The Maryland coaches were out in full force at the Under Armour Finals in Cartersville, Ga., July 15-17, and after the second session July 16 they extended a new offer. Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 2017 power forward RaiQuan Gray, who suits up for the Florida Vipers, added a Terps’ offer courtesy of area recruiter Cliff Warren, who has been in contact with the 6-foot-8, 240-pounder for some time now.
“The Maryland offer was a big one; I was excited about it,” said Gray, who has steadily seen his stock rise during the last few live sessions. “Coach [Mark] Turgeon, Coach Warren and all the Maryland coaches were at the UA Finals and they were watching me play and loved my game. Then [July 16] Coach Warren said Coach Turgeon and the rest really liked what I brought to the table athletically and with my defense, and they wanted to offer me. I tried to get in touch with Coach Turgeon too, but he was already with Team USA, so I didn’t get to talk to him yet. But Coach Warren wants to get me up [to College Park, Md.] for a visit.”
Gray said he and Warren have actually been exchanging messages for several months now. Thus, the forward knew the Terps were interested and could potentially ante up down the line.
“Coach Warren has known about me for a long time, and for the last few months he’s been in contact every other day,” Gray said. “He’s just a great guy and a real cool dude. He actually texts my mom a lot too, which is cool. I know he’s liked me for a long time, and the offer finally came in after [Turgeon] saw me play.”
Although Gray’s never been anywhere near College Park, he knows plenty about the Terps. He said he’s watched UMD on TV “countless times” and has researched the program under Turgeon.
“I think Coach Turgeon is a real good coach and they do a great job developing bigs there,” Gray said. “It’s just a great program up there, and they’re always nationally ranked. And from what I can tell on TV, they have great fans there who are always into it. They’re diehards at Maryland and it’s a great atmosphere; they love their basketball.
“Also, Maryland plays against great competition in the Big Ten. And I actually got to meet Diamond Stone when he was out in California, and I met Melo Trimble at the UA Finals. So that was really cool too; I took a picture with Melo (laughs).”
With the offer in tow, Gray said he would consider officially visiting Maryland, but “isn’t sure” exactly which campuses he’ll be taking in during the coming months. The Dillard product will sit down with his mother at the end of July and determine which schools Gray should take a closer look at.
“Right now I’m just enjoying the process and getting these new offers,” Gray said. “I’ll think about cutting things down and where I want to visit later on. I’m going to try to take all five officials though.”
Of course, Gray has already used one of those five visits. He went to Baylor earlier during the summer and maintains a strong rapport with the staff.
“The Baylor coaches keep in contact every day, and they love me there,” said Gray, who has taken unofficials to FSU and Ole Miss. “The whole staff is on me and they want me there. I like Baylor a good bit.”
Besides UMD and Baylor, Gray counts offers from NC State, Cincinnati, Clemson, Auburn, Florida, FSU, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Pitt, Rutgers, Tennessee, Va Tech, USC, Ole Miss, WVU and others. He’s been in contact with staffers from UConn, Texas, SMU and Northwestern, Gray seeking scholarships from each of those schools (in particular the Huskies).
“But right now I don’t have any leaders or anything. I’m just taking things in and I’ll try to find a place where I can contribute right away and where I fit in best,” Gray said. “Things like conference or location don’t really matter to me.”