Terps Appear Set to Sign Chicago Big Man

The Maryland mens' basketball team, in immediate need of size and depth, has added a frontcourt recruit for next season in the form of 6-foot-9 Chicago forward-center Steve Goins. Once again, TurtleSportsReport.com's Jeff Ermann has the exclusive breaking news …

Goins, who visited Maryland earlier this summer, actually committed to the Terps several weeks ago. His commitment moved a step closer to being official Tuesday, when he learned he'd be receiving As in the two summer school classes he was taking. His transcripts are in the school's hands and it appears to be a matter of time before he signs with Maryland.

"They've been consistent [in their attention]. They've been calling a lot. I talked to coach Williams a bunch of times. They've been helping me get qualified. I'll qualify next week and then it will be official and I'll be all set," Goins said. "I always hear about Maryland and they're in a great conference. I visited last month and saw they also offer a lot in terms of academics and their art program, which is what I want to major in.

Goins, the No. 27 center in the nation according to Scouthoops.com, is regarded by national recruiting analyst Dave Telep as a quality prospect who could make significant contributions after a bit of seasoning.

"His best year was last season and he's yet to have someone put their arm around him and coach him," Telep recently told Turtle Sports Report. "He's never been in a situation where basketball really, really matters and in turn hasn't been involved in the game at a high enough level in high school to appreciate the work that has to go in … He's a long term stock and a good one."

Goins averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks last year at Currie Metropolitan High (Ill.), on a team that had balanced scoring.

Maryland's staff "was saying that they like that I'm able to not just play one position, with me being able to shoot and not just get stuck in the paint," he said. "The said I could get a lot of minutes."

South Florida and Illinois-Chicago offered Goins scholarships, while DePaul, Kentucky and Minensota all recruited him. Because he's a late-bloomer and late qualifier, he wasn't highly sought on a national level. He also wears a size-18 shoe and could grow to seven feet, said his high school coach, Mike Oliver.

"He's a young kid who will only be 17 when he goes to college … His best basketball is ahead of him," said Oliver. "I think Steve will be one of the best players to come out of [the 2008 class in] Chicago … He runs the floor well and he has good hands, he's a spot up shooter and he rebounds well. He knows the game well. Steve's a really smart player, it's just a matter of getting him in shape.

"He was getting recruited as a mid-major, but Steve's gotten better as a basketball player."

Goins currently weights somewhere in the neighborhood of 260 pounds. His primary goal right now is dropping pounds and becoming more explosive.

"As soon as I get there, I'm going to get in the weight room. What I'm working on now is conditioning. I need to stay in shape so I can play longer, that's pretty much what I'm focused on," Goins said.

Goins met several players, including Greivis Vasquez and James Gist, during his visit, and said everyone "just accepted me in." Now, it appears the school and the basketball program are about to do the same.

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