We've gotten a few requests to get up a rundown of Maryland's 2011 basketball recruiting targets, because its just never too early to start this train. Texas is already done with their 2011 class, believe it or not.
Even though Maryland's 2010 class hasn't finished yet, the needs for 2011 are generally already worked out. Maryland will likely try to get an athletic, leaping PF, like C.J. Leslie (not happening), Juvonte Reddic (my choice), or Eric McKnight (most likely) to finish out 2010. After that, it's likely - though, of course, not certain - that the class will wrap up.
If that's the case, then Maryland could use a true, pass-first point guard, a wing to pair with Mychal Parker now that Terrence Ross is gone, an athletic face-up four, or a true center. They'd have four scholarships, provided they finished 2010 with just one more player.
Below, you'll find a quick introduction to the players that Maryland has been in contact with or are listing Maryland. This is far from a comprehensive list - schools contact about a hundred players, or more - but it should give you a general idea of the top-tier targets. Remember, Terrell Stoglin came out of nowhere, and Ashton Pankey was a late developer. That happens. The list right now will commit off to different places and will look entirely different in six months.
On Stoglin - he was Maryland's first commitment, and he committed in early April, just to give you a point of reference. Then again, like I said above, Texas is already done.
I have seen a few of these guys play, live or on TV (Quinn Cook, Trevor Cooney, Michael Gbinije) and others I haven't (Deuce Bello, Devin Langford). This isn't my particular thoughts on a prospect or my scouting report - rather, this is a blend and summary of all the scouting reports I've seen on each player. I'm not posturing here or acting as a scout - I'm trying to make staying on top of the game a little bit easier for you. Highlights are also embedded below each prospect's introduction. None of them are mine, and all are publicly available. The Star Rating and Rankings come from three sources - ESPN, Scout, and Rivals, listed in that order under each prospect.
Without further ado, here you go. Bigs are tomorrow.
Deuce Bello, SG, 6-3, 180, Westchester (NC), D-One Sports
Schools Considered: Clemson, Wake Forest, FSU, Miami (FL), Oklahoma State, Baylor
Star Rating: 94 / /
Ranks: #47 overall, #14 SG / #17 SF / #102 overall, #22 SF
Major Strengths: In a word: athleticism. We're talking Stevie Franchise type hops. Despite being 6-3, Deuce is a dunking machine, something you'll be well-acquainted with if you're familiar with us. He's ridiculous. Even though he's just 6-3, he does play long due to his wingspan and leaping ability. He's clearly at home on the break and has every physical tool he needs.
Needs Improvement: Most of the rest of his game. His dunking and athleticism in and of itself warrants major interest, but he does need to round out the rest of his game with a jumper, ballhandling, and defense. They've all been improving, though, so it stands to reason they'll eventually reach acceptable levels.
Odds: Not a great idea at this point. There aren't a ton of heavy hitters on his list, so that's hopeful. I'm not exactly sure how much pressure there is to land him right now, though.
Comparison: I called Francis earlier, but Steve had a more complete game. He's more similar to Sonny Weems, a 2008 2nd round draft pick out of Arkansas. Sorry for being so obscure, but they're dead ringers for each other. Weems was first team All-SEC his senior year.
Links: ESPN, Scout, Rivals, ESPN Write-up (Insider), HoopMixtape, First Half of the Season Mixtape
Jabari Brown, SG, 6-3, 200, Oakland (CA), Drew Gooden Soldiers
Schools Considered: Cal, Arizona, Washington, Oregon State
Star Ratings: 95 / /
Ranks: #41 overall, #13 SG / #12 SG / #28 overall, #7 SG
Major Strengths: I like what I've read about Brown's game. His jumper can heat up fast, looks good, and is somewhat consistent, even from deep. He's also supposedly a very smart player on the court with solid but not outstanding athleticism. He's also supposed to be extremely smooth.
Needs Improvement: Like I said, his athleticism has never been particularly lauded all that much. It's far a negative, but it's not Bello-level. That leads into his bigger problem, the lack of a true position. He's a 2 guard, but without that size or vertical and wingspan to play it. He'll do fine (if anyone should know that perfect size isn't needed, it's Maryland) but it's not ideal. There are rumors - nothing more, but I've seen them 2 places now, even if one of those places was a YouTube comment - that his attitude is less than perfect.
