The Scoop on Terrence Jennings and the Terps
We caught up today with Brian Hamilton, who coaches Jennings' Play Hard, Play Smart summer travel team, and got the scoop on where Jennings' stands.
"Everything is still kind of the same. He likes Maryland a lot. It's those two schools [Memphis and Connecticut], Illinois and Maryland, basically," said Hamilton, a former player at BYU.
A commitment, Hamilton said, "will probably happen in the next couple weeks."
Jennings is a tough prospect to figure. He has great explosiveness and timing, giving him the sort of shot-blocking ability coaches drool over. He also attempts to dunk everything in sight and is very difficult to stop around the rim, especially now that he's added a baby jump hook and fine-tuned his jumpshot. But he also is entering his second year of prep school, and some schools are wary of his tendency to move from one school to the next.
That issue is overblown, though, said Hamilton.
"His parents kind of moved around a lot, so there was a lot of movement around him,' Hamilton said. "I think he's gotten a bad rap."
Jennings is a friendly, mild-mannered native of Sacramento, Calif., who attended Mt. Zion last year after a short stint at Charis Prep (N.C.). He could play at either Mt. Zion or Patterson Prep this year, and is trying to determine the best course of action in order to make sure his transcript is in good shape. He's also taking summer school and has been developing as a person, Hamilton said.
"He's developing as a kid, maturing as a person," he said. "He's a real good kid, he's just had a bunch of moving around."
Jennings told Terp Sports Report last week that he has been in steady contact with Terps assistant chuck Driesell, who spotted him in February at a tournament at National Christian Academy in Fort Washington. The two have developed a strong rapport. Terp Sports Report watched that weekend as Jennings made an impression against seven-footer Anthony McClain – then the top uncommitted center in the nation – and sophomore Dontae Taylor, who is ranked among the top 40 rising juniors nationally.
Despite his prep years, Hamilton said Jennings started high school early and will only be 19 years old when he begins college. He won't be affected by the NCAA's crackdown on prep school coursework because he was already attending one when the rule was passed.
"It shouldn't be a problem, because he is grandfathered in," Hamilton said.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that Jennings is looking to be in the NBA sooner rather than later. Is it likely he could be a one-and-done type?
"It's possible if [everything goes well]. I know they're trying to find the fastest route," Hamilton said.
So, then, have the colleges recruiting him expressed concerned over that?
"Some are, but I've let them know, he's let them know and his dad has let them know. It may be in the back of their mind, but they aren't really expressing any concerns,' Hamilton said.
Jennings, who will be playing at Reebok U. this weekend in New Jersey, has been working very hard this on developing his game and being consistent in the weight room; he's noticeably more chiseled compared to how he looked when we scouted him in Februrary. He seems to be putting it all together. We should know soon which college program will be home to the gifted big man a year from now.
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