This may not be the six-man monster that was last year's class, but there's still plenty of intrigue and interest in Maryland's incoming freshmen. If you don't follow recruiting, though, these names aren't much more to you than that: just names. Over the next three days, we'll flesh out your knowledge of Maryland's three freshmen with template-tastic profiles. Make sure to check out Martin Breunig's as well.
Name: Sterling Gibbs
HS: Seton Hall Prep
From: West Orange, NJ
AAU: New York Panthers
Rankings: on Rivals; , 91 on ESPN, #26 PG; on Scout, #29 PG
Strengths: Sterling has fantastic bloodlines, as he's the younger brother of Pitt's all-everything point guard, Ashton Gibbs. Some have called him a "carbon copy" of Ashton, but I'm not sure I buy that. He used to be a pure scorer, but he's adapted very well to the point guard spot, which gives him (and Maryland) some versatility. He has great floor vision and is very poised. He's a natural scorer; he can hit open shots, finish at the hoop, or get to the line. He loves to penetrate and either finish or get fouled, while he's a pretty good FT shooter (thank God). He has a nice-looking shot and supposedly pretty good range so long as he gets a clean look at the basket. His biggest strength, though, is that stereotypical "NYC toughness." He's a scrappy fighter, someone who never gives up and would be at home in the Big East. Case in point: he consistently played a year up on the AAU circuit.
In a Turtleshell: A short combo guard who's becoming a full-time PG, Gibbs is hard-nosed and a surprisingly solid, prolific scorer, but minutes may be hard to come by early on.
Interesting Storyline: There are two interesting things about Gibbs, though neither of them are "storylines" per se. First, he's the brother of Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs, as mentioned above. Second, the last Terp from his high school: Alex Wujciak, who already gave his opinion on the guard.
Comparison: I keep going back to Adrian Bowie with a jump-shot and better point guard instincts. Like Bowie, he's quick, likes to penetrate, and is tough on defense despite being around 6-1. He has a better jumper, though, and may be more at home playing the point than Bowie.
Prediction: There's no reason Gibbs can't be an effective ACC starter before too long. His height isn't ideal, but plenty of players have overcome that. If Bowie can do it (if only for stretches at a time), there's no reason Gibbs can't, either. Offensively and defensively, he's a rather complete player. Early on, though, I don't know where the minutes are going to come from: one of Pe'Shon Howard or Terrell Stoglin will almost always be on the floor, and putting Gibbs out there at the same time gives Maryland a lineup short on both height and experience. In time, though, I get the vibe that Gibbs has a very high ceiling.
Other Useful Links: Rivals | ESPN | Scout | Bracken's Commitment Story | Team USA Profile | Sterling's Twitter | Local Paper Profile | Team USA Interview