Discuss here on BSL Forums!
With the Peach Jam, arguably the toughest AAU tournament in the country, coming up in a couple weeks, it’s worth looking over where Maryland stands on the recruiting trail with regards to some of these young prospects. There are always future needs that must be addressed, and Maryland is expected to have a lot of attrition in 2015. So without further ado, let’s go:
1.) Backup point guard
Maryland’s kind of already set at the point guard position for the foreseeable future with the addition of All-American Melo Trimble, who is likely going to play that position for at least two seasons. But they do need a stopgap point guard for 2015 while they try to reign in Anthony Cowan, a 2016 local star. For that, they’re looking at two options.
Kevin Dorsey: The Paul VI point guard is looking more and more like a Terrapins backup right now than anywhere else, having recently taken a trip to Maryland and liked the result. Dorsey isn’t a huge prospect in rating or stature, but he is absolutely a gamer. A slasher first and foremost, Dorsey isn’t as much of a floor general as he is a scorer who has shown a willingness to defend.
Dorsey is so different from Melo Trimble that he might be the preferrable option at this point. He’s going 100% almost every time he’s on the court, and has been playing high level hoops his entire career and remains a team player. Wherever this kid goes, his teams win. He could also play alongisde Trimble in a pinch (the two have played against one another numerous times). There’s a good chance Maryland could get a commitment from Dorsey by the end of the month.
Justin Robinson: Robinson is still turning heads with his performances, but he’s taking his time in deciding which school is for him. Right now, Maryland and Virginia Tech are the leaders on him. I got a chance to speak with Robinson briefly, and while he did love his Maryland visit thoroughly, it seems as though Virginia Tech is more appealing to him. He recently tweeted out that he and AAU teammate Chris Clarke could end up being a package deal, and that’s not good for one reason: I spoke with Chris Clarke, and he has stated that Maryland has completely backed off.
Potential: Noah Blackwell – Blackwell is a big time wildcard here for the Terps, but we’ll know a whole lot more after this weekend. Coach Turgeon and assistant Bino Ranson are flying out to see him play during the first open recruting period of July, and that should give everyone a much better feel of how the staff views the California product. He’s also being courted by Washington, Arizona State, and Minnesota.
2.) Replace Dez Wells
Maryland loses Dez after this season, and that’s no easy player to replace. Wells was a borderline five-star pickup for the Terrapins when he transferred from Xavier, so you kind of want to replicate that with something similar in nature. For that, there’s only one real player.
Prince Ali: Hailing from Miami, FL and originally a Connecticut commit (as of May 30th), he has since bailed on that and listed Michigan, Maryland, UCLA, and Indiana as his top four schools. Talk about a whirlwind recruitment. Cliff Warren has seemingly made some big time dividends with his explosive, extremel talented shooting guard. The Terrapins are very high on Ali, and he would fit in perfectly and provide that elite, versatile player the Terrapins aren’t sure Dion Wiley or Jake Layman can become. Landing Ali has become a top priority for good reason. Supposedly, Michigan is the leader right now, so Maryland still has work to do if they want to land a top ten shooting guard.
3.) True Small Forward
Maryland needs a real three on ther roster, as Turgeon would prefer to play with an actual small forward over a bunch of guards. The small forward position also needs to be a so-called glue guy for Maryland, and for that there are a few prospects.
Danjel Purifoy – Purifoy came out of nowhere and named the Maryland Terrapins the leader for his services after developing a nice relationship with Bino Ranson. The Georgia product is friends with current Terp Trayvon Reed, and his AAU team is an Under Armor team. Basically, there’s a solid chance they land this kid – if they want him.
Purifoy is a solid athlete, a willing defender, and a smart player who could become a great wing defender for the Terps and a glue guy Maryland has so often missed.
4.) Esa Ahmad
Maryland seems to be really high on Esa Ahmad, a 6’7 forward with a ton of versatility, so we’ll add him in here. Ahmad doesn’t really have a position other than being a big player who can rebound , shoot it a bit, and score down low. Ahmad is a big man in a small forward’s body, but that works in his favor because he’s a matchup problem offensively depending on what position he’s playing.
Ahmad might not decide right away, and Ohio State is really high on him, so don’t expect Maryland to land a commitment from him right away. Still, he’s made very apparent that he is interested in the Terrapins, and Coach Turgeon will continue pressing on him.
Jordan Murphy? There has been talk as of last month that Texas forward Jordan Murphy could be a potential play here for the Terrapins, but that’s not entirely certain. Turgeon has known Murphy for years now since his days at Texas A&M, and the two have seemingly connected once again. It’s always hard to recruit guys out of Texas, and Baylor, Kansas State, and SMU have all offered Murphy, but if Maryland gets him on campus this could be a massive pickup. Ahmad and Murphy are more or less the same player, and both are necessary additions to go along with Robert Carter at that power forward spot.