Terps in the Mix for McClain

There's been no lack of speculation over the years about the Maryland basketball program's relationship, or lack thereof, with the talent-laden D.C.-based Team Assault AAU program. But the Terps are hoping to break the ice this year with one of the club's top prospects, National Christian 7-footer Anthony McClain – the nation's fourth-ranked high-school center.

Anthony McClain, a top-5 national player, has the Terps on his list of potential college homes, and it isn’t just a matter of paying lip service to the local school, according to his mentor and coach, Trevor Brown. The coaching staff has been to the Fort Washington school on more than one occasion to see McClain, a top-notch defensive and rebounding prospect who is developing his offensive game.

“He’s really considering [Maryland],” Brown said. The relationship between Maryland and Team Assault “has been a little shaky, but they’ve got some local kids now. They’ve actually got a bunch – Shane Walker, [Adrian] Bowie, Braxton Dupree, Dino Gregory.”

A combination of McClain 2007 commit Braxton Dupree -- the No. 7 center – would give the Terps an outstanding future big-man tandem.

Other schools on the 7-foot, 230-pound McClain’s list include Pitt, Wake Forest, UConn, Florida, Georgetown and Charlotte. He is the top uncommitted center in the Class of 2007. Brown recently took his entire NCA team to the Super Showcase in Orlando, where McClain showed a bevy of college coaches that he can do more than block shots and grab rebounds.

“He showed people he can finish and he can play offense. A lot of coaches look at him as a defender and rebounder,” Brown said, before adding that McClain is ahead of where Georgetown standout Roy Hibbert was at this stage of his career. McClain has gotten stronger, he said, but is unlikely to put on a lot of weight until he gets into a college strength program.

“Those big kids take time to develop. As a high school coach, you don’t get nearly as much out of a seven-footer as you do from a point guard,” Brown said.

McClain is a fifth-year senior from Trenton, N.J., whom, according to Brown, is certain to qualify.

“He’ll be playing Division I basketball somewhere next year,” Brown said. “I’ve only had two kids out of 26 [seniors] not qualify.”

Brown added that McClain is likely to commit within the first three months of the school year. He hasn’t taken any official visits yet.

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