Buie Big on Maryland

Taran Buie and Isaiah Epps, seemingly the top two guard prospects for the Maryland men's basketball staff in the vital Class of 2010, will be in attendance 10 days from now when the Terps officially open season. We'll bring you the latest on Epps later this week, but here's the latest on Buie, the dynamic combo guard from Albany, N.Y.

Buie, a four-star prospect who led his Bishop Maginn team to a state championship as a sophomore, told TSR Tuesday night that Maryland's coaches have him giving serious thought to becoming a Terp. And it doesn't hurt that childhood friend Epps, a jet-quick point guard from Plainfield, N.J., is recruiting him for Maryland as well.

"We've been playing together since the sixth grade so I'm comfortable with him. We text each other and stuff. I told him definitely that I like them and they're definitely in my top [choices]," said Buie, a 6-foot-1, 178-pound junior who averaged 17.4 points and more than five steals per game last season. ""He's been working on me."

So, too, have Terp assistants Chuck Driesell, Rob Ehsan and Keith Booth.

"Coach Driesell and coach Rob, they always tell us that we'll dominate the ACC and dominate the other 2010 class coming into the ACC," he said. "They've both been on me pretty hard. Coach Rob is young but he's a smart, down to earth kind of guy. He's focused on getting his players better. He's already given me so much advice and I've never [played for him].

"Coach Driesell, man, you've gotta like him. He's so cool, down to earth, he's been there and played there. I've been in contact with Keith Booth also. He tells me what to expect, because he played in the pros," he said.

Buie was scheduled to make an unofficial trip to Notre Dame last weekend but canceled after injuring his ankle Thursday. It'll keep him off the court for a month but won't cramp his travel plans; he plans to go to Maryland Oct. 17, Notre Dame on Nov. 1 and Georgia Tech the following weekend.

"Those are the three schools, and Texas is in there as well, leading the way. I'm still completely open and planning to take a couple of other visits," he said, listing Syracuse, Georgetown, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Rutgers among those who could receive a visit. All of the above have verbally offered him scholarships.

The Terps not only are recruiting Epps and Buie, but also are one of many schools chasing 6-10 forward Tobias Harris and well as post player Will Regan, both Buie's teammates with the Albany City Rocks AAU program.

I know they're recruiting Tobias Harris and Will Regan too and I think they have a good chance. If I wound up there with Isiah and Tobias went there, I think there's a good chance we could compete for the ACC championship and the national championship."

He's not sure when he'll make a decision, but he isn't ruling out the possibility of an early commitment.

"I'm just trying to find the right fit, the best situation for me and my career and my family. When I find the right situation, I'll talk to my family and make the decision," said Buie.

Academics will receive more than lip service in this one. Buie carries a 3.0 GPA and is taking a tough course load including Trigonometry and Chemistry. He'd like to major in either business or engineering and has considered taking a visit to an Ivy League school or two.

"Some of these schools just want you to go there and take some Mickey Mouse major and just worry about basketball, but I definitely want to get a real education. You can't play basketball forever," he said.

Buie's already been to Maryland once, though he's especially excited to see what it's like at Maryland Madness.

"I've been there once I really liked it but I want to see what it's like when the students are there. But the campus was great and I like that it's not to far from home. I liked everything, but I just want to find out about everything else" on this visit.

Maryland will have graduated all but three of its current guards by the time Buie and Epps are freshman – only seniors-to-be Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker and would-be junior Sean Mosley will remain for 2010-2011 – a fact that staff is reminding the duo of frequently.

"They'll be losing both of their starting guards, so there's a good opportunity to come in and play right away," Buie said.

We'll update you on Buie again shortly after his visit …

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