I've learned my Twitter lesson, but this is a lot better than what went down last week. Mike Jones, DeMatha's head coach, tweeted today that Bino Ranson, currently an assistant coach at Xavier, has been tabbed as Maryland's next assistant coach. InsideMDSports retweeted it and a random George Mason basketball blog seems to agree as well, as does WNST, so there's a very high probability that this one is true.
[Note by Ben Broman, 06/05/10 2:09 PM EDT - Apparently not official yet, but will likely be by Monday.]
Bino, born Orlando, Ranson has been one of my favorites since Day One. If this doesn't establish the legendary "Baltimore pipeline", nothing will. Ranson, 35, is Baltimore born-and-bred, good friends with Juan Dixon (apparently Dixon made a big push for it to be Ranson, and when that happens you listen), and has amazing connections to the area. If you send Ranson and Keith Booth into Baltimore and don't land at least one Sean Mosley-caliber player every other year or so, it'd be a pretty big surprise.
Even though he's been hidden in Cincinnati, he's mostly recruited the East Coast for Xavier. That means that his connections to the area are still strong and he still knows his way around coaches and recruits. He may not be a stud Xs and Os guy, but with Gary Williams and Joe Harrington on board, is that all that big of a deal? I can't say for sure, but the recruiting credibility he brings is sizable.
His history is pretty strong. He brought Baltimore big man Jordan Latham to Xavier in the 2010 cycle, and - nothing against Berend or Haukur - I gladly would've added him to the back of Maryland's class; he was also the lead guy on Will Barton and Victor Oladipo. For 2011, he's been even more active: he's Xavier's lead recruiter for Mikael Hopkins, Dorian Finney-Smith, Desmond Hubert, and Greg Lewis, all of which are Maryland targets.
The importance of this can't be understated. Talk about hitting the ground running; there will be very little adjustment time for Ranson, especially when it comes to these guys. Heck, Finney-Smith just took a visit to Xavier over the weekend; I'd be surprised if he didn't check out Maryland in the future, too. A guy like Patsos or Caputo would've been great too, but neither are as involved in these recruits as Ranson is right now.
Ranson has a reputation as a big-time, charasmatic recruiter, especially in the DMV. In that sense, I don't know how much better Maryland and Gary Williams could've done. It's still untold how he'll make the transition from Xavier to Maryland, but it's certainly less of a jump than George Mason to Maryland; right now, I'm liking the hire.
That said, it's important to keep our expectations in check. Ranson may be great (or he might end up awful, either way) but he's still working and operating within and under Gary Williams. Don't expect the Josh Selbys and Aquille Carrs of the world to suddenly start falling out of the sky. Ranson has the potential to be a step forward when it comes to recruiting in the area, but that potential likely won't extend into the higher reaches of the five-stars. Instead, it'll probably help with guys like Finney-Smith and Hopkins, but that's still nothing to sneexe at. It's still a pretty big leap from what Maryland's done recently.
Also, he's little more than that potential, at least right now. I do think he could be great in the coming years, but Maryland has struck out fantastically on assistant coaching hires in the past, too. He seems great now and hopefully he can prove himself in the future, but nothing's ever guaranteed.
I'll leave you with one quote that should make the recruitniks of the community happy:
Recruiting every day, wherever. Trying to find players. Keeping the relationships with the players that you do know. Recruiting's like shaving - you have to do it every day or you'll look like a bum. That's my motto.