ahmad decide? How long will he wait on the Buckeyes to finalize their recruiting plans for '15? Again, the sooner a decision is reached the better for the Terps, regardless of which way it turns out.
Murphy appears to have three clear leaders: Maryland, Creighton and Texas A&M. All three schools are likely to get visits, but not until the fall, so this one is going to go slowly. By the time Murphy begins his visits, Ahmad possibly will have made a commitment to someone. All we can say for now is that the Terps have shots with both, and landing one or the other would be a significant get.
Marquez Letcher-Ellis (Genesis Academy/Lynchburg, Va.) has been playing very well for DC Premier, and he could get more consideration should he continue that strong play in July. At the moment, the 6-7 forward does not have a Maryland offer, however.
It's been a hectic month. What is my Maryland wish list for the rest of the spring/summer?
I don't want to get greedy but here goes:
Officially announce (this could come Wednesday) Cliff Warren to the staff, along with Nima Omidvar as the DBO. That needs to get done ASAP, so the program can move forward into the critical July live period.
Get a verbal commitment/signing from Richaud Pack. The backcourt is paper thin; Pack is very important at this point in time.
Arrange as many visits (unofficial or official) to the campus as possible from now until the end of June. You need to have recruits familiar with the campus and the staff as it's now constituted.
Try to get a verbal commitment from someone -- anyone-- prior to the live period in July. The program desperately needs some recruiting momentum.
Push hard for Carter and/or Henderson -- or any transfer recruit who can seriously upgrade the talent level and depth.
And finally, an official announcement that Michal Cekovsky has passed through the Clearinghouse would probably alleviate some fears as well, although nothing negative on that front is expected.
TTDan's Hoops Dish
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