Maryland's small forward prospects seem much more grim than they did about a week ago. The latest wound comes from Arnaud Adala Moto, the Cameroonian SF playing for Team Takeover and Episcopal (VA), who cut Maryland from his list. Moto's list includes Florida, Miami, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest - and no Terps.
In retrospect, it's not terribly surprising, mostly because Moto has never at any point been a priority for Maryland, old staff or new. The old staff passed over him in favor of Justin Anderson. The new staff is making Amile Jefferson and Jake Layman priorities. While I have no doubt they were still recruiting him, only so much time can be allocated to a SF who is third (or lower) on the list.
(Sidenote: I really hope he ends up at UCLA. Get him out of the ACC, and I hate Vandy and Florida. Plus I think it'd be fun to watch him in UCLA's system.)
And so Moto made his cut. Normally I wouldn't be concerned by it, but combined with the other recent recruiting developments for SFs, I'm starting to get shaky. First Jerami Grant cut Maryland from his list. Then Jake Layman reneged on an earlier comment claiming Maryland as his leader, and it appears he's opening the focus of his recruitment with all of his newfound interest from heavy-hitting schools. And now Moto.
So, unless they fight back into the recruitments of Grant or Danuel House (or perhaps Twymond Howard) or identify a new target at the 3, Mark Turgeon & Co. are looking at two present options at SF: Layman and Jefferson, both of which are being recruited by a host of high-major programs and have given no indication that Maryland leads (anymore).
(But good news on the Amile front: despite an earlier report that St. John's had "put itself in the mix" for Jefferson, he said he's had no contact with the Johnnies' staff. Doesn't mean his father hasn't, and it doesn't mean it's not coming, but you've got to start somewhere. And that's really late to get in on a recruitment.)
The Terrapins are in the top group for both, that's for sure, but haven't appeared to gain any distance on any of the others. Jefferson in particular is shaping up to be a dogfight. Unless they just decide to skip out on a 3 this class - and they might, given they brought in three of them in the past two classes - there'll be some nail-biting going on.
Unfortunately, this is just what happens in late July and August. Players cut lists, and teams must focus their own lists on the high-priority targets. Insurance plans like Moto probably was are a luxury, and you certainly can't count on them. All the more reason to just go out and land Jefferson, I suppose.