Early 2011 Basketball Recruiting Overview

Okay, so today's Maryland Madness Day. Aside from being a wonderful day of basketball-filled joy, it also kicks off the real start of 2011 basketball recruiting, which is just as great (okay, not really).

Last year, Tobias Harris, Taran Buie, and Isaiah Epps were all in attendance. While Epps and Buie ended up committing elsewhere, they were among Maryland's top targets early on, and Maryland's still in deep with Harris. As such, it wouldn't really be surprising if we start to see the groups shifting and making clearer who goes where in terms of early importance. In preparation, I got together a basic list of who Maryland's looking at in 2011, divided between who we're pretty sure are top targets and who we're not so sure about (other than that, it's alphabetical). We'll know a lot more about it tomorrow morning, hopefully.

This is also the start of a sort of 2011 recruiting database, which will be updated with new links and info when it becomes available; that can always be found here. Okay, so anyway, get ready for a very long post:

Top Tier Targets

Quinn Cook, 6-3, PG (DeMatha, Hyattsville, MD) - Cook has been said to be an Ohio State lean a few times before. Before that, he was a Georgetown lean. Basically, you get the feeling he might be an "anything but Maryland" sort of lean. We'll have to hope that doesn't end up the case, as he's very, very good, and would be exactly what Maryland needs: a pure, pass-first PG. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the #1 PG by the end of next year. For what it's worth, there's already a rap song about him, though it's meh.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Trevor Cooney, 6-3, SG (Sanford, Hockessin, DE) - Think J.J. Redick, only less douche-y. He's a shooter's shooter, and he's been said to possess "the perfect jump shot". Some people think he's a Nova lean, but Maryland is definitely involved and should be in it through the long run. He'll likely make an early decision, which is good for all parties.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Sterling Gibbs, 6-1, PG (Seton Hall, Scotch Plains, NJ) - At first, I thought Gibbs was the backup if Maryland couldn't land Cook, which is a possibility. But the more time passes, the more I think they might like Gibbs as much as Cook. Indications are he's underrated by all of the Big 3 scouting services, and he's received solid playing time on the US U16 team. As for his game, it's kind of like Adrian Bowie with a better jumpshot.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Michael Gbinije 6-6, SG (Benedictine, Richmond, VA) - This is a tough one to call. Gbinije, whose stock has fallen slightly as of late, visited Maryland early and seemed to be high on the Terps, but he's started to list schools other than Maryland more prominently. This one's going to have to go farther to see where Maryland stands; regardless, it's fairly safe to say Maryland's somewhere on the do-everything wing's list.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Jordan Goodman, 6-8, PF (Seneca Valley, Bowie, MD) - Remember this name? If not, it's okay, but if follow recruiting, you should. He nearly committed to Maryland as a freshman, and though he widened his recruitment a bit, it's not irrational to say Maryland is still in his top 2 or 3. The biggest issue with Goodman will be grades: he needs to get his academics in order. If he does, his mixture of outside prowess, size, athletic ability, and potential will attract plenty of suitors.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel (#33)

Desmond Hubert, 6-10, C (New Egypt, New Egypt, NJ) - Hubert is likely the top big man target of 2011 for the Terps, and, seeing how Maryland has to get at least one pure big man, you should expect him to be recruited very hard. He's 6-10, athletic, and moderately polished, meaning he's almost a lock to be at least a four star. Most importantly, he's a true big man in an era when true big men are shrinking in numbers. He's already visited Maryland, so the Terps are probably somewhat high on his list.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel (n/a)

Been Mentioned With/Possibilities/Mid-Tier Targets

Darion Atkins, 6-7, SF (Landon, Bethesda, MD) - With Atkins, you kind of get the feel that he's going to be an upper-middle target - higher than Jon Graham, but lower than C.J. Leslie. Think Will Regan or James Johnson, maybe a bit lower. He was impressive over the summer for the Team Takeover U16s, but he's yet to get a lot of exposure, so where exactly he stands is tough to tell. Maryland, George Washington, George Mason and VT have all offered.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

C.J. Barksdale, 6-7, PF (George Washington, Danville, VA) - We don't know how much Maryland has talked with Barksdale, but we do know he has been offered and somebody's contacted him. He's very long and athletic, and has a great work ethic, so he should fit in here. He was one of the few rising juniors to attend the NBAPA 100 camp, so he's definitely go the talent to be a top target.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel (n/a)

