The Maryland staff has identified a couple prime big-man targets in the 2018 class, and April 24 head coach Mark Turgeon extended an offer to another. After watching local center Bryce Golden (St. James, Md.) show out at the Nike EYBL in Hampton, Va., for Team Takeover the headman decided the 6-foot-8, 235-pounder would fit a Terps’ team in need of some toughness inside.
“Getting a Maryland offer was a great honor. It’s a nationally-rated program, it’s the hometown school and seeing what Coach Turgeon has done there makes it a very attractive option,” said Golden, who has offers from UMD, Pitt, Penn State, GW, Temple, Richmond and a couple more. “The program has really grown, and now it’s a top-25 team. It’s definitely a school I’ll be considering.”
Although Golden didn’t have the offer until April 24, he’s known Turgeon and the staff for quite some time. The big man said he first saw recruiter Cliff Warren some three years ago when the assistant was after St. James’ Justin Robinson. The two have personally been in touch since Golden’s sophomore year.
“The Maryland coaches have always known who I was and I’ve always known them,” Golden said. “I’ve been talking to them for awhile now, and the offer finally came through. Coach Turgeon called me about 1 p.m. and said he was really impressed with how much I expanded my game. He likes how I brought great energy game in and game out, and that’s one of the main reasons he wanted to offer me. He also really liked how I played hard and competed all the time, which is something I pride myself in.
“Coach Warren said the same thing. He called me before Coach Turgeon and said he was very impressed with what I did [in Hampton]. He’s a familiar face around St. James and is always someone I’m in touch with. He’s been picking up the contact of late too, so it’s been good.”
Although Golden lives just 45 minutes from College Park, Md., he’s actually only been on campus once before. He attended the Terps’ midnight madness event last year.
“What I really liked about that is there wasn’t an empty seat in the house and the fans were all into it,” Golden said. “That’s always a plus, to get that kind of support. I’ve been around there a bunch too, and I know the area. It’s a good school, a good location, and I like it down there.
“But I definitely want to get back since it is only 45 minutes away. I want to see the facilities and all that good stuff, maybe in June after AAU season.”
Besides Maryland, Golden has been to Penn State twice and Pitt once. He said both were “very nice” and he has both under consideration.
Golden went on to say he’s been in contact with coaches from Clemson, PSU, Pitt, Richmond, Temple and Maryland on a regular basis.
“But I’m keeping my options open right now and seeing what’s best for me,” Golden said. “I didn’t have a dream school growing up or anything like that. I’m grateful for all the offers I get, no matter what level they are. I’m just trying to get to know as many coaches as I can and make a good decision for me. I want to find a school that has great academics, good coaches and that fits me from an athletic and academic standpoint.”
Golden said he’ll likely form some sort of leaderboard in August. Then, he’ll set up official visits and choose his destination before his senior hoops season.
Golden averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds for St. James this year. He led the EYBL in rebounding in Hampton last weekend.
“I’m becoming more of an all-around player, just scoring inside-out; rebounding; and defending multiple positions,” Golden said. “I’ve been working on my shot a lot lately; creating outside the paint and getting [my shot] off – things like that. I realize what I have to do become more of a threat on the offensive end. And then rebounding, defense, those are two areas I’m always working on.”