N.J. Guard Epps High on Maryland

The Maryland men's basketball staff has taken a decidedly proactive role in recruiting the Class of 2010, generating early momentum with more than a few impressive prospects in what will be a vital Terps class. One of the top targets is guard Isiah Epps of Plainfield, N.J., about whom TurtleSportsReport has the latest …

Epps, a 6-foot-2, 165-pound point guard, visited Maryland last month and came away raving about the program. He's got the Terps at the top of his list along with Pittsburgh, which like Maryland has verbally offered a scholarship, and North Carolina, which has shown modest interest.

"The campus was great and the coaching staff is great because Gary Williams is a Hall of Fame coach," said Epps, who has already developed solid relationships with Williams and assistants Chuck Driesell and Rob Ehsan. "My uncle, my mom and me, we all liked it. I love it there.

"We all know that Gary Williams is a crazy coach on the floor, but at the same time what he's trying to do is get you better as a player, and that's what I'm looking to do when I get to college," he said.

Epps averaged 16.5 points and 6.5 assists per game as a sophomore and has earned strong reviews for his play this summer with the renowned Playaz Basketball Club.

"Epps is one of the best players in the 2010 class. Isiah has exceptional range on his jumper and possesses a good handle. If he is able to master the point guard position, Epps will end up being a high major player and an immediate impact player on the college level," wrote Scout.com analyst Mike Sullivan. "His AAU coach likens him to Kenny Anderson, the former NBA player and Molloy High School standout."

According to several accounts, Epps more than held his own while playing in pickup games with Maryland's players at Comcast Center. He also said he bonded with several of the guards while there. Epps, a lefty, said of his game, "I can shoot well and I can take the ball to the rack at will, but I need to work on my right hand more."

Despite being from Big East country, the rough-and-tumble Northeastern conference is not his favorite.

"I'm more of an ACC guy because you play more bigger maryland teams," he said.

Epps hears from Williams, Driesell and Ehsan as much as NCAA regulations allow for, and likes their sales pitch, which includes a strong possibility of early playing time – chief among his criteria for choosing a school, he said.

"They also said that they play the way my high school team plays. They press, they get the ball and run and they let the guards go over screens," he said.

Epps plans to make a commitment at the end of his junior season. Asked if he can foresee any scenario in which he decides to announce before then, he said no.

As always, TurtleSportsReport.com will keep you updated …

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