I have good news and bad news from the AAU tourneys in Vegas and Orlando. Let's start out with the bad news, because it actually means something concrete: per NBE, Jerami Grant has cut his list (sorta) and Maryland isn't on it:
Jerami Grant has started to narrow down his school list, saying, "It's like six schools now, yeah. I'm starting to cut it down."
The half dozen finalists for the 6-foot-7 combo forward out of DeMatha HS and Team Takeover AAU are Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Texas, Oklahoma, Syracuse and Rutgers. Of those, he does "not really" have any favorites.
Now, could this be a Tobias Harris moment, where he just doesn't list Maryland this time around but is still considering them? Sure. And the Terps still have a chance to ge re-involved if they want to. But I'm guessing they won't, based on the other priorities they have right now.
So the SF focus past Amile Jefferson switches to Jake Layman and Arnaud Moto. And having seen both play now ... well, I'll defer to Turgeon's judgment here, but I'm not psyched about the prospects at the wing like I am elsewhere should Jefferson end up elsewhere, which is a very real possibility.
With that out of the way, let's make some people smile:
Mark Turgeon of Maryland with an assistant now checking out McGary. Turgeon as close to SYF bench as legally possible.
Sure, Duke and UNC are pursuing him, but not only is Maryland recruiting him the hardest, they're the closest to him. Literally.
Yep, just another indication that Maryland really wants McGary (who doesnt?). And speaking of McGary, it sounds like a decision isn't too far off, if things go according to plan:
Good media session w/Mitch McGary. Wide open right now, planning November decision. SYF gets the win over Southern Phenoms.
For those of you thinking "November is 'not too far off'?" Well, in recruiting, yeah, not really. It's like three or four months, sure, but it's a lot better than him saying February, which is pretty common as well. And that's good news, because it's less time for a school that more recently got in the game to make a big impression.
If you're wondering, Turge was among a host of other high-major coaches - Billy Donovan, Coach K, Mark Fox, Jim Calhoun, and assistants for N.C. State, Michigan, and UNC - checking out McGary against Philly-based Team Final. Turgeon got around on the day, also checking out a game between Baltimore Stars and Texas Titans as well as a more eclectic matchup of Tennessee Travelers and SC Ravens.
For the first, it's likely that he was checking out Prince Ibeh, and it had the nice side effect of him being seen by Baltimore players; relationship-building and whatnot. The second is ... scouting? SC Ravens does have Brice Johnson, a highly-ranked PF, but it's a bit late to get in on his recruitment. Dunno about that one.
As far as recruiting news goes, not too much is breaking here, but NBE had a couple of interesting updates. First of all, you may remember that Nate Britt mentioned a few weeks ago that the schools recruiting him the hardest were Virginia, Villanova, and Georgetown. He's now added Maryland to that list, it would appear:
- The four schools hardest after Nate Britt have been Georgetown, Maryland, Virginia and Villanova with all four schools having offered the 2013 star.
Whether or not Maryland lands Britt (or the Harrisons), it's so refreshing to see them consistently listed as "recruiting [Recruit X] the hardest." I can't think of a player Maryland truly wants who hasn't said something to that effect.
Oh, and speaking of recruiting people the hardest, check this out about Charlotte 2013 center Kennedy Meeks:
Kennedy Meeks is one of the more fun kids to watch play. The 6-foot-8 center seems to really enjoy playing the game and is so nimble for his large size (260+ lbs) it is quite impressive. Meeks can really move for a big kid and he also has some good post moves to finish at the cup. He is a superb shot blocker with good timing on his jumps. Meeks is not the most athletic kid around and he could stand to lose a few pounds to help him increase his stamina, but he is one of the best bigs in the crop of rising juniors (Class of 2013).
Meeks holds offers from Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Miami, Maryland, North Carolina State, North Florida, Louisville, Clemson, and Tennessee. He is also hearing from Georgetown and others, specifically noting, "Everybody in the ACC [is] showing interest, but I'm just not sure of them that haven't offered."
Meeks' most recent offers have come from Clemson, Miami and Tennessee. The West Charlotte (NC) High School standout said Maryland is recruiting him the hardest.
At this point, Georgetown is his favorite. He is "not sure" if he would commit on the spot to the Hoyas if offered.
Short and stout center - sounds a lot like BeeJay Anya, or even Shaq Cleare for that matter. I'd prefer Anya due to the local angle, but Meeks is a four-star/five-star type in his own right, and landing him early would be big. The Georgetown interest is a little off-putting, of course, but recruits' favorites are notorious to change rapidly.
And if you're getting depressed about the Grant news, here's a reminder that Maryland is still in on Arnaud Moto, who is also listing Wake Forest, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Miami, NC State, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Florida and Georgia. Pretty impressive list, though there's no saying how many (or which) of those schools have actually offered.
Oh, and speaking of DC-based African immigrants who play basketball well: D.C. Assault has plenty of them, all of which appear to have a connection to shady handler extraordinaire Joe Boncore. Maryland is reportedly interested in 6-11 Emmanuel Ndumanya, who is a 2013 prospect. It's early, but keep an eye out to see if anything comes of it. He has the size.
2012 combo guard Sam Cassell Jr. is also claiming a Maryland offer, by the way, but I'm not sure how much I buy it. He could be making more of it than it is, or perhaps the "offer" isn't really committable just yet (think Desmond Hubert's UNC "offer"). I'm liking the name connection, as well as the Jacob Pullen chin-beard, but I'm not quite sure I see the reasoning behind an offer, if it really exists. Maryland already has Seth Allen and is going in on Christian Sanders (don't forget about Isaiah Zierden, either), so Cassell - a point guard who isn't a top-notch shooter and is in the 2-star category - might be surplus, a Plan B or C type.
And let's finish up as we always seem to do: with something indicating how good Amile Jefferson is: at least one scout says he's a top-10 player. He is so quietly, consistently good. Despite the lack of a jumpshot, despite his middling build and athleticism, he just produces. McGary is the big fish of the class, but Amile seems underrated, and his commitment would be just as big in terms of on-court performance.