Maryland coach Mark Turgeon and assistants Dustin Clark and Cliff Warren have been active on the recruiting trail as the Terps attempt to add another two, or even three, pieces to their 2015 class, which so far includes junior college point guard Jaylen Brantley (Odessa, Texas). While shooting guard Maurice O’Field (Midland, Texas), small forward Kobie Eubanks (Elev8 Sports Institute/Delray Beach, Fla.) and center Yankuba Sima (Elev8 Sports Institute) are known targets, the UMD staff is also keeping close tabs on 6-foot-9, 215-pound power forward Simeon Carter (West Charlotte H.S./Charlotte, N.C.) as well.
An emerging frontcourt presence, Carter was deemed a mid-major prospect until December 2014, when he shined at two tournaments that just so happened to be right in Maryland’s backyard -- the National Hoops Fest at DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) and the Governor’s Challenge is Salisbury, Md.
He now holds high-major offers from SMU and Virginia Tech, according to West Charlotte coach Barronton Terry, while the Terps could very well be next.
“Maryland has seen Simeon play a couple times now, and I know Cliff [Warren] likes him, and I think Coach Turgeon does too. They’re interested in him, and they’re coming down [to West Charlotte] to see him again,” Terry said. “Simeon has been in touch with Coach Cliff, and right now I think [Maryland] wants to see him a little more first. But he’s on their radar.”
Carter actually had a chance to see College Park, Md., first hand during the National Hoops Fest in November. He didn’t take an extensive tour, but he stayed long enough to take in the campus and talk to Warren.
“He met up with Coach Cliff, and I know Simeon loved the campus,” Terry said. “He didn’t have too much time, only enough to kind of walk around. But from what he saw, he liked it a lot. I think Maryland is a school he’ll be looking at.”
It won’t be the only one, according to Terry. In addition to SMU, Va Tech and UMD, Carter is hearing from N.C. State extensively; Georgetown is in the picture; and other ACC and regional programs are beginning to take notice as well.
“His recruitment is blowing up; he’s got a lot of places coming at him now,” Terry said. “Virginia Tech loves him. SMU -- Larry Brown, is all over him; they’re recruiting him heavy. N.C. State has come on recently, and there are others.
“It’s all coming so quick, and Simeon really hasn’t even had time to think about all this yet. He’s just getting himself together.”
The plan right now, according to Terry, is to identify which schools want Carter the most, and then take official visits in February and March before signing in the spring.
While Terry said Carter has no early leaders, he mentioned that SMU had made a distinct early impression.
“No doubt he’ll officially visit SMU,” Terry said. “Then he’ll probably get to Virginia Tech and Maryland too. But he’s still open about things and thinking it all through. Nothing has been scheduled yet.”
That is, no officials have been set up yet. Carter and Co. will have another opportunity to see Maryland, as well as Georgetown, unofficially this coming weekend.
“We’re actually coming back to Maryland to play at DeMatha in the MLK Classic,” Terry said. “So that weekend, I think Simeon is going to see Georgetown and look at Maryland again. That’ll be a good opportunity for him to learn more about both schools.”
Terry said Carter is born and raised in North Carolina and grew up a Tar Heels fan (“guys down here are trying to get him to UNC,” Terry quipped). The 6-9 big man, however, didn’t begin playing basketball until just a few years back, and spent his first two high school seasons garnering just a few minutes each night.
“The thing with Simeon was he played behind [West Charlotte grad and current Tar Heel] Kennedy Meeks his first two years, so his ninth and 10th grade years he didn’t even play,” Terry said. “He just hasn’t played that much basketball, but in the last two years he’s been with Team United on the EYBL [AAU] circuit, and was exposed to a lot of really good competition. And then he’s worked out with Kennedy too when he came back [to West Charlotte], and since then [Carter] has gotten a lot better.”
Terry said Carter is averaging about 17 points and 10 rebounds this year. In the recent Governor’s Challenge in Salisbury, Carter averaged around 30 points and 15 boards, according to the West Charlotte headman.
“[Carter is] very athletic. He’s about 6-9, very long, very athletic, he can run the floor well, he handles it well, and he finishes around the rim,” Terry said. “He’s just a skilled guy, and once he develops, in two years he’s probably a pro. His potential is really high.”
Terps Keeping Close Tabs On Carter
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