The Terps hosted two of their primary 2018 wing targets for the second time March 4, right before the Big Ten tournament began. Aaron Wiggins (6-6, 180 pounds) and Jaylen Hoard (6-8, 195 pounds), both of Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.), saw Maryland beat Michigan State, 63-60, and then interacted with head coach Mark Turgeon and his assistants afterwards.
“Both Jaylen and Aaron really like it up there at Maryland,” said Wesleyan head coach Keith Gatlin, a Terps’ alum. “They’ve been up there twice now, first in the preseason [late October] with me and then for the Michigan State game with Aaron’s family. They loved [the game]. They loved the atmosphere in Xfinity Center and had a great time.”
Turgeon personally has been pressing for the four-star Wiggins and the five-star Hoard, but so have assistants Cliff Warren and Dustin Clark. Gatlin said all three have been down to see the two emerging wings play, while Warren and Clark have stayed in close contact.
“They’re recruiting Aaron and Jaylen hard,” Gatlin said. “They have a great relationship with them, and Aaron and Jaylen really like all of them. They’ve really bonded well. I think they both really like what Coach Turgeon is doing there and what the program is about.”
Gatlin went on to say that he expects the two to return to Maryland for a third time down the road.
“Jaylen’s family is in France, so I’m not sure what he’s going to be able to get out, and I’m not sure what Aaron’s schedule is yet, but I know both really like Maryland,” Gatlin said.
The Terps are hardly the only team in pursuit, however. Both Hoard and Wiggins had standout junior campaigns, racking up offers and interest along the way. Gatlin said, “you name [the school], they’ve been in to see them,” while noting he couldn’t recall every school that’s offered at this stage.
Arizona, Cal, UVA, Va Tech, Maryland, Wake, NC State and several others are some of those after Wiggins. Cal, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Providence, Wake, Maryland, Washington, Arizona and Louisville are some of those on Hoard. The latter recruit is also receiving interest from the bluebloods like UNC and Duke.
So far, Wiggins has been able to see UVA, VA Tech, Wake and Maryland. Hoard, for his part, has taken in Wake and UNC. Hoard also attended Wake’s home game against Duke so he could see the Blue Devils in action.
“It’s still early for both of them,” Gatlin said. “Our schedule has been so hectic, and really the most interaction they’ve had with college coaches is when they come to our games. But I’m sure they both will go through the whole process and take official visits.”
Wesleyan Christian finished its season 28-5, losing in the state title game by a bucket. Gatlin said both Wiggins and Hoard markedly improved over the course of the year.
“Both of them played very well, and Aaron actually came back from a hairline fracture in his ankle to play well,” Gatlin said. “Jaylen really got better with his jump shot, and Aaron shot the ball well all year. [Wiggins] had a playoff game where he scored 34 points.
“But now both of them are working on getting stronger. That’s the next step. Jaylen is a little bigger than Aaron already, but Aaron is a long, athletic kid. They’re both progressing nicely.”