Hardwood Notes: July Live Period Primer

There are three live evaluation periods in July, and the first begins today (July 8) and runs through the 12th. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, along with assistants Dustin Clark, Bino Ranson and Cliff Warren, will be out in full force during all three sessions...

There are three live evaluation periods in July, and the first begins today (July 8) and runs through the 12th. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, along with assistants Dustin Clark, Bino Ranson and Cliff Warren, will be out in full force during all three sessions, starting with Nike’s Peach Jam (Augusta, Ga.) and the Best of the South Showcase (Suwannee, Ga.) in Georgia, while hitting the Under Armour All-American Camp (Charlotte, N.C.) in North Carolina too. The Adidas Invitational is also being held in Indianapolis, Ind., though many of the Terps’ main targets will be playing in Georgia and Carolina.

There will undoubtedly be new recruits to monitor following these mid-summer evaluations, but here are some of the 2016 and 2017 targets Turgeon and Co. should be watching this month:

Class of 2016 Notes

We’ve been over the Terps’ main guard targets time and again, though as the summer moves along we’re getting a clearer idea who has the best shot at winding up in College Park, Md. First and foremost, there’s Brandon Robinson (Douglas County HS/Douglasville, Ga.), who just released his top-10 leaderboard July 6. The list consisted of California, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas Tech and Virginia, but, honestly, only a few of those programs are truly involved.

Maryland and Florida State continue to be the first schools out of Robinson’s mouth, though with the Seminoles landing four- and five-star talents right and left, perhaps they’ll back off the Georgia two-guard (or vice versa). For now, Robinson plans to officially visit UMD, FSU and Florida, while he’s listening to pitches from UVA and Cal as well.

We’ll know more following the July live period, but the sense heading in is the Terps are positioned to possibly land Robinson thanks to Cliff Warren’s consistent overtures and Mark Turgeon’s April in-home visit.

The second most likely option is Kevin Huerter (Shenendehowa HS/Clifton Park, N.Y.), the New York sharpshooter. Huerter has high interest in Maryland and a rapport with both Turgeon and Dustin Clark, but Michigan, Notre Dame and Syracuse are also heavily involved. Huerter isn’t one to list leaders, but it sounds like he’ll be officially visiting Ann Arbor, Mich., South Bend, Ind., and College Park following the live period (he’s seen Syracuse several times and may not take an official there).

The Terps have a solid shot, but our read is Michigan and UND could lead UMD and ‘Cuse. Iowa and Villanova, meanwhile, are also somewhat in the picture. (Remember, it’s always possible Huerter could elect to go the prep school route and reclass to 2017).

Point guard Tony Carr (Roman Catholic/Philadelphia, Pa.) is third on the list, and while the Terps continue to push for the rugged floor general, the interest may not be reciprocal. Carr is publically keeping Maryland firmly in play, but the sense is Indiana, Penn State and Pitt could hold the upper-hand. If Carr follows through with a College Park official, however, we’ll change our tune.

Finally, there’s the two-guard Markelle Fultz (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.), the local star who Turgeon and Co. probably covet above the rest. The Terps have done their due diligence with Fultz, hosting him for multiple visits, and their efforts have his attention. But the Stags’ high-flyer just seems more infatuated with Kentucky (no offer yet), Louisville, Arizona and perhaps Washington. If the KY Wildcats fail to ante up, Arizona and Louisville are probably next in the pecking order -- not Maryland.

Note: We recently scratched guards Mario Kegler (Arlington Country Day/Jacksonville, Fla.) and DeAndre Hunter (Friends’ Central/Philadelphia, Pa.) from the hot board. Kegler seems like he’s Mississippi State bound, while the Terps have yet to push for Hunter. The latter may end up at Miami, St. Joseph’s or NC State.


At the wing/small forward spot, the eggs are in the Wenyen Gabriel (Wilbraham And Monson Academy/Wilbraham, Mass.) basket for the time being. We’ve interviewed Gabriel numerous times, and it’s obvious he has genuine Maryland interest. He has a longstanding relationship with Bino Ranson and is eager to check out College Park later this summer/fall.

