Maryland landed its top fifth-year target May 22, as 6-3-plus guard Richaud Pack verbally committed to the Terps. TT spoke with Pack minutes after his commitment -- and a more impressive young man you may not find.
Pack, who is transferring to College Park, Md., from North Carolina A&T, did his due diligence before selecting Maryland.
"I did my homework on all the schools I was considering," said Pack. "I knew that the Maryland business school was nationally ranked, and that the university overall was Top 20 for all public schools. I looked at the location -- near Washington, D.C., and that presents all sorts of job opportunities.
"As far as basketball is concerned, Maryland's playing in the Big Ten, and I grew up in that country (Birmingham, Mich.) , so that's an extra incentive. It will be good to go back home and play against some players I knew from high school."
Pack had several other schools on his list he was considering.
"I only visited TCU and Maryland, but Texas A&M and Baylor were also in the mix," said Pack. "The other thing I really liked about Maryland was that Coach (Mark) Turgeon handled most of my recruitment. Coach (Dustin ) Clark was also talking to me, but it really resonates when the head coach is involved.
"I've yet to see an assistant coach put players in, or take them out of games. Coach (Scott) Drew at Baylor also talked to me a lot, but Maryland really had everything I was looking for in terms of academics, basketball, and social life. I think I can set a good foundation there for the rest of my life. I do hope to continue playing basketball, but at best, that would be for maybe 10 years. I have to make a living for a lot longer than that, and I think Maryland can help me do that."
Pack described his game to TT.
"I'm a shooter (38 percent on treys), but really that's not a label I like so much," said Pack. "The reason I say that is because I can score in different ways. I can absorb contact and get to the rim, so I'm not a one dimensional player at all. I shot about 250 free throws last year, so it's not like I pick a spot on the floor and shoot jumpers.
"Coach Turgeon asked me about possibly playing some point guard too. I have no problem with that whatsoever. It's just that throughout high school and in college, I've always been asked to play off the ball. But I can definitely play some lead guard if that's what the team needs me to do.
"I also think I can bring a lot to the program in terms of leadership, and showing all the young recruits how to work, how to practice, and how to be accountable. I've been through it all, and I would hope my experience will help the team realize its goals."
Pack's mom, Kaija , also accompanied him on his visit to Maryland.
"She just wanted me to make a solid choice," said Pack. "She's very happy with my decision to come to Maryland. I live in Georgia, but I still have lots of family back in Michigan, so they'll definitely be showing up at some of the games. I've met some of the team members -- Dez (Wells), Jon (Graham), and Jake (Layman). They're all great guys and really committed to the program. Jon was great....he helped show me around the campus.
"It's beautiful there, and I really felt at home. I'm not sure exactly when the first summer school program starts, but I'm going to be on campus pretty soon. I am anxious to get started."
Mark Turgeon commented on Pack as well in a team press release:
"We're excited to welcome Richaud to the University of Maryland," Turgeon said. "He comes from a great family and I really enjoyed getting to know Richaud and his mother, Kaija, during this process. Richaud is a great shooter and scorer and will fit in well with our team and system. He will have an opportunity to further his education in business administration, a field he is very passionate about."
It sure sounds like Richaud Pack will help the Terps a lot on the court this year. After the interview though, it's a given that he has a lot to offer off the court as well. In terms of experience, leadership and energy, Pack looks to be a great addition, and the culture of this program can only improve with his presence.
Transfer Pack: 'I'm Anxious to Get Started'
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