Bobby Maze is a Terp
Maze, a native of nearby Suitland, Md., is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound scoring guard who played at Oklahoma last season. He'll transfer to Maryland next fall and will be eligible to play immediately.
"The opportunity to play back at home is, like, the best thing that could happen to me. It's a big deal to be able to stay around here and play in front of my family," said Maze, whose freshman year at OU was interrupted by a foot injury and eventually ended when he and Sooners coach Jeff Capel agreed to part ways.
Maze, a blur in the open court, was targeted by Maryland because of the need for more explosiveness in the backcourt. The slashing, athletic scorer is averaging 20.2 points 7.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds on 54.4 percent shooting in 13 games at traditional juco power Hutchinson. He's topped 30 points three times. He'll enroll at Maryland next fall as a junior.
"When that shot clock gets down to 10 seconds, you can put that ball in my hands. I'm a playmaker. I can help them and they can help me," he said. "I feel like the ACC is the best conference for guards. I was playing, at Oklahoma, somewhere where you score 60 to 70 points per game. I feel like this is a great fit for me."
Tennessee also offered Maze a scholarship this fall, while Kentucky, Pitt and South Florida were also recruiting Maze, who said Maryland coach Gary Williams told him "they want to play a lot of three-guard sets with me, [Eric] Hayes and [Grievis] Vasquez. I feel like I give them some good depth, a scorer's mentality and a player with heart … I can feed off of them, and they can feed off of me."
"Bobby's been one of those guys who just keeps defying the odds. He's gotten seemingly better at every stop he's made," said Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep. "His quickness is outstanding."
Maze spent a year at Patterson Prep (N.C.) and averaged 14 points per game. A year earlier as a senior at Suitland High School just outside the District, he averaged 20.3 points per game as a senior. He also spent some time at Luther Prep in Philadelphia, where he earned scholarship offers from Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Seton Hall and Kansas State, among others.
He was Capel's first recruit as head coach at Oklahoma and was expected to come in and compete for a starting spot immediately, but he broke his foot in the pre-season and missed the first month of the season. He returned to average 5.6 points in 22 games, averaging a shade more than 18 minutes per game.
"They [the Maryland staff] know me, they know I've produced everywhere I've been and I've been a winner everywhere I've been, except Oklahoma, and I was injured. When I was healthy and I was getting minutes, I produced," Maze said.
There were varying reports about Maze's departure from Oklahoma, including many that Capel had sent him packing. Maze made some mistakes there, he admitted, but said he left on good terms with Capel and has matured as a result.
"A lot of things got misunderstood. A lot of people were saying coach Capel put me out. Coach Capel didn't put me out. Coach Capel and me came to an understanding," he said. "I still have nothing bad to say about Oklahoma. I still talk to some of the assistant coaches … Life moves on," he said.
The Maryland staff "knows I'm an articulate young man. A lot of people try to judge me because of the tattoos or the braids or how I dress, but all of that doesn't mean anything," he said. "At the end of the day [everything will be fine] as long as I play basketball and go to school and do what I'm supposed to do."
Maze, who grew up a Terps fan, spent last summer in Colorado, working out with Denver Nugget, DerMarr Johnson, one of the best high school players to come out of Prince George's County, where Maze also is from.
"I've been getting a lot stronger and working on my game. I'm doing all of the things I need to do," he said.
Williams was excited to receive his commitment, Maze said, and told him he looked forward to the dynamics he can bring to the Terps backcourt.
At the time of his commitment, Patterson coach Chris Chaney, who has coached many major Division I players, told Scout.com: "I haven't seen anyone else in prep school with his quickness with the ball," Patterson coach Chris Chaney said. "He's improved so much since he got here. He's scoring when he should – and passing the ball when he should."
"He's got great work ethic," added Chaney. "He's always in the gym."
Said Capel at the time of Maze's commitment to Oklahoma: "The first things that come to mind with Bobby are that he is fast and explosive. He's a young man who's really good with the ball in his hands and who can put it in the basket. He'll be one of the quickest guys with the ball that we have. I think he was a really good get for us, especially this late. He's very competitive and I think he's a young man who wants to be good. We're excited about him joining the Sooner family.
"I wouldn't necessarily classify him as a traditional point guard," continued Capel. "He's a good guard who can play multiple positions. I'm going to work with him on continuing to understand the point guard position. It's something I think he can do and he can be very effective for us. Right now, his greatest strength is probably scoring the basketball. That's not to say that he can't pass because he's good at that, too. He's a guy who will enable us to play another point guard with him. He has good size, he's a good athlete and I think he has the potential to be a very good defender because of his size, his length and athletic ability."
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