The Maryland staff hosted their primary 2018 wing priority April 20, with Brandon Slater (Paul VI/Fairfax, Va.) making it back to College Park, Md., for yet another stay. The 6-foot-6, 180-pound four-star has been on campus numerous times, but his latest visit solidified Maryland as a top contender.
“Maryland is definitely a top school for me, and one I’m looking at the hardest,” Slater said. “It’s really between them and Villanova right now. I’m also looking hard at Miami, UVA and South Carolina, but I like Maryland and Nova a lot.”
Slater has been in College Park on so many occasions he basically knows what the college is about – from a basketball standpoint. He’d interacted with head coach Mark Turgeon, lead recruiter Dustin Clark and the others several times before. But this time around he had a chance to learn about the academics and hang with a couple Terps’ players.
“This was my first time seeing the academic side of Maryland. And what I learned is they can give you so many good things outside of basketball,” said Slater, who is being pursued by UMD, Nova, UVA, Miami, Syracuse, WVU and others. “They have a really good business school and a great arts program. Basically, I was with [current Terps] Anthony Cowan, Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter, going around to the classes. It was really cool. They were telling me they had a lot of support there and how much they liked being there both in school and with the [basketball] program. It was real good.”
After touring around with Cowan, Huerter and Jackson, Slater met with the Maryland staff. He spoke to Turgeon, Clark, Nima Omidvar, Bino Ranson and various other UMD coaches.
“Basically, Coach Turgeon and Coach Clark were telling me I’m the priority in the whole 2018 class and how it would be special if I got the 2018 group started,” Slater said. “What they were saying, it meant so much to me. I’m the hometown kid, and they really want me. It was a good talk with them, as always. I mean, every day I talk to Coach Clark, and every other day I talk to Coach Turgeon. We have a really strong bond, and it’s getting stronger.”
The Paul VI four-star went on to say that it means something to him to remain local and represent the hometown school at the next level.
“I talk about that all the time,” Slater said. “It does mean more to be home, because my family gets to see me and it means more to be apart of something that you’re there first-hand to see. It means more than going across the country where you don’t have any ties. So [the Maryland coaches’] message does mean a lot.”
Maryland isn’t the only nearby program Slater is honing in on, though. He was at Villanova April 17 and has the Wildcats under prime consideration.
“Nova is just like Maryland,” he said. “They’re a top school and the coaches are making me a priority. It’s close to home, too, so it’s easy to get to. I like them a lot too.”
Slater has no visits coming up, as he’s focused on the upcoming EYBL AAU season. But he allowed he’s basically down to Maryland and Villanova and would like to pick one of the two by the time the early signing period rolls around in November.
“I’m thinking early signing period,” said Slater, who mentioned he wants to become a more consistent shooter, rebounder and passer. “I don’t want to drag this out too long. I have a good idea of the schools I like.”