The Maryland staff identified Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.) big man Ian Steere as a potential offer-worthy recruit after the second live evaluation period in April, and almost a month later headman Mark Turgeon put the scholarship on the table. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Steere, who showed out for Team Charlotte on the Under Armour circuit this spring, was thrilled with his latest look from the Terps.
"It was a big offer from a great program," said Steere, who previously pulled looks from Kansas, Arkansas, Georgia, Clemson, Creighton and Mizzou. "They play in a great, competitive conference in the Big Ten, and I love Coach Bino [Ranson]. Coach Bino called me recently and just asked me about what I would think about a Maryland offer. Then he said Coach Turgeon would be getting in touch. [Turgeon] did, and he was asking how I was doing, how AAU season was going and just talking about life. Then he kind of just offered me. It was exciting, and I was honored."
Steere has been in touch with Ranson since earlier during the spring. The UMD assistant has scouted the budding big closely in AAU ball, while he's also been through Wesleyan Christian to track Steere and his two teammates -- Terps' targets Aaron Wiggins and Jaylen Hoard.
"You know, the first time Coach Bino saw me in the gym, he stopped our workout and showed us [big men] a drill and how it would help us improve. I loved that; he's a hands-on guy and wants to help you get better," Steere said. "Both he and Coach Turgeon have been to a lot of my games and showing a lot of interest. Things have really been picking up lately with them. Coach Turgeon was really impressed with my growing confidence, how I've improved and thinks I can develop into a big-time player. He seems like a great person and a great coach."
Steere said he plans to visit College Park, Md., for the first time later in June. In the meantime, he's asked his two teammates, Hoard and Wiggins, a bit about the Terps, in addition to his head coach, Keith Gatlin. Gatlin, of course, is a Maryland alum.
"It's a big plus that two of my teammates are looking at Maryland. We're all talking about it now," Steere said. "And my coach went there and has been giving me a lot of good information about the school. He isn't pushing me there or anything, but he's a good resource to talk [about the Terps]."
Besides UMD, Steere said he's been in close contact with coaches from Pitt, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisville, UGA, South Carolina and Creighton. He said each program has stayed in touch an equal amount.
Steere hasn't taken any true campus visits yet, but will be at NC State May 31, Creighton June 15 and Louisville June 19. He's pining to hit Maryland and Kansas in June as well.
"I want to take as many unofficial visits as I can, then I'll be able to narrow down my [favorites] list sometime in July after the [Under Armour Finals];" Steere said. "Then I'm thinking I'll have a top five and be able to take officials to each of those places."
Steere isn't positive which schools will definitely make that top-five leaderboard yet, though. He said he wants to see which college coaches keep pressing and any new suitors that emerge before naming any true standouts.