I have a post scheduled about Maryland's seniors on senior day, and it'll be up in about an hour. But first, some fun: Maryland's senior class this year should've had six players. Instead, it has three: Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, and Dino Gregory. So what happened to the other half? Y'know, the two really highly-rated guys and that one British guy?
I'm glad you asked. Let's go through:
Ah, ol' Brax. He was regarded at the time of his commitment as one of Baltimore's best big men in years. Thanks to his considerable girth, he was supposed to be the next Lonny Baxter. And if nothing else, he had some purdy post moves.
The problem was that, well, he really didn't have much else. His vertical might've been in the negatives. He appeared to not hustle. He wasn't very fast even when he did. And his much-lauded hands proved to be pretty much nonexistent. On top of that, his height (6-8) made him a defensive liability on the low post.
In other words, he was Bizarro Jordan Williams. He's short and wide, like Jordan, but lacked that hustle and soft hands that've made Jordan so, so good.
He started 14 games at Maryland, but never did much with them. Two points and two boards in 10 minutes definitely wasn't the expectation from a highly-touted Baltimorean. When Maryland received commitments from Jordan Williams and James Padgett after his sophomore year, the writing was pretty obviously on the wall.
So he transferred to the sensible option of Towson, right around his native Baltimore. He's started every game for the Tigers this year, his first with the team, and is averaging around 12 points and 8 boards per game.
A Brit who crossed the pond to play at basketball powerhouses Bishop Ireton and Montrose Christian, Walker picked Maryland over Georgetown and VT. He was 6-10 and about 215, expected to be a long, athletic 4, almost in the mold of a Chris Wilcox (though not as good).
To be honest, I don't remember much about Walker's situation. He received limited playing time in 24 games in his freshman season, but he got about as much burn as Dupree. He stood a good chance to receive playing time, despite a lack of refinement to his game.
For whatever reason, he ended up transferring out after his freshman year, winding up at Loyola. He's done pretty well since then, averaging about 30 minutes a game and hovering around double-digit point totals. He, like Dupree, still has a year of eligibility left.
Oh, Gus. This is one of the most twisted tales in recruiting, and I'm not sure I'm qualified to tell it - I hadn't yet become addicted to it, and followed this story only loosely.
In short, Gilchrist was a hotly-recruited PF out of DC. He signed an LOI with Seth Greenberg and VT, but tried to get out of it, ostensibly because of safety concerns regarding the shooting tragedy. I'm still fuzzy on the details. Long story short, he ends up at Maryland, but because of "inter-conference transfer rules" is forced to lose an extra year of eligibility. (As the story goes, Debbie Yow supposedly voted in favor of that.)
So when all's said and done, he has about 2-and-a-half years of eligibility left. Understandably, he was upset about that, so after a few months he ended up transferring again, this time to South Florida.
And there's more to all this: his "trainer", Terrelle Woody, ended up at South Florida as well, only this time with a cushy job. And then USF had some questions asked about the whole thing.
Through all this, Gilchrist - who had undeniable talent and was recruited by Kentucky, Georgetown, and everyone else under the sun - is still at USF, is a junior, and is averaging about 13 points and 6 boards a game. And yes, he's still a saga.
Hopefully this answers some insatiable curiosity you had. Here's something interesting: Maryland has three of six players from this class still on team. The next class, Sean Mosley's, has one of three. That's four of nine.
If you're wondering why this year's team is so weak, there's a pretty good answer. Instead of having nine upperclassmen, there are four. That'll hurt.
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