Terps Trying to Make a Move on Ralph Sampson

It seems new names are constantly popping up on the Maryland basketball recruiting radar. One such name is center Ralph Sampson of Duluth, Ga., the son of the University of Virginia legend by the same name. TurtleSportsReport caught up with Sampson and his summer coach for the latest on his recruitment, and here's the scoop:

Sampson just recently emerged as a player of serious interest for Maryland. He has come as far as perhaps any post player in the nation during the past year, and was at his best last month in the major tournaments in Vegas and Orlando. The Terps quickly have made a move to get involved in his recruitment, and have offered the 6-11, 223-pound post man a scholarship.

"They've shown a lot of interest," said Georgia Stars coach Bo Bell. [It started] after the past two or three weeks. They watched him at the Super Showcase" in Orlando … They saw a side of him that a lot of people haven't seen."

Specifically, Sampson is beginning to shed the label of being a bit too laidback. His newfound aggressiveness, combined with his size and ability to block shots and hit the mid-range jumper, makes him an attractive prospect to high-level programs.

"I think they noticed my aggressiveness, how I was going after the ball, diving on the ball. Being vocal on the court and making smart decisions," Sampson said.

Added Bell: "The potential on him is probably as high as anyone in the country."

Still, the Terps have plenty of ground to make up. Schools like Georgia Tech and Minnesota have been recruiting him for some time, and thus have a natural advantage. He also seems to like Kentucky quite a bit, and will be visiting Lexington next week. The Terps, meanwhile, are trying to sell him on the theory that his playing style will fit well into the flex offense, and that he could play early. So where does Maryland stand in terms of getting a visit from Sampson?

"I'm going to try and make it up there, but I'm not sure if I'll make it or not," said the soft-spoken Sampson. "I don't know a lot about [Maryland], but they're giving me as much info as they can … I'm interested in Maryland, but I really haven't narrowed anything down yet."

Finally, we asked Sampson the question he's probably heard thousands of times: Can you beat the old man in a game of one-on-one?

"Yeah," he said, I think I can."

The Terps will need to make a move soon if they are to move up Sampson's list. TSR will keep you posted on Sampson's recruitment …

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