Hardwood Notes: New Targets Emerging

Following the first July live evaluation period, with prime events in North Augusta, Ga., (Peach Jam), Indianapolis, Ind., (Adidas Uprising) and Charlotte, N.C. (Under Armour Challenge), several new Terps targets emerged, as expected.

Following the first July live evaluation period, with prime events in North Augusta, Ga., (Peach Jam), Indianapolis, Ind., (Adidas Uprising) and Charlotte, N.C. (Under Armour Challenge), several new Terps targets emerged, as expected. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon ended up extending a few offers earlier this week, while establishing connections with many other potential recruits as well.

The next live period runs from July 15-19, although there aren’t quite as many “major” events this time around. Even so, we fully expect more names to crop up in conjunction with the Terps.

First, let’s recap the July 9-12 weekend:

Class of 2016 Notes

In the 2016 class, the most recent scholarship went out to power forward Sacha Killeya-Jones (Episcopal/Lynchburg, Va.), a 6-10, 205-pound four-star who already held verbals from the country’s bluebloods. Killeya-Jones is projected to land at either Kentucky or North Carolina, both of which have been after him for awhile now. It’s going to be difficult for the Terps to gain much traction, especially since they entered the game a little late.

Another rising senior, Sacred Heart’s (Waterbury, Conn.) Mustapha Heron, also claimed a Maryland offer, although the small forward probably had a conditional one for several months. The five-star talent has had contact with UMD since Scott Spinelli was on staff, so there’s already an established relationship. He’s considering a visit to College Park, Md., at some point, though that’s highly tentative.

Ultimately, Heron, who decommitted from Pittsburgh April 17, may be St. John’s bound. He recently visited Alabama and Memphis, but the Johnnies hold weight since Barry Rohrssen, his former recruiter at Pitt, is now with the Red Storm.

A couple other star 2016 talents mentioned in conjunction with Maryland recently include small forward Terrance Ferguson (Prime Prep/Dallas, Texas), power forward Juwan Durham (Tampa Prep/Tampa, Fla.) and small forward De'riante Jenkins (West Oaks Academy/Orlando, Fla.). None of the trio claim Terps’ offers yet, but could receive them if their interest in UMD is reciprocal.

Ferguson, a five-star recruit, has Kansas all over him and could very well wind up a Jayhawk before it’s all said and done. The 6-7, 180-pounder has visited KU, hosted KU coaches, and had headman Bill Self watch him during the April and July evaluation periods. Alabama, Louisville, Baylor, Florida, SMU and Texas are also making a potent push, but it’ll be hard for any of them to top Kansas.

As for the Terps, assistant Dustin Clark and Turgeon have connections in the Lone Star State, so maybe they can make some inroads here. We’re not banking on it, but we’ll keep Ferguson’s name in mind just in case.

Durham, meanwhile, is a four-star from the Sunshine State with all the Florida programs after him. UF, FSU and Miami are among his primary contenders, and he figures to sign with one of those three. Apparently the Terps and recruiter Cliff Warren have been involved, though, so we’ll see what kind of impression they make as the summer moves along.

Jenkins is the least heralded of this latter group, holding offers from Clemson, Wake, USF and ECU. Warren has watched him and may have some interest, but it remains to be seen if Turgeon will make a run. The 6-6, 180-pounder may be a fallback option in case Wenyen Gabriel and others fall by the wayside. For the time being, he's projected to Clemson.

The rest of the 2016 “names to know” have been discussed in previous write-ups.

Turgeon and Clark both watched elite New York sharpshooter Kevin Huerter (Shenendehowa HS/Clifton Park, N.Y.) last week, the 6-5, 170-pounder remaining a top shooting guard target. The feeling is the Terps are firmly in the game for Huerter, who should be visiting College Park in August, but Notre Dame may be the leader. Evidently the Irish and head coach Mike Brey have left a deep impression, Huerter eager to see South Bend, Ind., next month as well.

Michigan is also a primary contender and may rank second or third in the pecking order. Syracuse, which was firmly involved in Huerter’s recruitment, just received a commitment from shooting guard Tyus Battle and may no longer be pursuing the Shenendehowa product in earnest (unless Huerter elects to go to prep school for a year, reclassing to 2017).

The Terps also saw shooting guard Brandon Robinson (Douglas County/Douglasville, Ga.) fill up the stat sheet at Peach Jam, further raising his stock. Robinson has a number of new programs coming after him now, but we’re sensing Maryland, Florida and FSU remain at the forefront of his mind.

Of all Maryland’s 2016 guard targets, Robinson is still the most likely to become a Terp. We’ll see if that’s still the case following the next two live periods.

Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) point guard Tony Carr, meanwhile, did not participate during the first July live period due to an injury. Regardless, his stock has fallen a bit and it’s questionable whether or not the Terps are still pushing for him. Carr has Indiana, Penn State and Pitt after him and could wind up at one of those three locales.

We’re leaving him “warm” on the hot board for now, but he could move to “cool” at any time.

As for DeMatha’s (Hyattsville, Md.) combo guard Markelle Fultz, well, he’s probably out of Maryland’s reach. Not only did Fultz add his coveted Kentucky offer, but he picked up North Carolina earlier this week as well. Now, Fultz is considering KY, UNC, Arizona, Louisville and Washington, with the Terps on the outside looking in.

At small forward, Wenyen Gabriel (Wilbraham & Monson/Wilbraham, Mass.) remains priority No. 1 and Maryland’s most realistic target -- barring a late charge on the aforementioned Mustapha Heron or Terrance Ferguson.

Gabriel continued to play well last weekend at the Adidas event, adding offers from Notre Dame and Texas in the process. He’ll undoubtedly give both programs a look, although publically Gabriel is staying mum, insisting he’s very much open to all his suitors.

That said, Gabriel allowed that Maryland, Providence, UConn, BC and UVA have made him “a priority,” according to Scout’s Evan Daniels. The Terps, in particular, have been making a push here, and when Gabriel releases his leaderboard this August, Maryland should be at or near the front of it.

Gabriel is still on track to visit College Park next month, with his college decision coming later during the fall. Although he has plenty of attractive options, we like Maryland’s chances thanks to recruiter Bino Ranson’s deep rapport with him.

Last week, we mentioned power forward Kassoum Yakwe (Our Savior New American School/Centereach, N.Y.) as a name to monitor following his Maryland offer. And this week we learned from Yakwe’s coaches the Terps are indeed right in the thick of things with the 6-7, 220-pounder. Despite the late scholarship, Yakwe is apparently intrigued by UMD what with recruiter Dustin Clark’s overtures. He’s even considering taking a visit to College Park after the evaluation periods.

Iowa State, Kansas, UConn, St. John’s and Indiana, among others, are also involved, although a few of the above (KU, ISU namely) may have backed off some. If so, the Terps could make things interesting, to say the least. Stay tuned.

As for potential center recruits, we haven’t heard much beyond the two prospects we’ve been mentioning for awhile now: Udoka Azubuike (Potter's House Christian Academy/Jacksonville, Fla.) and Jacob Larsen (Denmark).

Azubuike recently told Scout, though, that Florida, FSU and Kansas were after him the hardest. We don’t project Maryland to gain much ground on that group, although Azubuike isn’t ending his recruitment anytime soon. There’s time for other programs to become involved, but we don’t see him winding up at Maryland.

Larsen, meanwhile, remains a mystery. We’re still waiting to hear whether he’ll be turning pro or heading to college for a year. All we know is the Terps continue to monitor him, which is why we’re keeping him on the hot board.

So, as the summer moves along, it's looking like the Terps may be positioning themselves for a guard (Robinson is most likely), along with Gabriel and/or potentially Yakwe. If Turgeon can bring in at least two of those three, he'll probably be satisfied.

Class of 2017 Notes

Mark Turgeon certainly isn’t shy about pursing the nation’s elite. He extended even more offers to top 2017 talents earlier this week, banking on a strong 2016 campaign to help coax them to College Park.

The new recruits, with Maryland scholarships, on the hot board are:

De’Andre Ayton, C, 6-11, Balboa City (San Diego, Calif.): Nation’s No. 1 center recruit; has Kentucky, UNC, Duke, Kansas and all the bluebloods after him; a five-star recruit.

Billy Preston, PF, 6-9, Prime Prep (Dallas, Texas): A five-star forward; Turgeon and Clark have made early inroads; has Kansas, Texas schools and potentially more bluebloods on him.

Hamidou Diallo, SG, 6-4, Woodstock Academy (Woodstock, Conn.): Was previously on hot board, but Terps just offered this week; a five-star recruit; UConn leads early; others involved are St. John’s, Louisville, Indiana, Minnesota, Providence and now UMD.

Kevin Knox, SF, 6-7, Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Fla): Was previously on the hot board, but Terps just offered this week; a five-star wing; Cliff Warren has a connection here; Terps have Knox’s attention, according to sources; UMD will have plenty of competition from Florida schools, nation’s top programs.

Brian Bowen, SF, 6-7, Arthur Hill (Saginaw, Mich.): Was previously on the hot board, but Terps just offered this week; a five-star recruit; Michigan State an early front-runner; Duke, Kentucky and Michigan also involved.

