Looks like Maryland hoops recruiting is still in a holding pattern for the class of 2015, but there are some new names and developments. Here's a quick review of our latest list of prospects, and how things might turn out:
Justin Robinson, 6-1, PG, St. James School (Md.): Robinson still is taking visits. Providence and UNLV remain, with Temple also a possibility. He's already been to Virginia Tech and Maryland, and just saw Providence as well. There's nothing substantial to really base it on, but I am sensing Providence could still be a strong player here when all is said and done. The Friars were the first high major program to offer Robinson. But, again, it looks like it could be another month before we have a decision. Though, perhaps now that he's not visiting Creighton, it could come a little earlier.
Tyrone Taylor, 6-2, G, Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.): The Terps are recruiting Taylor, but no firm offer has been given, as of this writing. Wichita State, Kansas State, Maryland, Virginia Tech, California and UTEP are all involved. Taylor's an athletic lefty who's regarded as more of a combo guard than pure point.
P.J. Dozier, 6-5, G, Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.): The Terps are attempting to get in the mix for Dozier, a top 25 national prospect, whose father Perry played for the famed Dunbar teams from Baltimore back in the day. Michigan, North Carolina, Georgetown, and South Carolina will get official visits. Louisville and Maryland are vying for the fifth. On the surface, this seems like the longest of longshots, given the fact the Terps got in the picture much later than any of the other schools. I wouldn't recommend holding your breath on this one, especially knowing that the Terps are going against Rick Pitino to get that final visit. Dozier can play either guard spot, and is a truly elite caliber prospect.
Jaylen Brantley, 5-10, PG, Odessa College (Odessa, Texas): The Terps scouted Brantley last week, and thus he is added to the list for now. Brantley is a tough, hard nosed pure point, with a deadly outside shot. This Springfield, Mass., native had numerous high major offers coming out of Notre Dame Prep, but ran into academic difficulties, signed with Marshall, and then decided to take the JUCO route. We'll see if this leads anywhere, but Brantley is a quality performer, and proven winner at the AAU level, leading BABC to a national title.
Maurice O'Field, 6-5, SG, Midland CC (Midland, Texas): The Terps have checked out O'Field recently, as they continue to look for an athletic wing. O'Field, a native of Cleveland, is an electrifying athlete, with ridiculous hops and strength. He's known more as a mid-range scorer than 3-point specialist. Arizona State and Virginia Tech have offered O'Field, while Maryland is among others showing interest.
Tanksley Efianayi, 6-5, SG/SF, Daytona CC (Daytona, Fla.):Efianayi is still another JUCO product who the Terps have checked out recently. Efianayi already has visits lined up to St. John's and Arizona State, and they are considered the early leaders at this time.
Malik Ellison, 6-5, SG, Life Center Academy (Burlington, N.J.): We've discussed Ellison numerous times here, and again, I am not anticipating a serious push by the Terps at this time.
Ivan Bender, 6-9, C, Croatia: Bender remains the mystery man in Terp recruiting because we simply don't know much about him. It's believed he is rehabbing a knee injury. We do here rumblings though that this athletic power forward could indeed wind up a Terp in the not too distant future, so he remains a person of interest.
Diamond Stone, 6-10, C, Dominican HS (Milwaukee, Wis.): Another wildcard is Stone, regarded as the nation's best big man. We're still not holding out much hope for the Terps to land Stone, but we hear he may be visiting on Oct. 17, and just to get him on campus for an official visit is a victory of sorts. Landing Stone (or Dozier) would salvage a recruiting year that's not looking good at the moment. UConn was thought to be the leader, but they just received a commitment from another big, while Wisconsin is poised to reel Stone in as well.
Yankuba Sima, 6-10, C, Arlington Country Day (FL): Sima transferred to ACD from the Canarius Basketball Academy in Spain (Michal Cekovsky's former school). We've seen Sima on tape, and he's a long, athletic big man, who needs work on his offensive game. Mark Turgeon has reportedly been to ACD recently to check out Sima.
As you can see, it's an ever changing list for the Terps in 2015. To this point, you can't deny the results have been disappointing. The loss of Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights, Ohio) was a blow, and the Terps have yet to secure a much needed point guard, though Robinson, among others, still remains on the board. Maryland continues to look for an athletic wing, after missing on transfers Terry Henderson and Andrew White. Throw in the curious decision to not pursue Chris Clarke (Cape Henry/Virginia Beach, Va.), and you've had some disappointments.
You've still got a chance to salvage the class, but you're counting on longshots like Dozier and Stone to put you over the top, and I just can't see that happening. At the very least, you must secure a point guard, be it Robinson or someone else.
The Terps have offered DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) junior two-guard Markelle Fultz, who played jayvee for the Stags last year, but who now some consider the best DMV prospect in the 2016 class.
Chris Clarke's final four schools: UConn, Tennessee, Creighton and Virginia Tech.
Junior point guard Brandon Knapper (South Charleston, W.Va.) , who visited Maryland in the spring, has committed to West Virginia.
I've taken Christian James (Bellaire, Texas) and Kipper Nichols (St. Edward/Lakewood, Ohio) off the board. I also just removed John Crosby (New Hampton Prep/New Hampton, N.H.) from the board. After turning down a chance to join the Terps this year, Crosby just popped to Dayton.
The Terps have been up to see fast rising junior forward DeAndre Hunter (Friends Central HS/Philadelphia) in the past couple weeks. Hunter, 6-7, was out last year with an injury, but reportedly is a major talent at the SF position.
Maryland has checked in on 6-9 junior Michael Tertsea (John Carroll HS/Bel Air, Md.).
Mark Turgeon is expected in to see Curtis Jones, the 6-3 two-guard at Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) this week. The Terps have been on Jones , who played for Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) last year, for awhile now. Jones fancies himself as a point, but we see him as a two-gaurd or combo.
The Terps apparently checked in last week on Luis Montero, a 6-7 wing from Westchester CC (Westchester, N.Y.). Now there's a name from the past. The Dominican Dandy visited Maryland while prepping in Massachusetts with Goodluck Okonoboh, who wound up at UNLV. Montero is a ridiculous talent, but had some academic and language barriers to overcome. West Virginia, USF and SMU are some other schools involved with Montero, as well as Alabama.
Turgeon also visited big time point guard Cassius Winston (University of Detroit Jesuit High/Detroit, Mich.) this week. He's a 2016 recruit who stopped by Maryland a couple months ago. He's a longshot as Michigan State is the early leader.
TTDan's Hoops Dish
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