Say what you want to say about Mark Turgeon, but he works fast. Just days after being hired, he's already landed his first commitment of the 2012 class: Fredericksburg Christian (VA) 6-2 guard Seth Allen. Allen joins fellow Virginian Justin Anderson as the Maryland commitments in the 2012 class; the Terrapins will likely have at least five open scholarships in the class, thanks to the recent defections of Jordan Williams, Sterling Gibbs, Martin Breunig, and possibly Nick Faust.
Turgeon recruited Allen when he was at Texas A&M; he was the first to offer and was nearing a commitment, but the distance from home was keeping Allen from pulling the trigger. That isn't a problem at MD, as the drive from Fredericksburg to College Park isn't a long one.
Allen is a major sleeper; he's in the Rivals database, but isn't ranked. He's nowhere to be found in ESPN or Scout's database. It isn't particularly surprising; his HS used to be a doormat for basketball prior to his arrival, and his AAU team (Hoop Booth) is a small-time local one. In terms of exposure, he has almost none. (That said, he does have an offer from Central Florida (which is beginning to recruit at a high level) and interest from UVA.)
Exposure be damned: Turgeon has seen him, and likes what he sees, apparently quite a bit. Given that Turge's track record with sleepers include guys like Khris Middleton and Jordan Green (guys who were unknown when they committed) I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, especially considering how many scholarships Maryland should / will have in the 2012 class.
This may be some bet-hedging with Sterling Gibbs. Allen's height will likely limit him to playing point guard, perhaps in a Terrell Stoglin-esque role if nothing else. Taking Allen so quickly is likely an indication that Gibbs' current re-recruitment will land him somewhere other than Maryland.
So, what's Allen's game? Well, we don't really know. His coach described him as a left-handed Steve Francis, which presumably means a run-and-jump athlete with handles. He averaged 23 points for his HS team last season, which went 31-2 last season. They played Montrose Christian early in the year, a game in which Allen dropped 23 points on 16 shots, including 5-9 shooting from 3.
For the record, he also happens to be friends with fellow Maryland commitment Justin Anderson. While package deals are never guaranteed, his presence can only help matters.
In fact, he once considered going to Montrose Christian to play with Anderson, but he lived in NoVa and couldn't commute every day. Now that he's committed to Maryland, I wouldn't be surprised if Turgeon encouraged him to find a way for that to work, or for Stu Vetter to encourage it.
FYI: I don't yet buy into the fact that this proves anything about Turgeon, nor that Allen is a particularly great recruit. But I also don't see any harm in taking an early commitment from a sleeper with some high-major interest. Turgeon has the track record here, so hopefully it works out. It'll be interesting to see if he switches AAU teams or transfers for his final year to get more high-major competition.
Welcome to the family, Seth.
UPDATE: Check out Evan Daniels' commitment story, with quotes. His coach says he has a 40-inch vert.