Aaron Wiggins (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

Hardwood Notes: Looking At Maryland's Board

With two local DMV talents off the board this May in Prentiss Hubb (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.) and Brandon Slater (Paul VI/Fairfax, Va.), here’s where head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff stand before the July live periods this summer:

With two local DMV talents off the board this May in Prentiss Hubb (Gonzaga/Washington, D.C.) and Brandon Slater (Paul VI/Fairfax, Va.), here’s where head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff stand before the July live periods this summer:

Guards (Take 1)

Immanuel Quickley, 6-3, John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.): The second-ranked point guard nationally becomes a main priority for Maryland with Hubb off the board. Quickley is going to be trimming his leaderboard soon, but figure that Kentucky, Maryland, Kansas and Miami will make the cut (Duke hasn’t offered yet). The Wildcats should be considered the leaders if head coach John Calipari truly covets Quickley, but it’s questionable right now if he does. If not, Maryland’s going to be right there for the five-star. Quickley had been warming to UMD anyway, visiting College Park, Md., several times the last few months, and now Turgeon and Bino Ranson are turning up the heat. Miami could be a surprise contender to watch here.

Eric Ayala, 6-4, Putnam Science (Putnam, Conn.): Information should be flowing through soon on whether or not Ayala is heading back to Putnam for another year or going to college in the 2017 class. The 60th ranked recruit has several enticing options, and would have even more if he re-classed to 2018, but for now it looks like Syracuse; Maryland; and maybe UConn could be his destinations (we don’t see him on the West Coast at a place like Oregon or Arizona). The Orange have long been considered the frontrunners, and that may still be the case. But the Terps have always been right there as well. They’ve hosted the Delaware native on multiple occasions, and Ayala is comfortable on campus and around the staff. But first let’s see if Ayala decides to prep another year; the vibe is he probably will head back to Putnam and gauge his growing options (Indiana would be a big one) as part of the 2018 crop.

Devon Dotson, 6-1, Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.): There was some Maryland buzz with Dotson before, but it’s since faded. Scout’s 68-th ranked recruit is likely headed for Kansas or Florida.

Robby Carmody, 6-4, Mars Area (Pa.): Maryland is in the top five for Scout’s 73-rd ranked recruit after tossing out a late offer. But the Terps, who Carmody is considering visiting, are probably trailing Michigan, Purdue and Notre Dame in the pecking order. Carmody seems inclined towards the Midwest, and he’ll probably wind up with the Wolverines or Irish.

Wings/Wing-Guards (Take 1-2)

Keldon Johnson, 6-4, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.): At the moment, Maryland is positioned very well for Scout’s 38th-ranked recruit. Johnson, who is from Northern Virginia, has that much-talked about connection with Terps’ assistant Kevin Broadus, who recruited he and his older brother at Georgetown. Johnson has been in College Park before and has always had some affinity for the Maryland program. UMD is viewed as the team to beat, leading Texas, NC State and Oregon, but Johnson has blown up this spring. Broadus and Turgeon would do well to wrap him up before even more eyes (think blueblood) are on him come July.

Aaron Wiggins, 6-6, Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.): Wiggins is in the same boat as Johnson. He’s another fast-riser, who Maryland is in a solid spot for heading into the summer. Wiggins has lauded both of his UMD visits and has a tight rapport with Dustin Clark and the rest of the coaches. But Wiggins’ recent Kansas offer has given him some pause, and Florida has an offer out as well. He could have even more suitors if he keeps showing out during the July sessions. There’s a chance Wiggins could opt to pop before the next evaluation period, however. If so, College Park should be his destination.

Jaylen Hoard, 6-8, Wesleyan Christian): Wiggins’ teammate can play wing or in the paint, and the five-star is another recruit the Terps’ staff has been after for months now. Hoard has seen College Park on two occasions, likes what the program is about and said the coaches remain in touch. Hoard is heading back to France this summer, so there won’t be much news trickling out about him, but for now the players are Wake Forest, NC State, UMD and maybe Baylor. The Deacons could have an early bead since their staff has hosted Hoard and been after him in earnest.  

Note: Technically, wings Darius Bazley (Princeton/Cincinnati, Ohio) and Ryan Boyce (East/Germantown, Ten..) are still on the board, and both claim offers from the Terps. But neither the ex-Ohio State pledge Bazley nor the under-the-radar Boyce are viewed as main priorities for the coaches. Moreover, both are projected to other locales at this time. Xavier has the initial bead on Bazley and Boyce may be Memphis or Florida bound.

Frontcourt (Take 2)

Jalen Smith, 6-8, Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.): Scout’s 20-th ranked recruit will be officially visiting Maryland in June, and it wouldn’t shock if he committed shortly thereafter. The Terps have been in the driver’s seat for the Baltimore native for some time, and now it’s up for Bino Ranson, Clark and Turgeon to close the deal. Villanova is the main competition for the five-star, but UMD is thought to have the edge. It only helps Maryland’s chances that the bluebloods haven’t come calling.

Silvio De Sousa, 6-8, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): DeSousa’s kept mum about his recruitment, which is why we’re hesitant to place him “hot” on the hot board, but it does seem like the Terps could have the inside track for the Angolan big man. Turgeon and his assistants have been after DeSousa in earnest, while the five-star’s connection to countryman and UMD signee Bruno Fernando aids the staff’s chances too. Kansas, Florida and Louisville have offers out as well, but it’s unclear exactly how ardently each will pursue. We should know more about DeSousa’s situation after July.

Moses Brown, 6-11, Archbishop Molloy (Briarwood, N.Y.): This one is going to come down to whether or not Duke or Kentucky opt to offer or not. Brown is firmly on the radar for both programs, but John Calipari and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski have others on their boards they're monitoring/have offered. If either extend a scholarship Brown’s way, though, that’s probably where the five-star is headed. If not, well, he might just fall to Maryland. Bino Ranson and Turgeon have been pressing for Brown from the jump, which Brown certainly appreciates. Plus, the New York big man thoroughly enjoyed his stay in College Park. Florida, Louisville and maybe Kansas are also thought to be players and in line for possible official visits.

Bryce Golden, 6-8, St. James (Md.): The Terps have reportedly turned up the heat on Golden, taking a liking to his toughness and rebounding ability. If they’re truly making a push, the hometown school could probably gain the inside track for Scout’s 79th-ranked recruit (Turgeon will probably wait to see what happens with Smith, DeSousa and Brown before going all-in for Golden). Others with offers out include Clemson, NC State, Penn State and Pitt. PSU had the initial advantage, but we’ll see if that holds up.

David McCormack, 6-9, Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.): McCormack is keeping Maryland involved, and the Terps continue to go after him, but we get the sense he’s fading. The Duke offer shook his situation up, for sure, and McCormack should be visiting Durham, N.C., shortly. Virginia is another primary player, with Louisville; Kansas; and possibly Georgetown lurking. McCormack has been in College Park and knows he’d fill an immediate need at UMD, but the Terps may be sitting behind at least Duke and UVA (and likely Louisville) in the pecking order. 

Ian Steere, 6-9, Wesleyan Christian: The teammate of Aaron Wiggins and Jaylen Hoard doesn’t have a Maryland offer yet, but the staff likes him and will continue to monitor closely. Steere personally is in a holding pattern as he gauges all his new looks/interest and sees which programs truly want him. He claims offers from Pitt, UConn, FSU, UGA, Clemson, Tennessee, Mizzou and a few others. If the Terps enter the mix and extend a committable scholarship, Steere said he’d trek north to College Park and give UMD a long, hard look.


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