He didn’t even hold an offer from the University of Maryland, but The First Academy (Orlando, Fla.) 2017 shooting guard Chaundee Brown decided, on a whim, to fly up to College Park, Md., with his AAU coach for a look at the Terps Jan. 16. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound four-star had been hearing from UMD assistant Cliff Warren, who watched Brown in action recently, so the recruit took a look at Maryland’s schedule; circled the Ohio State game; and headed up to College Park.
“Maryland had been recruiting me, so I wanted to check it out,” said Brown, who holds offers from Wake Forest, Georgia, Texas Tech, USC, UConn, Florida and LSU. “And I loved it. Honestly, I loved it. I liked everything about Maryland. The campus was real nice, I thought the player dorms were great, and the arena [Xfinity Center] was terrific. It was a lot different from Florida with the weather, so that would be an adjustment for me, but I really liked everyone I met there, from the students to the players to the coaches.”
The basketball game Brown witnessed was none too shabby either. If you’re a Maryland supporter, that is.
The Terps ended up trouncing the Buckeyes, 100-67, in front of a sold-out Xfinity Center crowd.
“The fans were great. They were so pumped, so live, and just crazy,” Brown said. “I loved the atmosphere there, and those are the kinds of fans I’d love to play in front of.
“But the game, I thought it would be a lot closer, but it was a straight blowout. I mean, Maryland killed Ohio State. How [the Terps] came out strong, ran their offense and just kept the pressure on, it was really impressive. That free-flowing offense where they pass the ball and everyone gets involved – that’s my style.”
After the game, Brown had a chance to meet current Terps Rasheed Sulaimon and Damonte Dodd. The Florida native said he immediately took to Sulaimon, who expressed how great of a program Maryland had.
Of course, Brown sat down with head coach Mark Turgeon and Cliff Warren as well.
“That was my favorite part, just sitting down with the coaches and getting to know them better,” Brown said. “I met like the entire staff, and they were all very nice. I’ve known Coach Warren for a couple months now, and he’s a cool dude. He’s been telling me to keep working and he could see me doing well at Maryland. He always tells me to call or text him with updates, so we keep in touch.
“And Coach Turgeon is such a good guy. It was really impressive, he knows his stuff inside and out. And the way he talks to you, you can tell he cares about you as a player.”
Brown said Turgeon didn’t extend an offer, mainly because the coach wanted to watch The First Academy in action before doing so. Which UMD’s headman plans to do in April, according to Brown.
“I’m really hoping I get that offer; it would be huge. I’m working for it, and I think I do deserve it,” Brown said. “Maryland is a great program, they’re ranked like third in the country, and I just really like the system and the environment there. I feel like I could fit in there.”
Other than Maryland, Brown has visited UConn, Wake, Georgia, LSU, Florida and Va Tech. He said each school he’s seen had its share of positives, but didn’t want to place one over another yet.
Brown also mentioned he’s not looking for any offers in particular and has no early leaders at this point.
“The main thing for me is just working and continuing to improve,” said Brown, who has generated interest from Kansas, Miami, Clemson, Rutgers, Seton Hall and others. “And the main things I’ll be looking for in a school is if I can play right away, great communication with the coaches, and just a place where they push and develop you.”
Brown suits up for the South East Elite AAU squad, which is an independent. This season for First Academy he’s been averaging close to a double-double in points and assists.
“What I do well is just playing defense, scoring in transition, rebounding, passing, and finding the open guy,” Brown said. “But I need to work on my dribbling and becoming more consistent with my outside shooting.”