John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) sophomore point guard Immanuel Quickley has been to about seven Maryland games the last couple years, including a couple intriguing Big Ten matchups last year. But he can’t recall a matchup as hyped and energized as the Terps-Georgetown bout Nov. 17 in Xfinity Center.
“I’ve been to Maryland a lot, a whole lot honestly. I’ve been going up there for awhile now, but this game, this game I just saw, man, that’s the tops,” said Quickley, an emerging 2018 talent with early offers from Cincinnati, Washington, USC, Rhode Island and others. “It’s the best college basketball game I’ve seen live. It was great, and it was great to see Maryland come back and win.”
Yes, the Terps charged back to defeat their once-rival Hoyas, 75-71, but that’s not necessarily what caught Quickley’s eye. He arrived early for the 9:15 p.m. tipoff and had a chance to interact with various other recruits and Maryland fans.
“I’ve been to Maryland games before, but the atmosphere for Georgetown was absolutely crazy,” Quickley said. “The students, they did a white out, which was really cool. And right before the game they started jumping around, and you couldn’t even hear at that point. It was great.
“Then I got to sit with some cool recruits and meet some others guys I didn’t know, and that was really cool too. I met the Mitchell twins, Makhel and Makhi, and I met this one dude who goes to DeMatha, and my teammate Noah Roberts was there with me too. So we were all into the game and just loving what Maryland was doing.”
Naturally, the 6-foot-3, 175-ppund John Carroll point paid close attention to UMD’s preseason All-American floor general, Melo Trimble. Quickley’s met Trimble before and considers him a “really cool guy” and “someone I want to model my game after.”
“It’s always great to see guys like Melo do their thing. He scored, what, like 25 points?” Quickley said. “He’s great, and I just love how Maryland plays. They’re up-tempo, explosive and they get up and down. That’s my kind of style.”
After the game, before chatting with his UMD recruiter, Bino Ranson, and head coach Mark Turgeon, Quickley went down to the floor where ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt was interviewing the Terps’ headman.
“For like a brief second me and some of the other recruits were on SportsCenter, and that was unreal. It was great,” Quickley said. “I saw Scott Van Pelt, and just having ESPN there doing the game, it was awesome. It was really cool.”
Quickley and a few others then headed to the locker room. The 2018 point said he exchanged a few words with Ranson, Turgeon and the rest of the staff.
“Coach Turgeon is great, and Coach Bino was telling me I can come to any game I want,” Quickley said. “They were saying how they’re going to be coming to my games, and Coach Bino was actually at my game [Nov. 18], which was really cool. We’re building that relationship, and it’s getting better.
“Coach Bino, he’s a real nice guy, real chill, and he’s been around here forever. He just keeps telling me to work on my game and how he likes me a lot.”
Maybe so, but Quickley does not hold a Terps’ offer yet. Maryland has extended a verbal to another local 2018 guard, Prentiss Hubb (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.), and it remains to be seen how hard they’ll pursue the John Carroll product.
“Honestly, I’m not too worried about the offer right now,” Quickley said. “I know in time it will come. Right now I’m all about building relationships, and I have a good one with Maryland.”
If the scholarship did materialize, Quickley said it would be “a blessing.” But, at the same time, he noted a Maryland verbal “wouldn’t change too much” since he’s more concerned with finding his best fit, regardless of location or how familiar he is with a particular university.
“I understand how recruiting works. I have to find the place that fits me best, and where I’ll have a chance to contribute,” Quickley said. “I want to play for a team that’s up-tempo, where I’ll be able to make an impact, and where I’ll be able to compete for a national championship.”
So far, Quickley has visited UMD, Duke and North Carolina. He’d like to venture out to some of his early offerees this offseason, including Cincinnati and possibly his West Coast suitors.
He mentioned that he’s not looking for any offers in particular.
“Right now, I’m gearing up for the season. We’ve already played two games, and we’re 2-0,” said Quickley, who, in the summer, suits up for Nike’s Baltimore Elite AAU squad. “Offensively, I’m off to a good start scoring, passing and just having a high basketball IQ. But I have to work on my defense, rebounding and being more of a leader.”