But Gabriel’s stock is rising, and now the Terps have to contend with the likes of UConn, BC, Providence, Virginia, Miami, Providence, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, Kansas State and possibly more after the live period. Gabriel has yet to set his visit schedule, so we’ll be interested to see which programs make the cut (UMD and UConn are locks).

Note: We scratched offeree Lamar Stevens, Tony Carr’s teammate, from the hot board this week. Like Carr, Stevens mentions Maryland from time to time, but all signs point towards him winding up at Indiana, Pitt or possibly PSU. More than likely he’ll follow Carr to one of those three locales.

We also mentioned Diamond Stone’s former teammate, Kostas Antetokounmpo (Dominican/Whitefish Bay, Wisc.), as a potential target a few weeks back, but we haven’t heard much movement with him. Maryland doesn't seem to be involved.


As far as big men are concerned, the Terps aren’t exactly positioned to land any of their foremost targets. Power forward Dewan Huell (Miami Norland/Miami, Fla.) could wind up at Louisville, Miami, Florida or UNC (no offer yet), while center Udoka Azubuike (Potter's House Christian Academy/Jacksonville, Fla.) has Kentucky, Kansas and Duke in hot pursuit.

The newest offeree, Kassoum Yakwe (Our Savior New American School)/Centereach, N.Y.), would seem to be a tough pull as well. Kansas has been on the shot-blocking sensation for awhile now and may be the team to beat. Meanwhile, Iowa State, St. John’s, Pitt, Louisville, Villanova and Providence have been involved too.

We’re still in the process of learning about Yakwe’s recruitment, however, so maybe Dustin Clark can make some inroads.

Note: Denmark center Jacob Larsen remains on the hot board, mainly because it’s been hard to glean much information on him (Will he go pro? Will he play a year in college?). But Turgeon has obviously reached into Europe for recruits before, so we’re keeping Larsen in mind.


So, given the above, how is the 2016 crop shaping up for Maryland? Well, we think they can pull in one of Brandon Robinson, Kevin Huerter and possibly Tony Carr to fill the guard spot. There’s also a solid chance they add the wing Wenyen Gabriel too, though we’ll have to see what the latter is thinking after July.

Again, more names could emerge this month, but currently it’s looking like a three-man class (don’t forget point guard pledge Anthony Cowan).

Class of 2017 Targets

The Terps are going after some of the nation’s foremost rising juniors, and at this rate they’ll need to pull in several of them (small 2016 class plus attrition from the current roster after this season). Which is entirely possible if Maryland meets expectations and makes a deep run in March.

Here are some of the more prominent names Turgeon and his staff will be watching closely this July:

Offered Recruits

Five-star PF Mohammed Bamba, 6-11, Westtown School (Westtown, Pa.)
Five-star SF Kevin Knox, 6-7, Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Fla.)
Five-star SF Jordan Tucker, 6-7, Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.).
Five-star SF D.J. Harvey, 6-6, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)
SF Myles Douglas, 6-7, Friends School (Baltimore, Md.)
Five-star SG Hamidou Diallo, 6-4, Woodstock Academy (Woodstock, Conn.)
Five-star PG Trevon Duval, 6-3, St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.)
PG Quade Green, 6-0, Neumann-Goretti HS (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Other Recruits On The Radar

C Zach Kent, 6-10, St. Andrew's School (Middletown, Del.)
PF Daniel Mading, 6-9, St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.)
SF Tyler Polley, 6-7, Sagemont School (Weston, Fla.)
Five-star SF Brian Bowen, 6-7, Arthur Hill HS (Saginaw, Mich.)
SF Hameir Wright, 6-7, Albany Academy (Albany, N.Y.)
SG Luis Hurtado, 6-4, Sagemont School
Four-star SG M.J. Walker, 6-4, Jonesboro HS (Jonesboro, Ga.)
Five-star SG Lonnie Walker, 6-4, Reading HS (Pa.)
SG Matt Turner, 6-4, Blair Academy (Blairstown Township, N.J.)
SG Eddie Scott, 6-4, Gonzaga College HS (Washington, D.C.)
SG Myles Cale, 6-4, Appoquinimink HS (Middletown, Del.)
SG Eric Ayala, 6-3, Sanford School (Hockessin, Del.)
SG David Beatty, 6-3, St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.)
SG Elijah Clarence, 6-3, St. Maria Goretti (Hagerstown, Md.)

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