In addition to prime underclassmen targets such as Myles Douglas (Paul VI/Fairfax, Va.), Prentiss Hubb (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.) and Jalen Smith (Mt. St. Joe’s/Baltimore, Md.), the Terps played host to a number of other emerging locals for Maryland Madness Oct. 17. Among them was class of 2018 power forward Nate Roberts (John Carroll/Bel Air, Md.), who already holds high-major offers.
The 6-foot-9, 195-pounder claims verbals from Cincinnati, James Madison and Delaware, and said coaches from Maryland; NC State; Miami; VCU; and USC have been in contact.
“Maryland Madness was really cool; I really enjoyed it,” said Roberts, who is still growing and could reach 7-feet before it’s all said and done. “It was exciting; that was my very first Madness event. I loved the coach [Mark Turgeon]. He was really confident about the team this year, and I could tell the team was confident in each other too. In the scrimmage, they all came together and played really hard. That was really cool to see. And the fans there, they’re already ready for the season to start. They were all into it.”
Roberts, who suits up for AAU program Baltimore Supreme, had been inside Xfinity Center before for the Baltimore Catholic League playoffs, but had never attended a Maryland game or any other Terps-related event.
“It’s just a real nice environment there and a great arena,” Roberts said. “It’s a great atmosphere to be in. I really want to see a game or two there too. The coaches said they’re getting me up there, so I’m looking forward to that.”
The point man in Roberts’ recruitment, as far as the Terps are concerned, is Bino Ranson. Maryland's Baltimore-area recruiter attended a John Carroll practice earlier this fall, Roberts promptly catching his eye. Ranson learned more about the budding forward from Patriots’ head coach Tony Martin, and since then the UMD assistant and the 2018 recruit have had fairly regular communication.
“Coach Bino has talked to me, my mom and my coach. He’s a really cool guy, really easy to talk to,” Roberts said. “When I was at Madness, he was really happy to see me, and he introduced me to Coach Turgeon. [Turgeon and Ranson] were saying they really liked my potential and said they liked my size and versatility. They definitely want to stay in touch with me.”
Although Roberts grew up in Prince George’s County before moving to Edgewood, Md., he did not watch much of Maryland. That said, he’s well aware of the Terps now, the hometown school firmly on the sophomore’s radar.
“Maryland is a top-five team and a rising power. They have guys like Melo [Trimble], Diamond [Stone] and they produce great players,” Roberts said. “I really hope they offer. If they did, Maryland would definitely be a top-five school for me. That’s an offer I really want, along with North Carolina; Arizona; LSU and Ohio State.”
While Roberts is intrigued by Maryland, he admitted a Tar Heels offer would be “a dream.” He’s looking forward to visiting Chapel Hill, N.C., this year as well.
“Just the history of North Carolina and the basketball program, that just stands out to me,” said Roberts, who has now been to Delaware, VCU and UMD. “UNC would be my dream school since it’s the school I always watched growing up.”
As far as his game is concerned, Roberts said he can play inside and out, although he’s more comfortable around the basket. He also takes pride in his defensive prowess.
“My offensive strength is my ball-handling for my size. Most people 6-9 aren’t as coordinated as I am. I can take people off the dribble, drive and finish,” Roberts said. “And I can run the floor too, and when I need to I can step out and hit the 3. But I normally play in the paint and drive, because I like to bang down low. Defensively, I’m long and I can alter shots, block shots and rebound. I’m very active on the defensive end.”-->