Terps Recruiting In-State Stars

TSR's Alex Schwartz spoke with Nick Haust and Mikael Hopkins about the Terrapins and their recruitment.

There are a number of big-time players in the state of Maryland in the class of 2011. While at the University of Virginia for the NBPA Top 100 Camp, two of them checked in with TurtleSportsReport.com to talk about the current status of their recruitment. Both Nick Faust of Baltimore City College HS and Mikael Hopkins of DeMatha hold offers from the Terrapins, and discussed where things stand.

Nick Faust, who has busted onto the scene this spring with his play for Nike Baltimore Elite, claims offers from UNLV, Marquette, Maryland, Oregon State, UMass, Drexel, and Delaware. In addition, he mentioned that Kentucky, Duke, Clemson, George Mason, and others are recruiting him too. At this point, Faust has no favorites.

"Possibly at the end of the summer, but I'm not sure," said Faust of when he plans to commit. "I'm trying to get my looks before I decide."

Asked what he is looking for in a school, Faust replied, "Just a strong relationship with the coach. I plan on having a lot of playing time, to come in and have a big impact."

As for his thoughts on Maryland, Faust remarked, "I like Maryland a lot. It has always been a childhood favorite. I like Coach Gary [Williams and the] style of play fits me. I like Coach Bino [Ranson]. We have always been close. I've known him for a long time."

Faust is the cousin of incoming Memphis freshman wing Will Barton '10, another star from Baltimore. In fact, Faust and Barton have similar long, slender frames.

"Scoring, I can shoot very well, but I can also get to the hoop well," said Faust of the strongest aspects of his game. What about his weakest point? "I can shoot midrange, but I really don't use it a lot."

Faust, a 6'6 wing, had a strong showing on the first full day of NBPA Camp and clearly looks the part of a high-major Division I recruit. He could use a few more pounds, but he is a lethal scorer and a superb prospect.

Mikael Hopkins also stood out on the first full day of camp. The power forward rattled off a who's who of elite college basketball programs when asked who is recruiting him. He listed Syracuse, Georgetown, Villanova, West Virginia, Florida State, Miami, Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Kansas, Boston College, Ohio State, Pitt, and Virginia Tech. Plus, he added that other programs are involved too.

There are a number of schools that sit atop Hopkins' list at this stage of the game. Syracuse, West Virginia, Florida State, Miami, Maryland, Texas, Kansas, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech were the ones that Hopkins mentioned as his favorites so far.

"I'm gonna say Syracuse because that's the only school I've really visited," said Hopkins of which school is standing out the most right now.

Hopkins has some idea of when he wants to make his choice, but is just not sure whether or not it will happen at that time.

"I was trying to do it by the beginning of senior year, but I don't know how that's gonna work because I still haven't cut my list down," he said.

Even though it remains to be seen just when Hopkins will make his college choice, he does know what he is looking for in a school.

"To fit my style of play first of all, where I'm gonna play and not ride the bench," Hopkins said. "Where I'm gonna win with tradition of winning, have exposure, be on TV, have fun, and be able to win."

As for what he thinks about the local Terps, Hopkins said, "It's a basketball powerhouse, not even because of the players they have. [There is] good coaching. If I go there and Jordan [Williams, a rising sophomore] is still there, I'll be effective because they'll be worried about stopping him. Another factor, it's close to home so my mom can some to all my games and I have a younger sister, so I'll be able to stay in her life."

Hopkins, whose sister is one year old, has had one Maryland coach on his trail, but thinks another may join the fold.

"It was Coach Rob [Ehsan]. Now it's probably gonna be Coach Rob and [new Assistant] Coach Bino [Ranson]. He was recruiting me when he was on staff at Xavier. I'm just guessing he's gonna recruit me," Hopkins said.

While Maryland is the local school, Hopkins did not grow up as a Terps fan. "I actually grew up a UConn fan. I'm a fan of the Big East, like Syracuse with Carmelo [and UConn with] Rudy Gay, stuff like that."

"My athleticism and being able to score on offense with my back to the basket," said Hopkins of the primary strengths of his game. Regarding his main weaknesses, Hopkins commented, "Probably my strength. I wanna get stronger. I need to pick up my aggressiveness too. At times I feel as though I don't play hard. I need to play hard."

The University of Maryland has clearly made in-state standouts Nick Faust and Mikael Hopkins prime targets and the duo both seem to like the Terps.

TerrapinTimes Top Stories