Odds: Honestly, I didn't really think Maryland was even recruiting Brown, but he said they were and their on his lists. The Terps are really expanding out toward the rest recently, grabbing Stoglin and Howard (originally from LA), so I don't expect that to be too prohibitive.
Comparison: Just how smooth he is reminds me a little of Mychal Parker. Has some Matt Bouldin in him with that jumper and basketball IQ.
Links: ESPN, Scout, Rivals, Quick Note from ESPN, Hometown Paper Article on Leaving Findlay Prep, Posterizing Juvonte Reddic
Quinn Cook, PG, 6-1, 180, DeMatha (MD), DC Assault
Schools Considered: Duke, UNC, Ohio State, Georgetown, Villanova
Star Ratings: 96 / /
Ranks: #19 overall, #4 PG / #6 PG / #20 overall, #5 PG
Major Strengths: Cook used to be a pure, passing PG, but has since rounded out his game. There aren't many flaws to him - he has good ballhandling, great court vision and command of the game, is extremely steady, and can now score using a solid jumper and penetration skills.
Needs Improvement: His size isn't great but is good enough. Athletically, he's far from overwhelming, but the fact that his game is so complete makes that a fact easier to swallow.
Odds: Cook is a big-time local recruit who has Curtis Malone in his ear, so I wouldn't count on much at all. That said, Maryland's been there from the beginning and he's really good friends with current Terp Pe'Shon Howard, who's been talking to him about it every chance he's had.
Comparison: The look of his game and the fact that he has both solid PG skills and scoring skills remind me of Eric Maynor. Has some DJ Augustin in him, too - both are great PGs with scoring ability.
Links: ESPN, Scout, Rivals, ESPN HSH Festival Write-up, he has a song about him (really), DeMatha Highlights
Trevor Cooney, SG, 6-4, 185, Hockessin (DE), Team Final
Schools Considered: Syracuse, Villanova, Pitt, Ohio State
Star Ratings: 95 / /
Ranks: #25 overall, #9 SG / #9 SG / #121 overall, #22 SG
Major Strengths: Shooting, shooting, shooting. This guy makes Eric Hayes look like a bad shooter. SLAM decided that, if they were building the perfect player, they'd use Trevor Cooney's stroke. He has deceptive athleticism.
Needs Improvement: He can tend to be a little unconscious with the ball, just kind of jacking shots up. He's not going to beat too many people off the dribble.
Odds: Likes Cuse and Nova a lot (that picture above is of him with a Syracuse assistant), but Maryland has been there the entire time and I think he's already been to College Park. People say he's a "Big East guy", but they said that about Tobias Harris, too.
Comparison: Umm...Eric Hayes, anyone? Their games are very similar. Cooney is a bit more aggressive with his shot and is more of a pure SG, but the senior Eric Hayes and the freshman Trevor Cooney would have similar styles.
Links: ESPN, Scout, Rivals, Ridiculous Dunk
Michael Gbinije, SG/SF, 6-6, 194, Benedictine (VA), Team Takeover
Schools Considered: UNC, Alabama, Wake Forest, Oklahoma
Star Ratings: 95 / /
Ranks: #24 overall, #8 SG / #4 SG / #29 overall, #6 SF
Major Strengths: Smoooth. Has a complete, all-around game, from a jumper to ballhandling to athleticism. Can do everything, and does everything smoothly.
Needs Improvement: He can disappear at times. Whether this is mindset, talent, teammates, or aggressiveness, I don't know, but that shouldn't happen with his skillset.
Odds: He got on campus early, so I'm assuming there's some level of mutual interest. He likes UNC and I'm afraid of Alabama and Oklahoma here (two former VCU coaches, who make Richmond their territory). That said, there's no reason Maryland shouldn't be in it. Also, plays for somewhat Terp-friendly Team Takeover.
