Here are some Maryland hoops tidbits to get you through your week:
Ok, we can forget about Terry Henderson, as he announced late last night he'll be joining the Wolfpack. Though some outlets were confident in the 6-foot-4 guard becoming a Terp, we never got that buzz from our sources in Raleigh.
The hometown pull was a draw, and it appears the Maryland staff saw him as somewhat of a longshot from the start, although they reportedly made up ground with a strong campus visit several weeks ago. In any event, it's over and we move on.
A good staff always has options, and though it's been extremely quiet regarding Kansas transfer Andrew White, the Terps have kept in contact, and are in the process of trying to set up a campus visit shortly.
White and his family have not released a list of schools under consideration, and much like his recruitment out of the Miller School, his camp is being very deliberate and thorough. The Richmond area native is a physically impressive 6-6 small forward, who can stroke the jumper and defend.
His ball handling in high school was a concern, and frankly, we've not seen enough of him recently to know if that has been upgraded or not. White had plenty of ACC interest initially, and you'd have to think schools in Virginia (Richmond etc) will be interested.
We've also heard Nebraska and Notre Dame as being in the mix. We do see Maryland making a fairly aggressive push however, especially now with Henderson off the board. White is also known as a high character kid and good student.
Justin Robinson (St. James, Md.) is on campus as this Dish is being written, visiting unofficially with his parents. You hear a lot of talk about Kevin Dorsey (Paul VI/Fairfax, Va.) -- we've heard some rumblings about Dorsey possibly transferring out of Paul VI, so I'm waiting to see his next landing spot before penciling him in the Maryland lineup just yet -- and some about Bryant Crawford (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.), but from all we can gather, Robinson, at least for now, is the point guard the Terps would like to sign from the 2015 class. He's probably not the athlete that Dorsey and Crawford are, but nonetheless is a physically strong, and fundamentally sound floor leader from an up and coming in-state program (St. James School).
Robinson has no character issues and is strong in the classroom as well, at a demanding academic institution. Clearly, the Terps need a ball-handler who is sound in all phases, if not spectacular in any.
Robinson appears to be taking his recruitment slowly, and given the fact that his stock really blew up over the spring, that's understandable. Maryland, however, probably would like to get the point guard situation taken care in the not too distant future. That's why the Wednesday visit is a very important one. We'll have followup on that visit later this week.
We understand that 2016 two-guard Curtis Jones will be back on campus soon for still another unofficial visit, perhaps as early as this week. Jones, has left Paul VI, and appears to be transferring to the Carlisle School in Martinsville, Va., although that has not been officially been confirmed.
It looks like Terps assistant Cliff Warren is hitting the recruiting trail hard, as he has loads of contacts in the Georgia and Florida areas. We mentioned yesterday an offer given to big time 2015 two-guard Malik Beasley (St. Francis/Alpharetta, Ga.). Beasley is an explosive scorer, and attends St. Francis HS in Alpharetta, the home of former Terp Landon Milbourne. Beasley has over 30 offers, so we're not holding our breath, but again, it's good to see Maryland going hard in Georgia, where both Warren and Bino Ranson have strong contacts.
The Terps have also reportedly reached out (again) to Prince Ali (Sagemont School) in Florida. Ali is another top 50 wing guard who has de-committed from UConn, though he still has the Huskies under consideration.
Maryland, as we reported at the time, actually looked at Ali a year ago (former assistant Scott Spinelli was the recruiter), while recruiting his then-teammate Haanif Cheatham. Ali didn't appear to have a lot of interest initially in the Terps, and he seems a longshot at the moment, but again, there is no harm in trying. Ali is a 6-4 athete who explodes to the rim.
Another new name broken by TT is that of 6-7 forward Kipper Nichols (St. Edward/Lakewood, Ohio), and that story was posted on June 24. Nichols is another late blooming small forward, who's had an excellent spring on the Nike circuit. There's been no offer yet by the Terps, but he will be closely monitored during the July live period.
Again, while Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights, Ohio) and Jordan Murphy (Brennan/San Antonio, Texas) sit atop the forward wish list, there is no guarantee that either will choose Maryland, so getting involved with Nichols seems like a good move. Nichols has lots of Big Ten interest, and told TT he would want to visit Maryland should an offer be extended.
With Georgios Papagiannis (Westtown, Pa.) apparently bound to play pro ball in Greece, it doesn't appear as though a 2015 big man is going to happen. But the Terps have frontcourt depth now, so I don't see that as a big issue.
So, where does all this leave Josh Reaves (Oak Hill/Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and Malik Ellison (Life Center/Burlington, N.J.)? Hard to say, but I am not holding my breath on either at the moment, especially if the Terps land Andrew White. Should White come to Maryland, you'd have him, Jared Nickens, and Dion Wiley as your primary swingmen/wings, and obviously Melo Trimble can slide over to the two-guard as well.
I wouldn't see a vital need at that point, and while Reaves has had a solid spring, he hasn't really torn it up, while Ellison has done even less, while dealing with some growing pains in his knees. So, for now, let's see what, if anything, White decides and then go from there.
My feeling, and perhaps the staff's as well, might be that an Andrew White as a junior in college, will likely provide more immediate help than a high school kid coming in. Let's face it -- the Terps need some immediate help.
A lot could happen before 2016 recruiting becomes critical, but regardless of who the Terps sign as a point in 2015, we still see Anthony Cowan (St. John's/Washington, D.C.) being a prime target. Cowan, who visited Maryland again June 23, gets lots of love in local circles, and in fact, the 5-10 quickster is probably the best overall DMV product in his class. We noticed recently his increased strength and body definition, and the young man does make things happen on both ends of the court.
Cowan is not likely to be swayed from coming to Maryland by anyone on the roster. He possesses loads of confidence and a good dose of swagger. Things change all the time, but at the moment, it does appear as though the Terps are standing in good shape with the St. John's floor general.
We're only about two weeks away from the July live period, and we'll be covering it as usual. The good thing is that Maryland won't have to follow a lot of prospects, particularly if by some chance White commits prior to then. Some '15 targets that the staff should be monitoring closely: Esa Ahmad, Jordan Murphy, Kipper Nichols, Malik Beasley, Justin Robinson, Kevin Dorsey, and possibly Noah Blackwell (Woodcreek/Roseville, Calif.), Prince Ali, and Danjel Purifoy (Bibb Co. School/Centreville, Ala.).
Class of '16 players likely to be tracked include: Anthony Cowan, A.J. Wilson (Duval/Lanham, Md.), Corey Manigault (Paul VI), Brandon Knapper (South Charlest/W.Va.), Curtis Jones, Jordan Harris (Seminole County/Donalsonville, Ga.) and Sedee Keita (Vermont Academy/Saxtons River, Vt.).
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