Stevens Honored By UMD Offer, Eager To Visit

Class of 2016 wing Lamar Stevens (Haverford School/Haverford, Pa.) earned a Terps offer April 13.

There were numerous recruits who caught Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon’s eye during the April 10-12 live evaluation period, including several who the headman deemed offer worthy. One of those was rising star class of 2016 wing Lamar Stevens (Haverford School/Haverford, Pa.), who dominated the Nike EYBL in Hampton, Va., averaging 18 points, seven rebounds and two steals in a half-dozen games for Team Final.

“Honestly, it was a true honor to talk to Coach Turgeon and receive an offer from Maryland. It was nothing but excitement on this end,” said Stevens, who has a growing verbal list that now includes UMD, Indiana, Xavier, Iowa, Georgia Tech, St. Joe’s, Temple, Penn State, Villanova, La Salle and more. “I had been talking to [the Terps’ staff] since they were first allowed to contact me the summer after my sophomore year, but Coach Turgeon said he wasn’t comfortable offering me at that time. But now that he’s seen me improve, and after watching me at the EYBL, he said he’s really impressed with my development and is more than comfortable offering. So that really meant a lot; it showed that he’s noticed the hard work that I’ve put into my game. Like I said, I was honored.”

Stevens already knew plenty about the Maryland program before the offer materialized. He said he watched numerous Terps games on TV last season, while he was also well aware of the program’s history and how it has won a national championship.

“I was really impressed with how Maryland played this year; they really caught my eye,” Stevens said. “They were a top 10 team, and they were back in the NCAA tournament, and it’s obvious they’re on the rise. I think they just got that big man too [Diamond Stone], so they’re definitely on the rise and somewhere I’ll be looking at.”

The Haverford prospect said he took particular notice of graduating Terps wing Dez Wells this year. Evidently Stevens adopted elements of Wells’ game, modeling his slashing and driving.

“During the season, I had a long sit-down with my dad, and we were talking about college players who I should study and who I would be similar to at the next level,” Stevens said. “And one of the guys we kept talking about was Dez Wells from Maryland. So I studied his game a lot, and I loved how intense he was and how he put the team on his back. I feel like I could do similar things for Maryland if I went there.

“And just in general, I loved how Maryland played. I loved how they ran, got up and down the court, and played hard on both ends. I could definitely see myself fitting there.”

Stevens has never visited College Park, Md., before, but he’s driven past the campus on his way to AAU tournaments at nearby DeMatha High (Hyattsville, Md.). But now that he has a firm offer, the wing said he’d “absolutely” be scheduling a trip to Maryland sometime in the next couple weeks.

“It’s not that far of a drive for me, so one day when I have time this spring we’ll just go down there,” Stevens said. “I’m excited to learn more about them.”

Stevens has already seen most of the in-state programs, including Penn State, Temple and Villanova. He was able to take in a game at PSU, while he also trekked out to Indiana for the Hoosiers’ season-opener.

Many believe IU may lead for Stevens’ services, with Nova firmly in play as well.

“I don’t want to say that yet. I’m keeping all my options open,” said Stevens, who believes Ohio State and Florida State might offer next. “I think Indiana is a really good school and a historic program, so it’s hard not to like them. And I did have a good time when I visited there. But I don’t have any leaders yet, and I’m not leaning one way or another yet either.”

In addition to trekking down to College Park, Stevens wants to check out offerees Xavier, Iowa and Georgia Tech in short order. He has no timetable for selecting his future destination.

“Honestly, I just want to wait things out and view all my options,” said Stevens, who will actually be transferring to Philadelphia's Roman Catholic High, home of Terps target Tony Carr, for his senior year said. “All I know right now is that I want to start taking visits, and then go from there.”

Last season at Haverford, Stevens averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, two steals and three assists per game. He considers himself a versatile scorer and defender, who can beat opponents in a variety of ways.

“I feel like I can score on all three levels and defend the ‘one’ through the ‘five,’ at least at the high school level,” Stevens said. “I handle the ball pretty well, I drive to the hole well, I can finish, and I play intense defense and rebound. The main think I’m working on is just being more consistent with my 3-point shot; that’s the No. 1 focus right now.”

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