Other new names on the radar (no offers yet) include:

Mitchell Ballock, SG, Eudora (Kans.): Four-star recruit; early offers from Kansas, Iowa State, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Creighton, UNLV.

Darius Perry, PG, Wheeler (Powder Springs, Ga.): Four-star recruit; early offers from Minnesota, FSU, Texas A&M, Wake, Xavier and others.

As a reminder, the recruits we’ve written about previously (with Terps offers) are:

Mohammed Bamba, PF, 6-11, Westtown School (Westtown, Pa.): Five-star recruit; wide open in recruitment; Terps have gained some traction; has Nova, Arizona, UConn, Kentucky, Arizona on him; likely bound for a blueblood.

Jordan Tucker, SF, 6-7, Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.): Five-star recruit; has spoken highly of Maryland following offer and may visit College Park; Syracuse may lead; UConn, Oklahoma, Indiana heavily involved.

Myles Douglas, SF, 6-7, Friends School (Baltimore, Md.): Maryland is probably the leader, though how much he develops will depend on how hard Turgeon pushes; UMD’s to lose if they want him; Miami and Temple also involved.

Cody Riley, PF, 6-7, Sierra Canyon HS (Chatsworth, Calif.): Five-star recruit; Kansas, Arizona, Cal, UCLA resonating early.

D.J. Harvey, 6-6, SF, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.): Five-star recruit; always speaks highly of UMD; has visited College Park numerous times; is likely blueblood bound (Kentucky, Duke, UNC) or maybe Arizona.

Trevon Duval, PG, 6-3, St. Benedict's HS (Newark, N.J.): Five-star point; wide open in his recruitment; has been to Maryland and has some interest; Kansas, Louisville and Syracuse all over him.

Quade Green, PG, 5-11, Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.): Four-star point; has visited College Park and likes Terps; remaining open as he gathers offers, but UMD has left positive early impression; MSU, Penn State, Providence, Penn State also involved.

Other prospects the Terps are monitoring (no offer yet) that we’ve mentioned before include:

Zach Kent, 6-10, C, St. Andrew's School (Middletown, Del.): Coach reports offers from La Salle, Notre Dame, Temple, St. Joe’s; Terps are monitoring closely; likes UMD a good bit and has visited.

Daniel Mading, 6-9, PF, S. Benedict's HS (Newark, N.J.): Four-star recruit; offers from Boise State, JMU, LSU, Arizona State, etc.; jury still out on how hard Terps will push.

Tyler Polley, 6-7, SF, Sagemont School (Weston, Fla.): Three-star recruit; has a few mid-major offers; Terps monitoring, waiting on development; has some connections to Maryland.

Hameir Wright, 6-7, SF, Albany Academy (Albany, N.Y.): Under the radar recruit; Terps keeping tabs.

Lonnie Walker, 6-5, SG, Reading (Pa.): A potential five-star recruit; has Villanova on him and Wildcats could lead for the moment; Maryland could offer shortly; has interest in visiting Terps and likes the program.

M.J. Walker, 6-4, SG, Jonesboro (Ga.): A top football and basketball recruit; Terps should offer eventually; Clemson, Duke, Florida, Syracuse, Miami, Michigan on him, with Kentucky lurking.

Luis Hurtado, 6-4, SG, Sagemont School (Weston, Fla.): Under the radar guard with Georgia, FSU offers; Terps know about him and watched him during live periods; UMD in “monitoring” stage to see how Hurtado develops.

Matt Turner, 6-4, SG, Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.): Not much known about his recruitment; Terps did check him out and are intrigued.

Myles Cale, 6-3, SG, Appoquinimink HS (Middletown, Del.): A potential high-major recruit; has visited UMD and likes Terps a lot; interest is apparently reciprocal; if Turgeon antes up, UMD could be in position to land Cale.

Eric Ayala, 6-3, SG, Sanford School (Hockessin, Del.): Has offers from Cincinnati, La Salle, St. John’s, St. Joe’s; Terps and Bino Ranson keeping tabs on him; Ayala’s been to UMD before and is intrigued by the school.

David Beatty, 6-3, SG, St. Benedict's HS (Newark, N.J.): Emerging shooting guard with PSU offer; Maryland knows about him, but jury out on the interest level right now.

Elijah Clarance, 6-3, SG, St. Maria Goretti HS (Hagerstown, Md.): Intriguing glue-guy; Terps keeping tabs, but not sure if high-major talent yet; has visited UMD and might jump at chance to play for nearby school.

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