Maryland's Baltimore-area recruiter, Bino Ranson, has known McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) shooting guard Noah Locke since before the 6-foot-2, 175-pound 2018 guard even entered high school. Ranson has been friendly with Locke's father, a women's hoops coach at Coppin State, for years, so the Terps' assistant has been quite familiar with the family.
Ranson has since monitored Locke's progress during his two-plus years at McDonogh, and although the two had been in relatively close contact, a Maryland offer never materialized. The Terps and head coach Mark Turgeon had their eye on other targets, with the local Locke floating just below the top tier the staff sought. But this spring, Locke's game has taken off, while some of UMD's other guard recruits have fallen/are falling by the wayside.
So, finally, Turgeon and Maryland opted to ante up for Locke May 30.
"Maryland had been recruiting me for awhile now, and it feels great to get an offer from my hometown because being able to represent your hometown is always a blessing. It's great that Maryland is trying to keep the local guys home," said Locke, who is averaging 19 points on 51 percent shooting and 49 percent from 3 with Team Melo on the EYBL circuit. "Coach Ranson and I have always been close, and our relationship has only gotten better as the recruiting process has gone on."
Locke has naturally been in College Park, Md., numerous times the last few years. He's attended Midnight Madness events, camps, games and taken tours of the campus. He was last in town for the Madness event prior to the 2016 campaign.
"It's a great atmosphere at Maryland, the fans all support the team, and the campus is really nice," Locke said. "I always enjoy myself up there. The [coaches] treat you well."
The DMV recruit believes he'd fit well into UMD's system too. Locke knows rising sophomore Anthony Cowan is entrenched at point guard now, and the McDonogh product thinks he can readily compliment the current starter at an off-guard spot.
"And I think Maryland plays at a great, fast tempo that really emphasizes the guards," Locke said. "I feel I can definitely play at that speed. It's a great system."
Besides Maryland, Locke has been consistently hearing from coaches at Xavier, Providence, Florida, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn, Marquette, Michigan, UNLV, Notre Dame and a couple others. UVA, UND, Pitt, UNLV, Ga Tech, USF and UMD were his most recent offers.
Locke has visited Providence, Xavier, Penn State and Maryland, and plans to hit UF; UVA; and more this summer. He doesn't have a set schedule, however, and isn't sure exactly where he'll be able to get to in June.
The local guard is keeping an open mind as more offers come in and he builds relationships with staffs, but the likes of the Gators, Friars and Musketeers have been after him for a long while and seem to have made inroads. Newer offerees like nearby UVA and Maryland figure to be firmly involved as well.
Locke said he'll begin forming a leaderboard following AAU season in July.