Image via www.insidethehall.com
Mitch McGary has been Maryland's biggest target in the 2011 recruiting class for ages now, and it's seemed like all throughout the process Mark Turgeon and the Terrapins had a very real shot at landing the Indiana big man.
But as aholla points out in the FanPosts, all signs point to McGary more or less no longer seriously considering Maryland. In his most recent ESPNRise entry, he says he's not going to take any more visits past the three officials he's already taken, even canceling a previously scheduled Kentucky trip. He's been to both Florida and Maryland in the past, but the conventional wisdom is that the three official visits he took to Michigan, Duke, and North Carolina, will make up his top tier of schools. You have to consider not getting an official visit a blow to Maryland's chances with the best post player in the class.
Even if Maryland is still under serious consideration, it appears that Michigan is emerging as a serious frontrunner in the race. That's how the very reliable Dave Telep sees it, and he's not alone in that sentiment, sharing the thought with more than a few analysts. With the Michigan momentum snowballing, it's probably safe to start banking on McGary heading elsewhere unless Maryland can pull a miracle. Overcoming that without getting a visit is unlikely at best.
Before you get antsy about what this means for Turgeon's recruiting acumen, remember that he got a late start on McGary compared to Jim Beilen and everyone else, given his late hiring date. Even if he comes in fourth or fifth in the McGary sweepstakes, it's still fairly impressive given the competition, McGary's stature, and his start date. When he gets a full season or two - like he will on the Harrison twins - expect an even better performance.
Meanwhile, Maryland still has a fairly sizable hole in its 2012 class, particularly in the front court. There's still room for two or even three more additions, depending on how Turgeon wants to play it. Expect Philadelphia combo forward Amile Jefferson to become the new #1 target, and expect Maryland to have a fighting chance at landing the five-star prospect. He visited Maryland for the Miami game a month ago and there've been some rumors that the visit has Maryland climbing the list. It'll be a battle, but he'd be a huge boost to Turgeon's opening class, and give the Terrapins some insane length on the wings when paired with Jake Layman.
But Jefferson isn't a prototypical 4, which is probably the Terrapins' biggest hole at this point. Robert Carter, who is planning on visiting Maryland, is the best available prospect at that spot who's considering Maryland, and he'd be a stellar addition - he's a fantastic interior scorer with an ability to step out, and his offensive game is every bit as much as developed as McGary's, if not more so. Charles Mitchell, with whom Maryland has re-emerged with recently, is another target in the post.
You can't win them all in recruiting, a lesson this fanbase has more than well learned over the past decade or so. But with Maryland's current crop of recruits and their standing with highly-regarded 2013 prospects, there's still plenty of reason for optimism on the trail.