Despite the 9 p.m. start time, several intriguing recruits made their way to Xfinity Center Nov. 17 for the much-anticipated Maryland-Georgetown showdown. The likes of junior Terps’ targets Jaren Jackson (Park Tudor/Indianapolis, Ind.) and Myles Douglas (Paul VI/Fairfax, Va.) and 2018 offerees Prentiss Hubb (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.) and Jalen Smith (Mount St. Joe’s/Baltimore, Md.) -- in addition to potential recruits Noah Roberts (John Carroll/Bel Air, Md.) and Immanuel Quickley (John Carroll) -- watched UMD surge to a 75-71 victory in front of a sold-out, raucous crowd.
For the sophomore point guard Hubb, who added his Maryland offer Oct. 3, it was his first opportunity to watch his early frontrunner from the Xfinity Center stands.
“Maryland was a really, really great experience. I’ve been [to College Park] about three or four times just to visit, and I’ve seen them on TV a bunch, but this was my first time at a live game,” said the 6-foot-2, 160-pounder, who holds early verbals from UMD, Xavier, Penn State, NC State and Cincinnati and has interest from Georgetown. “The rivalry and all that went into this game, it was so hyped. It was an amazing atmosphere to be in. I loved the Maryland fans; they’re great fans to play in front of. I could definitely see myself playing there. It’s just electric there, and it was a great game to see.”
Besides the ear-splitting crowd, Hubb said he took note of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the renewed “rivalry.” Of course, he paid attention to the individual matchups throughout the game as well.
“I really liked the beginning of the game when all the old Maryland players came out; that was cool to see, just seeing the history of Maryland basketball,” Hubb said. “Then game-wise, I thought Georgetown did really well hitting the 3 ball, and I liked how Maryland came up big in tough situations. Like, with five minutes left [in regulation], the Terps just started to hit some really big shots, and that was impressive.
“I loved how Melo [Trimble], [Rasheed] Sulaimon and [Jake] Layman played for Maryland. They really caught my eye. And then [D’Vauntes] Smith-Rivera, Marcus Derrickson and [Brandon] Hayes for Georgetown did really well too. There was a lot of really good matchups, and that made it a great game.”
The Gonzaga guard honed in on Trimble in particular. Maryland’s sophomore All-American is someone Hubb looks up to -- not surprising considering Trimble’s also a product of the D.C. area and plays Hubb’s position.
“I really liked how Melo, when he wasn’t hitting shots, decided to drive and get to the free-throw line,” Hubb said. “He attacked the rim, and that’s something I’m trying to do with my own game. [Trimble] is a great point guard, and they have another one coming in in Anthony Cowan [St. John’s/Washington, D.C.], who is a friend of mine. Maryland does a great job with their guards, and that makes me excited about them.”
Hubb actually saw the 2016 UMD signee Cowan at the Georgetown bout. But the Gonzaga product didn’t speak to his St. John’s rival, the other recruits or even the Maryland coaches. Hubb said he, his father, his AAU coach and his younger brother sat in a separate section from the others, and then left promptly after the game ended.
“It was pretty late and we wanted to get home and beat the traffic, so we didn’t stay to talk to Coach [Mark] Turgeon and Coach [Dustin] Clark. But I have a close relationship with those guys, and it’s closer now that I have the offer from Maryland,” said Hubb, who noted that he’s good friends with Turgeon’s son, Will, who also attends Gonzaga. “But it was cool just sitting with my dad at the game. He was telling me to watch how the guards used the screen to get to the basket, and to watch how they move the ball. He was asking me if I was ready to play in that type of atmosphere and was telling me what I needed to do to be ready.”
After returning home, Hubb maintained that Maryland is “really high for me right now.” He’s nowhere near declaring clear leaders with two more years of high school remaining, but acknowledged the Terps have his ear early.
“It’s the hometown school, and I love the environment up there. It’s a great campus, great fans, great arena,” Hubb said. “I love how they play too; it fits me. They play up-tempo, they move the ball and they screen to get guys open. The guards are really involved too. So I think it would be a great fit for me.”
Hubb said he’ll have a better idea where his recruitment stands following this summer. His goal is to continue improving throughout the winter and then show out with D.C. Premier on the AAU circuit when school lets out.
In addition, Hubb would like to see several more Maryland and Georgetown games since both universities are close by. During the offseason, he plans to hit some of his other suitors, including Penn State; Xavier; and NC State.
“The main thing for me now, though, is focusing on my up-coming season and showing what I can do,” said Hubb, who hasn’t seen any other schools besides UMD and Georgetown. “Right now I’d say I’m shooting the ball well from the perimeter, and my basketball IQ is high. But I’m working on becoming a better point guard and ball-handler, and also getting my strength up.”