Maryland hosted its presumed No. 1 point guard priority earlier this week, and while St. James (Md.) lead guard Justin Robinson didn't want to tip his hand too much, he admitted he had "a great visit, really good." The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder, who has seen his stock rise considerably this AAU season, said he and his parents spent about five hours in College Park, Md., and liked what they saw.
"I was there from like 4-9 p.m., and me and my parents really enjoyed our time with the Maryland coaches," said Robinson, who holds offers from UMD, George Washington, Illinois, UMass, Memphis, ODU, Penn State, Temple, Virginia Tech, UNLV, Providence and others. "Just talking to the staff, seeing the facilities – everything. It was really good.
"My parents didn't express to me their exact thoughts yet, but personally I could tell they liked it. That was their first time meeting the coaches, and I think they liked what they were saying."
By Maryland coaches, Robinson meant the whole staff. That's right, not only was head coach Mark Turgeon and assistant Dustin Clark present, but Bino Ranson, Cliff Warren and DBO Nima Omidvar all made sure the Robinsons were having a good time.
"We talked to all of those guys, and that's what we spent the majority of the time doing, just sitting in Coach Turgeon's office and talking recruiting and my future," Robinson said. "The message was that they need a point guard in 2015, and I was their priority. I'm their guy.
"As a coaching staff, they believe with the guys they're bringing in, and recruiting now, they're going to be very successful very soon. They want me to be apart of that and think I can help take them to another level. I don't think they want the expectations to be too high next year, in my opinion, but the feeling I get is that they're encouraged. I think once they get the right pieces in place and gelling, Maryland is going to be back on top."
Robinson also had a chance to say hello to some of those "guys Turgeon is bringing in." The St. James guard said Dion Wiley, Melo Trimble, Jared Nickens and Trayvon Reed were all on the Comcast Center floor, with the former three working out. The question here is, what does Robinson think of Trimble's presence at point?
"Oh, that really isn't a factor for me," Robinson said. "It doesn't really play a role. Like, look at UConn last year, they showed you need a lot of guards on the floor at once. Even if Melo is there, I know I'll get my shot."
Besides meeting players and coaches, the Robinsons toured College Park and saw the ins and outs of Comcast Center. In particular, Robinson liked the players' living area and said that was "really, really nice, that was the first time I saw that."
Again, Robinson didn't want to tip his hand, but he admitted Maryland has plenty going for it. He lauded the Big Ten move, the school's academics and also Turgeon's ability to coach. Robinson also mentioned that his parents would like him to stay close to home, though they're not going to stop him from venturing further away if he so chooses.
"Honestly, I feel good about Maryland, but I think I feel good about all my offers," Robinson said. "I've been blessed with many opportunities, and I have many great coaches reaching out to me. I have mutually good feelings about a lot of schools, so I don't have favorites yet or anything. It's a process, and I'll start looking more into narrowing things down at the end of July. I'll sit down with my parents and coaches and sort all that out."
The Manassas, Va., native said he likely won't make his college decision until the winter. He wants to take plenty of visits before making any kind of definitive statement, though he's unsure which schools he'll be checking out.
"I want to find the program that will fit me best academically, athletically and is just the school that suits my needs best," Robinson said. "How I fit into the system, the relationship I have with the coaches, the family environment, and the place where I can excel the most – I'll be looking at all of that."
Robinson just recently returned from a sprained ankle that kept him off the court for two weeks. Now back healthy, he's taken on a facilitator's role for his AAU squad, concentrating more on distributing and guiding than scoring.
"I'm still working back from this ankle injury, but once I feel comfortable going full speed I should be good to go," Robinson said. "The Peach Jam is coming up and that should be real fun. I'm looking forward to that."
Robinson: '[Terps] said I'm No. 1 Priority'
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