In-between games and practice, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff have been out on the recruiting trail the last couple weeks with the high school season underway. Turgeon, Dustin Clark, Bino Ranson, Cliff Warren and Co. haven’t had a chance to venture too far from College Park, Md., yet, but they’re been spotted at various gyms throughout the DMV, checking out the likes of Myles Douglas (Paul VI/Fairfax, Va.); Prentiss Hubb (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.); Jalen Smith (Mount St. Joe’s/Baltimore, Md.); Noah Roberts (John Carroll/Bel Air, Md.); Immanuel Quickley (John Carroll); Noah Locke (McDonogh/Owings Mills, Md.) and others.
On Dec. 5, though, Turgeon had a chance to see an intriguing out-of-state recruit who actually visited UMD Oct. 17 for Maryland Madness. Junior center Dajour Dickens (The Miller School/Charlottesville, Va.) and his squad ventured up to Upper Marlboro, Md., for a D.C.-area event that featured numerous squads throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District.
The 6-foot-11, 205-pound Dickens does not hold a Maryland offer, but Turgeon and area recruiter Dustin Clark were interested in the developing big.
“I saw Coach Turgeon and Maryland in the gym up in D.C.; they were there along with George Washington and George Mason,” said Dickens, who claims verbals from Clemson, UCF, Wake Forest, Va Tech, Temple, Creighton, UVA, Memphis, Texas and VCU. “[Maryland] really didn’t say anything to me or contact me after the game, but they were talking to my coach about me. But that was about it. It was cool to see them, but I’m not sure what they’re going to do [in terms of offering].”
Previously, Dickens said he was “sure” a Terps’ verbal would eventually materialize. He’d had consistent contact with Clark, and believed once the UMD assistant and the headman watched him live they’d move closer to extending the coveted scholarship.
“But honestly I haven’t really heard from them in awhile now, since I went to the Madness event,” Dickens said. “Coach Clark liked me in the summer on the EYBL [AAU circuit], but he hasn’t said much since then. I was really hoping they’d show more interest, because I really like Maryland and I really like Coach Clark, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen at this point.”
Indeed, Dickens admitted Oct. 17 the Terps would be tough to top if they pursued him in earnest, and he maintained that stance Dec. 9.
“I loved my visit up there and it’s a great program. I’ve seen them play on TV, and they’re a great team. I think I’d fit in really well there,” Dickens said. “But I think I have to show them more for them to really look at me.”
The Terps’ interest may have waned, but Dickens is hearing from other suitors and potential suitors. He said coaches from Kansas State, West Virginia (no offer yet), Va Tech, Creighton and UCF have been in touch regularly.
Of those, the Hokies hold early appeal.
“I was just up at Virginia Tech for a game and I’m going to see them play up at Madison Square Garden too,” Dickens said. “They’re coaches are always on me, and I liked my visit over there. It’s a nice program, a nice school. I like Creighton a good bit too; I’m looking to see one of their games too.”
In the meantime, Dickens will continue working on his game. He said The Miller School has played a handful of games thus far, and while Dickens said he’s done “OK,” he realizes his craft needs honing.
“I definitely have to get stronger, and right now I have to get more confidence in my shot,” said Dickens, who plays for Boo Williams on the AAU circuit. “Sometimes when I can’t get my first shot or two to fall I lose confidence and I lose focus, and I can’t get into the flow. So I have to work on that. I have to always be a dog and develop that killer mentality. I’m still getting there.”-->