Deuce Bello, 6-3, SG (Westchester, High Point, NC) - I've mentioned Deuce Bello, born Quddus Bello, a few times before...because I really, really want him to be a Terp. He's extremely highlight-friendly, and unless Maryland can somehow grab C.J. Leslie, they haven't had anything close that since Chris Wilcox. He's a bit undersized, but his freakish athleticism and wingspan make up for that pretty easily, and he's full of potential. He's listed as having a Maryland offer; hopefully he's made a big target.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Grandy Glaze, 6-6, PF (St. John's, Frederick, MD) - A Canadian import, Glaze spent last year at St. John's Prep in Frederick, where he impressed plenty. He might move schools, as he's not native to the area and just wanted to play ball in America. He's undersized for his position, but is ultra-strong and a very hard worker. Maryland got involved due to proximity, but, as a Canadian, he has no real hometown team. Lots of teams are calling on him; he's a national recruit.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Matt Gorski, 6-11, C (Cosby, Richmond, VA) - A big, natural center in an age when there are few, Gorksi can bang inside or take jumpers with equal ability. Maryland's offered, but so has the rest of the ACC. It'll be an interesting recruitment; the Terps may prefer Desmond Hubert or Grandy Glaze.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Cezar Guerrero, 6-2, PG (John Bosco, Bellflower, CA) - Haven't heard much from the mixtape extraordinaire lately, but, seeing how Maryland has only been mentioned once in connection with him, I think it's somewhat safe Maryland isn't really prusuing him hard. Shame.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Mikael Hopkins, 6-8, PF (DeMatha, Hyattsville, MD) - A teammate of Cook's, Hopkins will be a really tough get. Similar to Cook, it's been said he's looking to get away, and by get away I assume he doesn't mean move a few miles down the road. Maryland will give token interest at the very least, but I'm not sure how much farther it will go.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Durand Johnson, 6-7, SF (Lake Clifton, Baltimore, MD) - Possibly a fringe prospect for Maryland, Johnson is a perimeter-oriented three from Baltimore, an area Maryland hasn't done extremely well in. Still, Maryland hasn't offered nor shown much interest, and he hasn't either. Unless Maryland presses late, he's one that can probably be crossed off the list.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Greg Lewis, 6-9, C (St. Frances, Baltimore, MD) - See above. Lewis had a pretty solid year on a pretty loaded team last season, and though he hasn't received a ton of scholarship offers, he is getting some interest from some big hitters. Maryland, however, doesn't seem to be one yet. He could still be a target, though it's not encouraging.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Dai-Jon Parker, 6-3, SG (Milton, Alpharetta, GA) - Part two of the Milton trio, Parker's a pure wing a bit reminiscent of Terrence Ross to me. Very athletic, a  good shooter, a good passer, but he lets the game come to him and rarely takes things over. He's a competitor and a pretty complete player. Actually, he might be my favorite of the trio. Like the others, Maryland's been in contact, but we don't know how much.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Hunter Mickelson, 6-10, PF (Westside, Jonesboro, AK) - Welcome to Arkansas, Gary Williams. The Natural State native will deceive you with his looks - he seems like a gangly white kid, but he's surprisingly athletic. Combine that with being a ridiculously hard worker and he can put points on the board and grab rebounds with ease. Maryland watched him a few times in July, but whether or not there is serious interest on either side is yet to be determined.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Julian Royal, 6-7, PF (Milton, Alpharetta, GA) - Royal's part of an extremely talented trio from Milton in Alpharetta, Ga. He's a 3/4 tweener, but will likely be a PF in college. He has a more perimeter-focused game, bu t he has all the tools to be successful in the post, as well. Think of a Terrence Jones type of game. Maryland's been watching him, but we don't know how hard they'll pursue him.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Shannon Scott, 6-2, PG (Milton, Alpharetta, GA) - The final Miltoner (Miltonite? Miltonian?), Scott is the Quinn Cook look alike. Their games are uncannily similar; both are ultra-steady, pass-first point guards that are able  to score if needed. I expect Cook to be the main target if he can be had, but if not, Scott will likely get some major interest as well.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Mike Taylor, 6-3, SG (Boys & Girls, Brooklyn, NY) - The guy I want simply because he's Lance Stephenson's archnemisis, Taylor has quite a game in his own right, particularly in the jumpshooting category. Anyone who can light up Lance head-to-head while being a year younger has my vote. Maryland's been all over NYC lately, so I have no doubt they've been in contact, but like the rest in this category, we don't know how much yet. He could be a top SG target, though, and received a very early offer.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel

Achraf Yacoubou, 6-3, SG (Lutheran, Long Island, NY) - Yacoubou was Tobias Harris' teammate at Lutheran last year, so the staff is plenty familiar with him and has been in contact. Without Harris this year, his abilities will really be tested, and we should know for sure wether the 2 man's game is strong enough to carry a team on its own. He hasn't been made a top priority yet, so I don't know how hard Maryland will push, but he's a possibility.
Links: Rivals, ESPN, Scout
Highlight Reel (n/a)

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