Turgeon already working on 2009

Mark Turgeon and the Aggies may have gotten another verbal commitment on Monday, but this staff isn't slowing down on the recruiting trail. Aggie Websider visits with class of 2009 lead guard Naji Hibbert about his trip to College Station this weekend for an unofficial visit.

Earlier this week, Coach Mark Turgeon and his Texas A&M staff finished out their first recruiting class with a commitment from Floridian David Loubeau for the Class of 2008. But in this era of college basketball, recruiting never stops and it's no different for the Aggies as they will welcome in Dematha Catholic HS (MD) lead guard Naji Hibbert for an unofficial visit this weekend.

Rated No. 55 in Scout.com's Class of 2009 national rankings, Hibbert is a versatile lead guard who can score from anywhere on the court and does what it takes to help his team win.

"I pick my spots. I can hit the outside shot, or I can break down a defender off the dribble and go to the basket," Hibbert said. "I can find the open man with the pass and take advantage of opportunities on the floor."

However, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound guard says his greatest strength as a player isn't shooting, passing, or defending, but it's his leadership skills and his ability to keep his teammates positive and focused during the ups and downs of a game.

"I like being a leader and helping my teammates," Hibbert said. "I lead by example and try to motivate my team and pull them up when they are down and keep everything positive."

Hibbert's skills have already attracted the attention of several high Division I programs such as Maryland, Syracuse, Georgetown, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina State, Indiana, and Texas A&M.

College Station, Texas is a long way from Baltimore and the Aggies aren't accustomed to getting interest from national caliber prospects on the east coast. But, given the recent success and national exposure of the Texas A&M program and senior all-American point guard Acie Law, assistant coach Scott Spinelli is attracting early interest from the four-star Maryland guard.

"I didn't know much about Texas A&M until I saw Acie Law," Hibbert said. "The coaches came by my school and watched me play and they liked my game. Coach Spinelli is recruiting me and he keeps it real. He's a funny guy."

It's not just about getting along with the college coaches for Hibbert. He wants to find a program and a situation that prepares him for a career in the NBA.

"I want to go somewhere that develops players and gets them to the next level," Hibbert said. "I want to experience college and get a good education, but it's not just about college ball. I'm looking for a program that can put me in position to have a pro basketball career."

Hibbert believes Texas A&M could be one of those programs, and he leaves Friday afternoon for an unofficial visit to get a closer look at what the Aggies have to offer.

"I want to check out the campus and the atmosphere of the place," Hibbert said. "I just want to hang out with the team and have a good time, and go to a football game."

At this point, the Baltimore native is still a long way off from making a school decision, and says he likely won't make a choice until next summer before his senior season.

"I don't have a leader at this point. Everybody I'm looking at is medium right now," Hibbert said. "I want to give everybody on my list a fair chance."

Hibbert plans to be at Texas A&M Friday night, tour the campus and facilities, attend the A&M football game Saturday evening, and will stay in Texas until Sunday morning when he flies back to Baltimore.




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