One of the nearby AAU programs Terps’ head coach Mark Turgeon and assistant Bino Ranson have tapped into is Delaware-based We R 1, which features recruits from Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Currently, there are at least five prospects Turgeon and Co. have targeted (the coaches watched them at the Under Armour event in Charlotte, N.C. July 9-12), headlined by five-star class of 2017 point guard Trevon Duval (St. Benedict’s Prep/Newark, N.J.).
The Terps also have offers out to class of 2016 four-star power forward Sedee Keita (22 Feet Academy/Saxtons River, Vt.) and class of 2017 point guard Quade Green (Goretti/Philadelphia, Pa.), while they’re monitoring ’17 combo guard Eric Ayala (Sanford School/Hockessin, Del.) and ’17 center Zach Kent (St. Andrew’s/Middletown, Del.).
“Maryland has been very active with our guys, very active with us as coaches,” said We R 1 coach Terrell Myers, who handles much of the recruiting. “From Coach Turgeon to Coach Bino to Coach [Dustin] Clark, we have a great relationship with those guys. I’ve known Bino for awhile as one of my good friends knows him, and I recently met Coach Clark and now we’re in contact too. And Coach Turgeon has just been great.
“We love what Maryland is doing, and our guys do too. We love how Coach Turgeon coaches, and how he uses his talent. He’s not really a system guy, but he coaches to players’ strengths, and that’s very attractive to our guys. He’s done a great job building the program and breathing life back into Maryland. Our kids have taken notice of that, definitely.”
Myers said the entire We R 1 program attended a Maryland game last winter, giving the likes of Duval, Green and Keita a firsthand look at the nearby Terps. The coach said the atmosphere inside Xfinity Center resonated with the players, while they enjoyed meeting the coaches as well.
“We definitely love it up at Maryland, and we’ll take our guys back over there in the fall when there’s people on campus,” Myers said. “We’d like to see the school and a practice, and just interact with the coaches and players again. I know all our guys really like it there, and since it’s close by, we get to see it pretty often. I know our guys are definitely paying attention to Maryland now.”
That includes the senior forward Keita, who has been forecast to Syracuse, Auburn, Temple, seemingly not that intrigued by the Terps. But Myers said Keita actually talks about Maryland more than any of the other We R 1 recruits.
“I mean, Sedee is wide open right now, so you never know. And he mentions Maryland quite a bit,” said Myers, who described Keita as a 6-10 version of Draymond Green, complete with handles; passing ability; and high-energy play. “He was just talking about Maryland the other day as a school he’s thinking about. He likes what they’re doing and see it as a place where he can fit in. I think once he visits [College Park], and the coaches do their job, they’ll have a chance with him. You never know.”
The five-star Duval has Maryland on his radar too, although he’s being pursued by many of the country’s bluebloods. Kansas, Syracuse, Indiana, UConn and Louisville are all after the 6-3, 175-pounder.
“To be honest, Trevon is just enjoying the ride right now. He’s not really worried about colleges yet and hasn’t really taken any visits,” Myers said. “He’s doing what he should do at this stage, which is enjoying playing. Next year he’ll spend more time getting into recruiting and looking at more schools.
“So I know he likes what he’s seen out of Maryland, and Maryland is doing a good job [recruiting] him, but he’s very much open at this point.”
Myers said Duval’s game is similar to a Kyrie Irving or a Derrick Rose. The coach said his point guard can “do it all” and excels on both ends of the floor.
“Trevon is a great competitor and he can be a leader on offense and defense,” Myers said. “He’s extremely quick, he’s really crafty with the ball and he’s very athletic.”
The Terps may have a better shot at landing Green, who just visited College Park last month. He raved about the staff, called UMD one of his foremost contenders and said Maryland would “definitely” be a major factor in his recruitment.
Myers said Green, like Duval, is just beginning the recruiting process, though it’s clear the Philadelphia product has an affinity for the Terps.
The 5-11, 195-pounder is also being pursued by Michigan State, Penn State, Providence and Temple, among others.
“Quade is just a killer, an attacker,” Myers said. “I mean, he can just play. He’s not the biggest point guard, but he can really play. He just gets the job done.”
The junior combo Ayala doesn’t hold a Terps’ offer yet, but is firmly on their radar. Ayala has been in contact with Ranson, and the Maryland coaches have watched him play during the recent evaluation periods.
So far St. John’s, Temple, La Salle, St. Joe’s and Cincinnati have anted up.
“[Ayala] is a 6-5 guard, and that size gives him an advantage. He’s versatile and can play point or off the ball,” Myers said. “He plays at different speeds, he understands angles and he uses his size well. He’s really crafty around the basket, and can step out and hit the 3 as well.”
Last but not least, there’s the 7-foot center Kent. The Delaware prospect has visited College Park on a couple occasions, expressing plenty of interest in the nearby program. He’s not only intrigued by Turgeon’s development of bigs like Alex Len, but he likes that College Park isn’t far from home and the school’s strong academics too.
Myers said the Terps haven’t offered, but could be on the verge. The coach said Kent recently added verbals from Notre Dame, St. Joe’s, Temple, La Salle and a few others.
“[Kent] is really talented. He’s a really good passer for a big man, he can finish around the rim and he rebounds well,” Myers said. “He can play inside, and step outside and make a shot. But he’s just scratching the surface of what he can do; he has a lot of upside. I know Maryland likes his potential.”
Terps Hitting Home With AAU Power We R 1
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