It's getting down to crunch time with 2015 hoops recruiting, and yet we're still a little surprised that more kids haven't set up their official visits yet. In any event, here's a quick look at where we see the state of Terps recruiting at this point:
Andrew White, 6-6, Kansas transfer: White had become a forgotten man for a number of weeks, until he suddenly made a quick official to College Park Aug. 9. White has visited Notre Dame, Nebraska and Richmond, while receiving interest from Virginia Tech and others. He's expected to make a decision sometime this week, and from a Maryland standpoint, he's critical in the sense that his decision will likely affect the plans of a number of high school wing types that the staff has been looking at.
With questions surrounding a number of those high school prospects, a Maryland commitment from White would be a good get. He's not going to turn the program around, but the kid has talent, and is probably going to help you faster than any of the high school wings on the board. Our guess is that the Terps have a reasonably good shot here, but White is nothing if not deliberate in his approach to making decisions, and plays everything close to the vest. We should know within days.
Justin Robinson, 6-1, St. James (Md.): We're expecting Robinson's list of visits by next week (Coach Dan Prete at SJS just told us "it's being finalized"), but he has narrowed his schools to Maryland, Creighton, Virginia Tech, Temple, Providence and UNLV. I see the Terps in the final two here, probably with Virginia Tech, although Temple has some things going for it, as does Creighton. Robinson will take his visits, possibly not all five, but no decision is expected until October.
Glynn Watson, 6-1, St. Joseph's (Westchester, Ill.): Nebraska and Creighton have visits lined up, and they are the presumed leaders. Maryland, West Virginia and Tennessee round out his list. As of Aug. 11, no visit to Maryland had been scheduled, and it's entirely possible he could pop to the Huskers or Blue Jays without even visiting College Park.
Noah Blackwell, 6-2, Woodcreek HS (Roseville, Calif.): There's ongoing communication with Blackwell, but his list is made up of almost entirely West Coast schools. I haven't seen a list of visits, and I wouldn't be shocked if Maryland got a visit just based on them being in the mix from the beginning, but I truly don't see him winding up here when the dust settles.
Danjel Purifoy, 6-7, Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.): As always with Purifoy, there's conflicting information. One source insists he doesn't want to go to college in his home state of Alabama, and yet many are picking Auburn as his eventual destination. No visits had been set with Purifoy as of Aug. 11. Really, this kid could wind up anywhere and it wouldn't surprise me. His list of schools has been in a constant state of flux, and his good friend Trayvon Reed is no longer at UMD, so at this point, I don't see Purifoy winding up in a Maryland uniform. That said, with this kid, expect the unexpected.
Dillon Brooks, 6-6, Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.): Brooks appears to be coveted by Maryland, but has a visit set to Oregon this weekend. The Ducks may lead, and a commitment on that visit is not out of the question. Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Kansas State, Iowa State and Maryland seem to be his finalists. He'd be a very nice pickup, but until he says he's definitely visiting College Park, I'm not holding my breath.
Markis McDuffie, 6-8, St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.): A late blooming, fast riser from Bob Hurley's famed program, McDuffie got a late offer from the Terps, and they could possibly be a factor based on his friend Jared Nickens being a Terp, and Maryland's close relationship with his AAU program, Sports U. That said, McDuffie won't have a list of visits for another couple weeks, and who knows, White could be committed and in school by then. VCU, Maryland, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Wichita State, BC, Creighton and St. Joe's round out McDuffie's list of offers.
Malik Ellison, 6-6, Life Center Academy (Burlington, N.J.): Ellison told us this week he is considering Rhode Island, Maryland, Minnesota, Temple, SMU and Wichita State. His plans, at least for now, are to visit all those schools. Recovering from still another major injury, Ellison will likely delay his recruitment process, and we'd think he may project as a spring commit, after he has shown he has fully recovered from his physical setbacks. I didn't see Ellison as a major priority prior to his recent leg injury however, and I'd be a bit surprised to see him as a Terp down the road.
Jordan Murphy, 6-7, Brennan HS (San Antonio, Texas): We've reached out to Murphy to get a recruiting update, but he hasn't responded. Murphy, perhaps more than any other Terp target this year, has really taken a low key approach to his recruiting. His camp has maintained since late spring that he will wait and take his visits in September. His list of suitors hasn't varied a whole lot either, with Maryland, Texas A&M, and Creighton leading the way, while also considering Oklahoma State, Texas, SMU and Oklahoma. When you look at that list, you wouldn't think the Terps would stand a chance, and yet he connected early with the staff and seems to be giving them serious consideration. Murphy looked good in Vegas and remains a very underrated talent. Now, Will White's decision, and that of Esa Ahmad, play a role in all this? We should know soon.
Esa Ahmad, 6-7, Shaker Heights HS (Ohio): This battle rages on, with most of the national hoops "experts" still picking Ohio State as the place where Ahmad will wind up. And yet, he hasn't popped to them yet, despite a recent unofficial visit. His camp said he may still take officials to Maryland, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The early projection of an August announcement seems to be falling by the wayside. Ahmad remains, so it appears, as Maryland's No. 1 forward target. But it looks like this could drag on for another 4-6 weeks. All Maryland can hope for now is to receive an official visit, and try to go for broke while the young man is on campus.
Kipper Nichols, 6-6, St. Edward HS (Lakewood, Ohio): Nichols told us Aug. 11 he will visit Xavier (the favorite) and Tulane, while considering NW, Penn State and Maryland, among others. After interviewing Nichols, I don't see him leaving the state, and I consider Maryland a real longshot here.
Chris Clarke, 6-6, Cape Henry (Virginia Beach, Va.): We expected Clarke's final list over a week ago, but honestly, I am not expecting Maryland to be on it at this point. Florida, UConn, Virginia Tech, Iowa State, Creighton and a host of others seem to have forged into the lead.
Ivan Bender, 6-9, Croatia: It's still not quite clear what's going on with Bender, who visited campus last week. We hear he could be a spring semester kid, he could be a '15 recruit, and supposedly he's rehabbing an injury. On top of that, it's not clear how much of a priority he is. We're putting him on the list for now, and eventually we will see where it all leads. Obviously, we have not scouted Bender, so it's hard to comment on his ability, but with Reed no longer in the program, it makes sense to look at another insider who can provide depth down low.
There's a few others with offers -- Christian James, (Bellaire, Texas), Jarvis Johnson (De La Salle, Minneapolis, Minn.) -- and some others who are being monitored -- John Crosby (New Hampton, N.H.), Tyrone Taylor (Hargrave Military Academy/Chatham, Va.) -- but I don't see them as realistic targets at this time.
We should be receiving more visit info as August drags along. Finding out who's visiting, and when, will help us figure out how this recruiting year will eventually play out. White's decision, expected this week, could get the ball rolling, and would obviously eliminate a number of the kids on this list. After that, the dominoes should begin to start falling.
TTDan's Hoops Dish
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