Never Too Early: Overviewing Maryland's Targets in the 2012 Basketball Recruiting Class

Let's do it. via media.scout.com

A week ago, we did an overview of the 2012 football recruiting targets. A few people have asked for something similar for basketball recruiting, so I was able to throw this together over the past week.

After all, there's nothing quite like basketball recruiting to cheer a Terps fan up, right? (Oh, what's that? Maryland's awful at it? Oh well, we're obsessed with it anyway.)

First off, the handy-dandy scholarship chart:

11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15
Sean Mosley James Padgett Pe'Shon Howard Sterling Gibbs
Berend Weijs Jordan Williams Haukur Palsson Nick Faust
James Padgett Pe'Shon Howard Ashton Pankey X
Jordan Williams Haukur Palsson Mychal Parker X
Pe'Shon Howard Ashton Pankey Terrell Stoglin X
Haukur Palsson Mychal Parker Sterling Gibbs X
Ashton Pankey Terrell Stoglin Nick Faust X
Mychal Parker Sterling Gibbs X X
Terrell Stoglin Nick Faust X X
Sterling Gibbs X X X
Nick Faust X X X
X X X X
X X X X

Quick explanation for it: if there's a name, they're currently taking a scholarship. An X is an open scholarship. If the X is red, the scholarship should already be taken up by the time those spots get to being filled - ie, there are four "open" scholarships for 12-13 (the '12 recruiting class), but two of them will hopefully be filled with Martin Breunig and Wally Judge (or anyone else), so the '12 class should have two open scholarships. That may change, but for now, that's about all you should expect.

(For the record, I do think that'll change - between Jordan Williams, transfers, and Maryland missing on its final 2011 targets, I could see as many as four open schollies, but again: count on two for now, and expand if needed.)

Now, onto the positionals: without knowing what happens in the rest of 2011, it's tough to tell exactly where Maryland needs to focus for 2012. They seem set with point guards, having brought in three in the past two years. SG or SF might be a better focus: Nick Faust, Mychal Parker, and Haukur Palsson are all in, but they'll need at least one more to get two at both the 2 and 3.

They almost certainly need at least one post player. There's no guarantee that Jordan Williams will be around for all four years, and James Padgett and Ashton Pankey are essentially crapshoots as future starters. Who knows if Pankey will even be healthy? Post depth is a serious concern, and they could use a legitimate starter on the inside, too. Pulling Wally Judge might mitigate that concern slightly, but I'd be very surprised if 2012 didn't include at least one post player.

Onto the player profiles:

Arnaud Adala-Moto, SF, 6-5, 215 (Episcopal, Alexandria, VA): Not much is known about the Cameroonian wing, with even proper measurements tough to come by. If the measurements are right, he has a nice build, though I would imagine he's a little raw, as most imports are. He's put up some gaudy numbers and his location would make him a natural candidate for consideration at Maryland. Again, little is known, but he's definitely one to watch.
Competition: Georgetown, Wake Forest
Video: n/a
Rankings: ESPN: No profile Rivals: NR Scout: No profile

Justin Anderson, SF, 6-5, 210 (Montrose Christian/Rockville, MD): Originally from the Fredericksburg area in VA, Anderson has become a bit of a recruiting demigod for Terrapin fans. He's ultra-athletic, has a chip on his shoulder, and plays great defense. He was originally one of the class' most highly-ranked recruits, but his game didn't develop quite with his body. It's just now catching up, as his jumper and ballhandling is improving. He's extremely hotly-recruited and will be a battle, but he's probably Maryland's best chance a top-50 type talent.
Competition: Duke, Georgetown, Oklahoma, Texas, UVA, VT
Video: [ONEent Mixtape] [Single Game Highlights] [The Mars Reel]
Rankings: ESPN, 95, #12 SF, #51 overall Rivals, #11 SF, #43 overall Scout, #6 SF, #32 overall

Cinmeon Bowers, PF, 6-7, 230 (Rufus King, Milwaukee, WI): Maryland offered the wide-bodied Milwaukean back in summer, and he planned to take a visit in August (and likely did). He has a surprising amount of athleticism and skills for his size, though his height will likely be a liability at the next level. Think of him like a really thick combo forward. Scout calls him a "bull in a china shop" in the post. It's too early to set up tiers with priority, but my early gut says Bowers' current level of desirability is similar to Sterling Gibbs': he's not exactly Plan A, but you take him if he wants in.
Competition: DePaul, Iowa (offers); Florida State, Illinois, Marquette, Michigan, Xavier
Video: n/a
Rankings: ESPN, 91, #22 PF, #91 overall Rivals, #28 PF, #108 overall Scout, #11 PF, #44 overall

Shaquille Cleare, C, 6-9, 285 (The Village School, Houston, TX): Quite possibly Maryland's top post recruit, Cleare has a bonus: he's good friends with the Harrison twins, two 2013 stars that Maryland is also recruiting. But Cleare is well worth recruiting in his own right: he's the closest thing there is to Jordan Williams in today's high school game. He's wide-bodied with good hands, surprising feet, strong post moves, and great rebounding. He's not quite the beast running the floor that Jordan is, but he's probably more developed inside. He'll be a hot commodity, and is probably a longshot for Maryland, but they'll push anyway.
Competition: Arizona, Kansas, Marquette, Texas, Texas A&M, UVA, a few dozen others (unclear as to how many have offered)
Video: [High School Video] [247 Highlights]
Rankings: ESPN, 97, #6 C, #19 overall Rivals, #7 C, #27 overall Scout, #7, #25 overall

