With many of the area’s elite talents in attendance, Maryland couldn’t have picked a better night to pull of a significant upset. On Feb. 24, the No. 14 Terps took down No. 5 Wisconsin at the Xfinity Center, putting on quite a show for local hoops stars like Jamir Moultrie (McNamara/Forestville, Md.), Montez Mathis (Mt. Carmel/Essex, Md.), Immanuel Quickley (John Carroll/Bel Air, Md.), Zach Kent (Middletown, Del.), D.J. Harvey (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.) and, most notably, Markelle Fultz (DeMatha).
The 6-foot-4, 170-pound junior Fultz is Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon’s No. 1 priority in the 2016 class, and the combo guard said the Terps are firmly on his mind following his most recent trek to College Park, Md.
“Maryland is definitely a school I’m looking at – the hometown school,” said Fultz, who has offers from UMD, Georgetown, Arizona, Washington, Memphis, DePaul, Wake Forest, Texas, Xavier, N.C. State, Cincinnati and others. “This last game, it was a great win for them beating a top team like Wisconsin. With the [recruits] they had there, it was a real big win for them.
“I thought Dez Wells had a great game, and I thought Melo [Trimble] played real good, just like he has been all season. Maryland couldn’t have played any better; I thought they had a great game plan. It was a great game to watch.”
Fultz didn’t storm the court with the rest of Maryland’s student body, but it was the first time he’d witnessed something like that. He called it “pretty cool” and acknowledged it showed him how passionate UMD’s fans could.
“I mean, Maryland has a great student-section every time I go, but that [the court storming] was awesome,” said Fultz, who previously attended two UMD games this year, most recently for the Terps-Indiana bout. “To beat a nationally-ranked team, and for the students to be into their team like that, it was pretty special to see.”
During the game, Fultz interacted with several of the other recruits, namely current UMD pledge Anthony Cowan (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.). Since his December commitment, Cowan has been doing his part to recruit both Fultz and Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) guard Curtis Jones, another prime Terps target.
“I was talking to Anthony a little bit and he’s been trying to get me there. He’s telling me how we could team up and do big things together at Maryland, so that’s something I’m thinking about,” Fultz said. “Maryland is recruiting a lot of the local guys now, so that’s something I’m paying attention to.”
After the victory, Fultz went down to the locker rooms and chatted with Turgeon and his recruiter, assistant Dustin Clark. Fultz said both coaches have established a close rapport with him, attending numerous DeMatha games while letting him know how much he’s wanted.
“Coach Turgeon was telling me how he’s coming to my game [Feb. 26], and then he was just talking about how good his team is playing. He was telling me I needed to be [at Maryland] too, and how much he’d love to have me in the program,” Fultz said. “Coach Clark, he’s been doing well [recruiting] me. He’s trying to get me there too, and he was saying, ‘Markelle, just get it over with and commit. Maryland is right down the street, stick around.’ So those guys are doing great with me.”
Fultz went on to say that he sees himself fitting in well in Turgeon’s system, making particular note of UMD’s floor spacing, use of ball screen and pick-and-rolls. He commented that he liked the way the Terps play defense too.
“Maryland is in a good spot right now,” said Fultz, who also has Washington and Arizona under prime consideration and figures to check out both this summer. “Like everybody else recruiting me, they’re in a good spot. I don’t want to say any leaders or anything, but Maryland is doing well.”
Fultz doesn’t have any other planned visits at this time. DeMatha plays its WCAC championship game Feb. 26, and his full focus is on winning that and then finishing the season strong at the Alhambra in Cumberland, Md. After that, it’s on to AAU ball with the D.C. Blue Devils.
“Whenever I get some time I’ll start looking at some other schools and planning some visits,” said Fultz, who has previously seen Georgetown, UMD, Louisville, West Virginia and Xavier. “I’m in no rush to make a decision or anything like that. I just want to finish this year the right way, and then go from there.”
Fultz averaged 17 points, six assists and eight rebounds this year, which earned him WCAC Player of the Year honors.
Fultz Back In CP, Has UMD Firmly In Play
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