The live periods are about to begin as college coaches from around the country descend on Manhattan, N.Y., for the opening of the Under Armour AAU circuit and Brooklyn, N.Y., for the EYBL circuit April 15-17. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and his assistants have numerous targets participating in both New York events and will be trekking back and forth between Manhattan and Brooklyn to gauge the wide array of talents.
One of the headliners Turgeon and assistant Bino Ranson will be honing in on is five-star point guard Trevon Duval, a Newark, N.J., native who plays his high school ball at Advanced Prep (Dallas, Texas). Duval laces up for WE R 1, an Under Armour-based squad out of Delaware.
“We’re up here in New York now, and it’s just a very exciting time for Trevon,” said Duval’s father, Trevor Duval. “He’s been working hard in the gym, really preparing and he’s just excited to compete and show what he can do up here against some of the best players in the country.
“This season [at API] was very exciting for him. He wanted to make a splash with some of the offers he had on the table and really show he deserved what he had. He played against a lot of top players and was able to refine his game, refine his jump shot and just keep getting better. He got better with his defense, his leadership skills and just running the team. Early on, [API] had chemistry issues, but he helped settle the team down and just run the team like a point guard. He became more of a distributor and a ball-handler and really did well in those aspects.”
During the latter campaign, Duval, added two significant offers from Oklahoma and Kansas, which joined a long list of suitors that includes Maryland; Syracuse; Louisville; Baylor; Arizona; Indiana; Miami; Oregon; Pitt; Villanova; Texas Tech; SMU; Rutgers, Seton Hall; Penn State; and more.
“We were able to see Oklahoma and Kansas play this season, and he liked both those schools. He liked their style of play with the guards and was excited about them,” Trevor Duval said. “[Oklahoma and Kansas] have been consistently reaching out to him since then, along with Maryland, Villanova, Baylor, Cal and Arizona. All those schools have been consistently talking to him.”
Trevor Duval acknowledged the programs that have stayed in contact most frequently will likely be held in high regard throughout the process. But Duval’s father also admitted he expects more programs to begin reaching out in earnest now that it’s a live period and with summer coming up.
“Trevon’s going to focus on the schools that fit him in terms of style, coaching staff and things like that,” Trevor Duval said. “But, yeah, those schools that have been there will be a focal point for us.”
The Duvals were able to take in the Sooners, Jayhawks and Kentucky during the winter, but this spring and summer they plan to hit the road in earnest. Trevor Duval said they’ll be taking a West Coast swing through the likes of Oregon, Arizona, Cal and possibly a return to UCLA, which they saw last summer. Miami and Louisville are two other programs on the radar.
“A lot of people are saying East Coast for Trevon, but he likes the West Coast too,” Trevor Duval said. “He’s going to go where it’s a good fit and where the staff can help him become a better man, a better player and can help him get to the next level.”
One program that’s been involved with Duval from the jump is Maryland. UMD-area recruiter Bino Ranson has known the Duvals since Trevon was a freshman, and the assistant has maintained contact since then. In addition, the family has gotten to know head coach Mark Turgeon well after various treks College Park, Md. Duval and his father were most recently at UMD last fall, a visit that left the five-star thoroughly impressed.
“They’re good coaches over there. Trevon’s been over there, he likes the way they play and he has a great relationship with Coach Bino and Coach Turgeon,” Trevor Duval said. “He likes Maryland, and it’s a good fit. But everybody sort of thinks Trevon’s going to Maryland because it’s closer to home and the Under Armour thing, but Maryland’s like everyone else. He likes them, but he likes other schools too.”
Specifically, Villanova, the defending national champions. When the near-home-suitor topic was broached, Trevor Duval responded with, “Why not Villanova? They’re very close too.”
“We have a very good relationship with Villanova and that staff,” Trevor Duval said. “We went up there last summer, and Coach Jay Wright was very professional, and we were very impressed with those guys. And they just won a championship.”
In all likelihood, Trevon Duval will begin forming a leaderboard following AAU season. The family plans to go through the entire official visit process, with Duval holding off on signing until the late period a year from now.
“We’re going to take our time, evaluate styles of play, keep building relationships and find what’s best for Trevon,” Trevor Duval said. “We haven’t even thought about officials or possible officials yet. We’ll sit down as a family and really determine what the right fit’s going to be.”