Jerami Grant, SF, 6-7, 185 (Dematha, Hyattsville, MD): The Grant family has produced some real top-flight basketball talent: pops Harvey and uncle Horace both starred in the NBA, while Jerai Grant is starring at Clemson while Jerian is now at Notre Dame. They say Jerami might be the best of the bunch: he's long and athletic, a prototypical SF if there ever was one. His shooting is streaky and he needs to bulk up, but he more than enough potential. Maryland hasn't offered yet and hasn't been a strong presence in Dematha for years, but he's worth watching.
Competition: Marquette, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, UVA, VT
Video: n/a
Rankings: ESPN: , 91, #25 SF, #90 overall Rivals: , #13 SF, #50 overall Scout: , #8 SF, #43 overall

Twymond Howard, SF, 6-5, 200 (Pearl, Pearl, MS): Maryland's started to hit pretty hard on the Mississippi area, getting close on both Johnny O'Bryant and LaQuinton Ross. The Terrapins missed on both, but they're looking to hit on Howard. He's a natural scorer, with a great build, mid-range game, and a knack for scoring. Rivals lists his top three as Georgetown, Kansas, and Maryland, which means the Terrapins might have a better chance here than anyone is expecting.
Competition: Baylor, Georgetown, Mississippi State, Tennessee
Video: [Season Highlights]
Rankings: ESPN, 92, #19 SF, #69 overall Rivals, #6 SF, #31 overall Scout, #11 SF, #52 overall

Amile Jefferson, PF, 6-7, 185 (Friends Central, Philadelphia, PA): If you're worried about a guy like Cleare being a longshot, well, you might want to stop reading now. Jefferson is the very definition of longshot as far as Maryland goes: he's a legitimate top 20 talent, one with all types of suitors. His height and weight is a problem, but his athleticism is unbelievable and his feel for the game is surprisingly good as well. ESPN calls him "a jump shot away from being special."
Competition: Duke, Georgetown, UNC, Ohio State, Syracuse, Villanova
Video: [Spring Highlights]
Rankings: ESPN: , 97, #3 PF, #9 overall Rivals: , #8 PF, #30 overall Scout:: , #2 PF, #10 overall

Charles Mitchell, PF, 6-7, 220 (Wheeler, Marietta, GA): Mitchell seems like the southern version of Cinmeon Bowers. Both are kind of short, stocky power forwards with surprisingly developed offensive games. ESPN says he has weaknesses in both rebounding and conditioning, which are troubling considering his height. 
Competition: Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech 
Video: n/a
Rankings: ESPN, 92, #15 PF, #69 overall Rivals, #16 PF, #62 Scout

Daniel Ochefu, C, 6-9, 225 (Westtown, Westtown, PA): Don't get your hopes up. Maryland's been in contact with Ochefu and he may've even visited, but he loves Georgetown and the competition is extremely strong. He's a five-star, after all. He's extremely skilled; in any other class, he's probably around a #2 or #3 C.
Competition: Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, UNC, Texas, Villanova, Virginia, West Virginia
Video: n/a
RankingsESPN, 97, #7 C, #20 overall Rivals, #6 C, #16 overall Scout, #6 C, #15 overall

James Robinson, PG, 6-3, 195 (Dematha, Hyattsville, MD): Point guard is far from a priority for Maryland in the 2012 class, and minutes will likely be scant there. But I've always been of the belief that it can't hurt to take a PG a year, and I wouldn't be surprised if Maryland offered and decided to see what happen, especially if they only take one more for 2011. Robinson has a great build and is a natural PG, with great savvy. Think of him as a Pe'Shon Howard type of player.
Competition: BC, Georgetown, Marquette, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Rutgers, UVA
Video: n/a
Rankings: ESPN: , 94, #7 PG, #60 overall Rivals: , #13 PG, #85 overall Scout: , #11 PG, #72 overall

J.P. Tokoto, SF, 6-5, 190 (Menomonee Falls, Menomonee Falls, WI): Another guy who probably falls under the "long shot" category, but so be it. He recently cut his list to eight, and Maryland made the cut. He's extraordinarily talented and used to be a top ten talent before a mediocre showing at last year's NBPA camp; I'd be surprised if he didn't get back up to that level. Again, he's a longshot, but then again, we were saying the same thing about Desmond Hubert this time last year. He seems to me like a more skilled Justin Anderson, albeit with a weaker body.
Competition: UConn, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, UNC, UCLA, Wisconsin
Video: [HDWD Video] [CLHTV Video] [Yayareasfinest Video]
Rankings: ESPN: , 96, #4 SF, #32 overall Rivals: , #10 SF, #40 overall Scout: , #7 SF, #42 overall

Other Names to Know: Shakir Brown, SF, 6-5, 205 (SFA, Baltimore, MD); Omar Calhoun, SG, 6-3, 170 (Christ the King, New York, NY); Daquan Cook, PG, 6-1, 180 (Digital Harbor, Baltimore, MD); Phillip Nolan, C, 6-10, 260 (St. Benedict's, Milwaukee, WI)

Let's have some fun: Maryland finished the 2011 class with Breunig and Judge. Which two does Marlyand fill its 2012 class with? I have to say, legitimate targets are a bit weak so far.

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