Driesell Working his Connection with Spurlock

After his freshman year, Tristan Spurlock decided to leave Woodbridge High in Virginia for a private school. He knew then-Bishop Ireton coach Chuck Driesell and figured it would be a good spot. But Driesell was hired by Maryland, so Spurlock opted for Montrose Christian. It wasn't the end of the relationship, though, and it's one the Terps hope will help land the gifted '09 wing man.

"He was definitely the main reason I was going to Ireton," said Spurlock, a 6-foot-7, 216-pound scorer who was offered by Maryland last month. "I just like how he's so personable. He can sit down and talk basketball or non-basketball related. He wants to know about you as a person."

Spurlock has often been overshadowed by Montrose classmates Terrell Vinson and Isaiah Armwood, each of whom has a Terps offer as well and has been rated among the top 15 players in '09 at one time or another. But he's quietly been expanding his game, getting stronger and quicker, and catching the eyes of many high-major programs. He's also a good student and has a ton of upside, with his ability to hit the 3-pointer and get to the rim.

Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia and Florida State all have offered Spurlock, while Texas, Florida, Syracuse and others have been checking him out as well. UVA has clearly made him a priority in '09, and he has said in several interviews that he likes Virginia quite a bit. But Spurlock, who averaged about 10 points and seven rebounds last year for a loaded Montrose team that included incoming Terps freshmen Adrian Bowie and Shane Walker, said he doesn't have a favorite.

"I'm wide open," he said. Maryland "is definitely in my top five, probably top three."

He got a taste of what it would be like to play at Maryland and in the ACC last season when Montrose's players played a pick-up game against the Terps. He had a tough time with Maryland guard D.J. Strawberry, who, of course, is now with the Phoenix Suns.

"It was fun, but they beat us in all of them," he said. "I didn't realize how fast D.J. was and how good he was on defense. It was hard to take a dribble, let alone go to the hoop."

Spurlock will play on the wing in college, though he sees himself more as strictly a shooting guard. He has a very nice stroke, can handle the ball and can get up and finish with ease. He played point guard and shooting guard as a freshman at Woodbridge, where he averaged 10 points and eight rebounds a game.

He caught quite a few eyes with his strong play last month at the Nike Jamboree in St. Louis after sitting out most of the summer circuit in order to focus on individual workouts and getting bigger; he's gained around 20 pounds of muscle in the past year after being a gangly 190 pound freshman.

"He's emerging and getting better as a player. [The Jamboree] was his first time out there and he played really well," said Rob Jackson, coach of the D.C. Blue Devils. "He's a big guard."

Added Spurlock, "An ideal ‘three' is more like a big athletic player like Isiaiah. I'm more of a shooter."

Spurlock will most likely commit around this time next year. He has joked with Armwood and Vinson about playing together in college, but knows it's not very likely.

"I don't think that could happen at Maryland because of the scholarships," he said.

He also said he wants to major in communications. Academics are a priority.

"I want to get a good job, so it's got to be a school with a good name behind it,"; he said. "Of course, basketball is important too."

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