The Maryland staff has already pulled in one recruit from the Under Armour-based AAU squad Team Charlotte in Aaron Wiggins (Wesleyan Christian/High Point, N.C.), and now the Terps are among the leaders for a second 2018 standout. Scout 100 point guard Devon Dotson (Providence Day/Charlotte, N.C.) visited College Park, Md., for the first time June 12-13, and afterwards placed UMD among his foremost five or six contenders.
“It was a really enjoyable trip for all of us,” said Dotson’s father, Dana, who was joined by his wife on the visit. “We spent a good amount of [June 12] there and then finished up this morning [June 13]. We all think Maryland has a lot to offer. We haven’t really had a chance to recap everything and talk about where all the schools we’ve seen stand, but Maryland is going to be in Devon’s top five or six [favorites].”
One of the primary reasons for that statement is how well the Maryland staff, as a whole, treated the family. Dana Dotson said head coach Mark Turgeon, each of his assistants, and strength coach Kyle Tarp answered all their questions and made them feel welcome.
“You know, all schools we’re going to see are going to have a good basketball tradition, good academics and good facilities,” said Dana Dotson, who noted that Turgeon has personally taken over his son’s recruitment since his primary recruiter, Cliff Warren, is no longer at Maryland. “But what we really appreciated about Maryland is the fact the entire staff was there and present. Coach Turgeon is very honest and a straight shooter. He’s fair, and his message to us is that Devon can come in and contribute to a winning program from Day One. He thinks Devon is an elite point guard and could impact the program right away. We all enjoyed talking to Coach Turgeon.
“And even when it was just the assistants, they had wonderful things to say about Coach Turgeon as a person, which was really important to us. We got the warm-and-fuzzy type of feeling about [Turgeon] and his coaches.”
On June 12, the Dotsons had a chance to meet Kyle Tarp too, but didn’t have a long sitdown with him. But a day later the three spent more than an hour with the Terps’ strength coach.
“One of the main things my wife wanted to ask was what they do to prevent injuries and their philosophies about keeping players healthy,” Dana Dotson said. "So we spent more time with Coach Tarp, and he explained what they do when the players first get there and how they prevent injuries throughout the season. He showed us how they develop players’ bodies and all that. And that was very impressive to us, and very important. Coach Tarp is incredibly enthusiastic about his job and had a lot of good things to say.”
Another primary question on the family’s mind was exactly how Dotson would fit at Maryland. On the Under Armour circuit, with Team Charlotte, Dotson has proven to be a transition point guard who likes to push the pace. He’s averaging 18.1 points on 46 percent shooting (33 percent from range), 3.5 assists and three steals.
“We thought he would be a good fit at Maryland. Coach Turgeon showed us film on how they run ball screens, and Maryland was fifth in the country last year in that category. They were also top 10 in transition points two years ago,” Dana Dotson said. “Devon is a downhill guy who likes to play up-tempo. He’s the leader in points in transition in the UA league. So what Coach Turgeon showed us, we think he would be a natural fit.”
Dana Dotson went on to detail the other aspects of Maryland they enjoyed. They complimented Xfinity Center, calling it “phenomenal” and noting how they liked its location right on campus. The family thought the facilities in general were top notch too, while they praised the player dorms and College Park itself. The academics resonated as well.
“And, obviously, Maryland just had one of Devon’s teammates commit there in Aaron,” Dana Dotson said. “I’ve already heard them in the car [driving down to NBA Camp] talking about it. I know [Wiggins being at UMD is] going to have an impact [on Devon].”
Besides Maryland, the Dotsons have seen Kansas, Florida, FSU, NC State, Wake, UNC, Clemson, Butler and USC. They’re unsure where they’re heading next since most of June and July will be filled with various AAU commitments. They’re currently heading down to Charlottesville, Va., for NBA camp.
“To take another visit between now and August, we’d really have to squeeze something in,” Dana Dotson said.
In all likelihood, Devon Dotson will take multiple officials in August before selecting a school sometime during the fall.
“We can’t say any favorites or anything like that yet, but I’d say Florida and Kansas have been recruiting him the hardest,” Dana Dotson said. “So those two would definitely be in [his top five]. We’ll see how the rest plays out.”