Can't we ever have any football news around these parts? I feel like all we've done over the past week is run around and stare at the fires forming in the Comcast Center.
The new one today: Justin Anderson is decommitting! zOMG! Or something.
It started as a lowly Twitter rumor from a VT hoops guy. Then it spread, and now Anderson's AAU coach, the venerable Boo Williams, is saying that "it's possible" that Anderson will decommit from Maryland and head over to Virginia, of all places.
UPDATE 6:50: Josh Barr just posted a new story semi-confirming the "reconsideration" (ie, decommitment).
Justin Anderson committed to Maryland in March, but the Montrose Christian second-team All-Met is reconsidering his options after the Terrapins' recent coaching change.
Anderson visited Virginia on Wednesday and could make another trip - most likely to Virginia Tech - before reaching a decision on where he wants to play in college.
He didn't source any of it, so that's a little weird and gives me pause, but I'll trust him for now. A visit to VT should scare you - that's where Ehsan is and the Hokies are actually looking like a legit team over the next few years. Anderson would probably elevate them to the top level of the conference.
If you're scratching your head, you aren't alone. Anderson decommitting so hastily would be a surprise, but he's only a rising senior. He still has a year to decide where he's going - if he's really opening back up, you'd think he'd actually open it up, not just commit to UVA right away.
And, well, there's that whole thing about how UVA's system wouldn't showcase the athletic talents of a run-and-jumper like Anderson. Seriously - the Hoos had the 9th-slowest tempo in the country last year. Only Penn St. and Wisconsin - which you may remember combined to play the ugliest game of basketball in history - were slower.
Not much of this makes any sense, and it would be one of the bigger shocks I've ever witnessed in recruiting. It makes so little sense that I urge strong caution before you jump into it with two feet - something's obviously up, but it'd be just immeasurably bizarre if he committed to UVA anytime soon.
If there's anything to this, six names immediately come to mind as replacements. Jerami Grant and Arnaud Adala Moto are the local options. Grant, who's a lanky 6-7, plays for DeMatha and was the highest-ranked local prospect, after Anderson of course, in the most recent Rivals rankings. Adala Moto is an African import who plays for Episcopalian in northern Virginia; he burst onto the scene with a strong showing in the spring. Both play for Team Takeover, an AAU program that new assistant Dalonte Hill has some pretty strong ties to.
There are two non-local recruits that Maryland has been tracking that could help fill the hole: Twymond Howard, from Mississippi, and Amile Jefferson, from Philly. Howard at one point had Maryland in his top three if his Rivals profile can be believed, though given that you hear so little about him that may no longer be accurate. Jefferson, a former five-star, is starting to fall back into four-star territory. He's a bit of a face-up four, but he could easily play the wing with a little bit of work.
The other two names are a little more tantalizing, and also unfamiliar: Torian Graham, a 6-4 wing from Durham, and Marcus Smart, also 6-4 and from the Dallas area. Graham plays for D.C. Assault (for a reason I still don't fully grasp) and is easily their best player this year. He just committed to N.C. State, which makes it unlikely that anything will happen, but the gloves come off when you get desperate. The connection there, of course, is Hill again, and pulling Graham - a player many consider to be just about as good as Anderson, if not even better - would be a pretty huge coup.
Smart, meanwhile, is probably the closest thing to Anderson in this class. Though he's a little shorter than Anderson, he has a wide frame. He's athletic, fiercely competitive, and has a very complete game, with the exception of some spotty shooting. He's a grinder, someone who can wear players down with his strength and energy. He plays defense well, can handle the ball, and can even rebound. He's an attractive player for his motor and versatility. He might need to be paired with someone more dynamic, but with Terrell Stoglin and Nick Faust in the lineup, that shouldn't be an immediate problem. Both Turgeon and Hill were recruiting him at their old jobs, so there should be a relationship there.
In other news, Martin Breunig can officially be crossed off the list. Not that this is a surprise, of course, given that he's been taking visits. It sounds like Turgeon didn't push too hard, but let's not pretend to know exactly what went on. This gives Maryland nine scholarship players in 2011, with six available for the 2012 recruiting class. Seth Allen is claiming one of those; Anderson might be claiming another.
And, for the record, Rivals just came out with their rankings for the 2013 class, if you're into that sort of thing. . The top player isn't Chris(t) Thomas, but instead Andrew Harrison, the 6-5 PG from Texas who Maryland's been recruiting for some time now. Harrison's twin brother, Aaron, is at #9. BeeJay Anya is getting to "must-get" territory, as he's now up to a five-star and is at #16 nationally. Nate Britt, one of the best PGs in the class, is at #33. And hey, Aquille Carr is at #53! Too bad he probably won't play college ball.