There were numerous local underclassmen who packed Xfinity Center for Maryland Madness Oct. 17, with offerees Myles Douglas (Paul VI/Fairfax, Va.), Jalen Smith (Mt. St. Joe’s/Baltimore, Md.) and Prentiss Hubb (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.) the most prominent in attendance. But there was another emerging DMV recruit who the Terps have been closely monitoring and could eventually pursue in earnest provided he continues developing.
Class of 2018 shooting guard Noah Locke (McDonogh/Owings Mills, Md.) trekked over to College Park, Md., for the first time since he was a youngster, when he checked out a women’s game with his father, and left impressed with the hometown school.
“I thought it was a good event. I liked how the fans really supported the team and how the coaches really work with their players. You could see it in how they played how good these coaches are and how well the team plays together,” said the 6-foot-2, 165-pound Locke. “I liked how they ran their sets. I liked how Melo [Trimble] came off two screens, got the ball and converted. I like how the guards are used there and how involved they are. It’s a great system.”
Locke has been in touch with UMD-area recruiter Bino Ranson, although he didn’t have extensive conversations with any Terps’ staffers at Madness. He said he and his family didn’t enter Xfinity with the rest of the recruits, precluding them from meeting head coach Mark Turgeon and Co. before the event.
“But Coach Bino saw me in the stands and waved. He was real happy I was there,” Locke said. “He’s a cool dude. He came to one of my practice and he’s great friends with my dad, My dad is a women’s coach at Coppin State, so they know each other through that. Coach Bino and my dad have known each other for awhile, and that makes our relationship pretty good too. [Ranson] said he would be back a lot at my school, and he likes my potential.”
While the McDonogh recruit did have an opportunity to interact with the coaches, he did talk to the various other recruits in attendance. He specifically mentioned the big-man Smith and class of 2018 forward Nate Roberts, another emerging recruit from John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.).
“I was talking to Sticks [Jalen Smith], and me and him are really close. We’re really good friends. We played on the same AAU team, Team Sizzle, actually, and I know he loves Maryland and has an offer from them already,” Locke said. “Then I saw Nate Roberts too, and I know he’s another guy Maryland is looking at.”
As far as his own Terps’ offer is concerned, Locke believes he’ll eventually procure one. However, he’s not sure he’ll nab one anytime soon like fellow ’18 locals Smith and Hubb.
“I haven’t heard anything about an offer yet, but the coaches at Maryland seem like they like me a lot. Coach Bino likes how I shoot, score the ball, and said he’ll be back a lot to see how I develop,” said Locke, whose mother is also a basketball coach. “He was telling me I need to go see Coach Turgeon, so we’ll see what happens after that. I think they need to see more of me, but I’m pretty sure they will offer though.”
If so, Locke said he’d give the hometown school an even closer look. He said it’s “hard to say” at this point what direction his recruitment will turn, but he’d “love” to have a scholarship from Maryland.
“Right now I think I bring a lot to the table that Maryland and other colleges will like,” said Locke, who projects to the high-major level. “I can shoot the ball well, I have an off-the-dribble shot, and I’m a really good rebounder too. But I’m working on my ball-handling. I’ve been working on that and it’s getting better. Then I have to work on being a better defender and really getting up on guys.”