Comparison: Definitely see some Evan Turner in him with that complete game. He's a little smoother and wing-oriented than Turner, though, more like James Anderson in that regard.
Links: ESPN, Scout, Rivals, ESPN HSH Write-up, ESPN Super Showcase Write-up
Sterling Gibbs, PG, 6-1, 180, Seton Hall (NJ), New York Panthers
Schools Considered: Villanova, Pitt, Indiana, Rutgers, Notre Dame
Star Ratings: 90 / /
Ranks: UNR / #135, #30 PG / #22 PG
Major Strengths: Quick, strong ballhandler. Has good PG instincts on the floor. "Carbon copy" of Ashton Gibbs, his brother, who plays for Pitt. Ashton will likely be All-Big East this year. Made the USA U17 team, and they don't just let chumps join that team. Has an amazing name. Get the vibe that he's underrated.
Needs Improvement: Shot is rather flat, limiting his range a little bit. He's more of a combo at this point than a true point guard, which could be problematic considering Maryland already has two of those on-board.
Odds: He seems to really like Maryland, and he's already been on campus. If Maryland gets an early commit, I wouldn't be surprised if this was it.
Comparison: Ashton Gibbs, obviously, but also Adrian Bowie. Think about it: flat jumper, quick, about 6-1, solid defender. He just has better court instincts and his jumper, while flat, is a little better than Bowie's at this point.
Links: ESPN, Scout, Rivals, NBE Piece, Box of M.E.S.S. Interview, Sophomore Highlights
Devin Langford, SG, 6-6, 180, Lee (AL), Alabama Challenge
Schools Considered: Illinois, Alabama, Wake Forest
Star Ratings: 88 / UNR / UNR
Ranks: UNR / UNR / UNR
Major Strengths: For someone relatively quiet on the internet front, I like Langford a lot. He's a really intriguing guy, because he has the look and build of a great player. He has a lot of skills and is smart and instinctual. I've heard him mentioned as playing anywhere from the 1 to the 3, giving Maryland a lot of versatility in using him.
Needs Improvement: Consistency and a killer instinct are nowhere to be found, at least not yet. Far from a great shooter at this point, too. He's flying under the radar, and there's usually a reason why, but that's not known yet.
Odds: Supposedly like Illinois a lot, but he's also a Maryland fan and likes the Terps. Doesn't have a killer offer yet. Considering that Maryland hasn't even offered yet and they're in the top five, I'd say the odds here are good should they press.
Comparison: Kind of reminds me of Brandon Roy, though less talented, obviously. Intriguing jack of all trades, master of none kind of deal. Not as consistent or solid as Roy at this point.
Links: ESPN, Scout, Rivals, Quick Mention (as a PG)
Dai-Jon Parker, SG, 6-3, 180, Milton (GA), Southern Kings
Schools Considered: Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn
Star Ratings: 95 / /
Ranks: #31 overall, #11 SG / #7 SG / #17 overall, #4 SG
Major Strengths: Let me say this: I love Dai-Jon Parker. Good build with complete game. Has a good scorer's mentality. Is quick and athletic and a great finisher, but his shot is still very solid, so he's tough to defend. Good defender to boot. Has a mean streak and attack mode, like a tougher Greivis Vasquez. Even has good court vision and passing. Athletic leaper.
Needs Improvement: Like Brown, he's on the small side for a SG. Came out of nowhere this summer to basically explode on a national level - not saying it was a fluke, but it was surprising. His ballhandling can be suspect, but his speed and quickness make up for that. Stroke isn't pretty, but it's effective and the shot goes in.
Odds: Don't know. Maryland's been hitting Milton hard, looking at his teammate Julian Royal as well. Haven't heard enough about him for me to feel confident yet. Unfortunately, plays for a Nike AAU team and Nike's Director of Scouting really likes him. Didn't mention Maryland in this recent video (on the left), but he said he wants to stay on the East Coast and go up north.
Comparison: Has Arron Afflalo's size and defending ability, and his shooting isn't much worse. More athletic, though.
Links: ESPN, Scout, Rivals, ESPN Thanksgiving Classic Write-up, ESPN Prather Memorial Write-up