Rudy Gay: And then there were two

With Syracuse out, it's basically a two-team race for the services of Rudy Gay. Jeff Goodman with the latest on the race for the talented SF from Maryland.

Rudy Gay, the Archbishop Spalding (Md.) forward, who saw his stock rise as much this past summer as anyone else in the country, will likely choose between Maryland and UConn.

He recently returned from a visit to Storrs, Conn., and will visit Maryland on Midnight Madness on Oct. 19. Gay basically eliminated Syracuse in the past week, and the Orangeman acted quickly, picking up a commitment from local standout Dayshawn Wright.

"He’s probably getting close to making a decision in the next three to four weeks,” Spalding coach Mike Glick said of his star. “He’s getting ready to get it done.”

There is also a chance that Gay could take a visit to a couple of other big-time programs he’s considering – Arizona and Kentucky – but it seems unlikely that will happen since he seems more than satisfied to stay on the east coast.

Gay has always been on the Terps coaching staff radar and has maintained that Maryland was the leader for much of his high school career, since back when he played for Coach Todd Wade at Eastern Tech. However, he started to look further than College Park and mentioned UConn and Syracuse as legitimate possibilities when he finally began to fully realize his potential this past summer while playing for Cecil Kirk.

"It’s confidence, but I just continued to play hard and it paid off,” Gay said.

"I don’t know how many players went into Nike Camp ranked 75th and came out first,” Glick added. “We all knew how good he could be and we knew he had a lot of untapped potential when he first got here.”

Gay had never lifted weights. His ballhandling skills were raw. His academics weren’t in the best shape.

However, everything changed for Gay since making the move to Archbishop Spalding.

His game has blossomed, he grew a couple more inches (he also grew from 6-1 to 6-6 from his freshman to sophomore year) and added strength via the weight room – and he has already fully qualified to play his freshman year of college.

Gay can pretty much do it all. He can work in the post and also knock down the mid-range jumper with consistency. He runs the floor and also went 8-for-8 from three-point land in a summer league game against Bishop O’Connell. There’s a good chance he’ll see extensive time for Glick in the backcourt to further improve his perimeter skills.

Plus, he’s humble.

The whole package is what had nearly all of the big-timers inquiring about whether they could get involved. It’s what has also had some people mentioning NBA in the same breathe.

"I think Rudy just wants to be a normal 17-year-old teenager,” Glick added. “He doesn’t like the publicity and the attention.”

Well, it’s too late for that.

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