Let's take a good look at Maryland hoops recruiting -- player by player.
One More To Watch In 2017
Sandro Mamukelashvili . . . who? This Montverde Academy (Fla.) power forward was born in New York City, but his family is originally from the Republic of Georgia. He's a 6-foot-10 prospect who's been getting a lot of attention from a lot of schools, Maryland among them.
I've seen him on tape -- he's well built, runs the floor, finds open shooters, and can shoot the lights out. He's a face-the-basket player, but I've heard very good things about this talented lefty. The Terps reportedly scouted him recently at the St. James Tournament, and join a list of schools showing interest: Louisville, BC, SMU, Seton Hall, USC, Vandy, Florida, and Miami.
Of course you may ask, Where's the scholarship coming from? A legit question, because, as of now, the Terps are booked. If the Terps really want the kid, they are banking on having this situation play out over the next few months, and we'll have a better idea in late March who, if anyone, is leaving the program.
I am not sure how hard Maryland is pushing for Mamukelashvili, but he's an awfully intriguing prospect.
The Main Targets
Moses Brown, 7-0, Molloy HS (Briarwood, N.Y.): Still, in my mind, the No. 1 target overall in the class, as guys like this just don't come along often. I still see the Terps in the thick of things, but landing Brown won't be easy. Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kansas, and Louisville are all in the mix.
Jalen Smith, 6-9, Mount St. Joe (Baltimore, Md.): Smith has been playing excellent basketball recently -- on both ends of the court. His lack of bulk is a worry, but he has plenty of time to gain weight and strength. Lots of schools will be involved, but I still see Maryland, Villanova, Virginia and perhaps Syracuse as being the major contenders.
Brandon Slater, 6-6, PVI (Fairfax, Va.): Slater's had a breakout year, shooting the ball well from deep and improving his ability to create off the bounce. As with Smith, I see this sleek wing man having the Terps in the mix until the very end, though Villanova, Miami, Virginia, and Louisville all would love to land him.
Prentiss Hubb, 6-2, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.): We've scouted Hubb several times this year, and as we've stated before, his game doesn't always jump out at you. But he's ultra-efficient, possessing a great IQ for the game, and makes those around him better. Hubb could be the first of the '18 to pull the trigger, as he's indicated a willingness to make a decision this Spring. We still have the Terps on top, with Villanova right there, and Virginia, Syracuse, Xavier and others still trying.
Silvio de Sousa, 6-8, IMG (Bradenton, Fla.): DeSousa is a big-time guy, top 10 in most scouting services. He, like Smith, is a 4-man in college, so it will be interesting to see how his recruitment plays out. I don't see how Maryland could take both. Louisville and Florida are two schools pushing for this outstanding prospect.
Hameir Wright, 6-8, Albany Academy (N.Y.): Maryland has been linked to Wright forever, but I just don't see it happening. I am not sensing a Terp push, and see Syracuse and Villanova as the current leaders.
Aaron Wiggins, 6-6, Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.): Wiggins is still somewhat of a mystery guy nationally, but the Terps have been down to see him. I am told this kid can really play. Arizona offered, so too did the Terps, though I am not sure he would be a "take" at this time.
Eric Ayala, 6-4, Putnam Science (Conn.): At one point, I thought Maryland could be in a great position to land Ayala, but it seems like he's leaning towards coming out in '17 with Syracuse being the strong leader. The Cuse badly needs a PG, so this looks like a longshot for UMD at the moment.
Kiyon Boyd, 6-5, H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.): Boyd's a talent, no doubt, and the Terps continue to show lots of interest. Maryland, Arizona State, Georgetown and Va Tech are the schools most mentioned. I have the Hokies and Hoyas as the frontrunners, though it remains to be seen if Boyd winds up in the '18 or '19 class. I don't think, numbers wise, there's enough room for Hubb, Slater and Boyd in this class, but stranger things have happened I suppose.
Immanuel Quickley, 6-3, John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.): I don't hear a lot of Quickley/Maryland buzz these days, and, frankly, I never thought this fine prospect would wind up in College Park. Then again, I said the same thing about Diamond Stone. That said, I would not be shocked to see Quickley join the nation's No.1 prospect (Michael Porter) at Washington, though Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke may have something to say about that.
David McCormack, 6-10, Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.): McCormack is No. 2 on Maryland's board behind Moses Brown. There is some mutual interest between both sides, but McCormack seems to be getting more attention from Louisville, Miami and Texas. Maybe the Terps will push more down the road, but right now it looks like McCormack is headed elsewhere.
The Third Tier
There are plenty other names connected to Maryland in this deep class: Devon Dotson, 6-2, (Providence Day/Charlotte, N.C.); Sid Wilson, 6-7, (Brewster/Wolfeboro, N.H.); Louis King, 6-8, (Hudson Catholic/Jersey City, N.J.); Jairus Hamilton, 6-7, (Cannon/Concord, N.C.); Nassir Little, 6-6, (Orlando Prep/Orlando, Fla.); Khavon Moore, 6-8 (GA) ; Jake Forrester, 6-8, (Westtown, Pa.). All are excellent players, and most of them (except Wilson, Little and Forrester) have Terp offers. But, for one reason or another, I am not projecting any of them to Maryland at this time. We will continue to monitor them however, because things can change quickly in this game.
2019 Names To Know
Scottie Lewis , 6-5, (Ranney/Eatontown, N.J.): Top 10 kid, plays for Tahj Holden.
Bryan Antoine, 6-4, (Ranney): Another big timer, who also plays for Holden at the Ranney School.
Cole Anthony, 6-2, (Molloy): Greg Anthony's son who plays with Moses Brown at Molloy. Tremendous talent.
Bryce Wills, 6-4, (Iona Prep/New Rochelle, N.Y.): Big time PG at Iona Prep.
Juwan Gray, 6-6, (Gray/Columbia, S.C.): Top 20 talent for Gray Academy.
Justin Moore, 6-3, (DeMatha/Hyattsville, Md.): Moore is hurt at the moment, but is DeMatha's next big thing.
Donte Scott, 6-6, (Imhotep/Philadelphia, Pa.): A budding star at Imhotep Charter in Philly.
Kareem Coulibaly, 6-8, (Pallotti/Laurel, Md.): A solid power forward prospect for Pallotti HS.
Wendell Moore, 6-5, (Cox Mill/Concord, N.C.): Another top 50 wing man who has Maryland interest.
Josh Nickleberry, 6-4, (Northwood/Fayetteville, N.C.): The Tar Heel state keeps turning them out.
Armando Bacot, 6-8, (Trinity Episcopal/Richmond, Va.): A budding insider Maryland will monitor closely.
Precious Achiuwa, 6-7, (St. Benedict's/Newark, N.J.): The brother of God's Gift Achiuwa, and yeah, he's a possible 5- star guy for St. Benedict's.
Aundre Hyatt, 6-6, (Miller School/Charlottesville, Va.): Transplanted New Yorker now playing for the Miller School. Another top 50ish prospect.
Zach Harvey, 6-4, (Hayden/Topeka, Kans.): Maryland recruiting a Kansan? A tough pull for sure, but it's Mark Turgeon's hometown.
Yes, let's take care of the '18 class first, but 2019 looks like a very deep and talented class at the moment. Lewis and Antoine could be a package deal, and they're both national, blueblood talents, as are Anthony, Wills, and perhaps Achiuwa.