Give Mark Turgeon some serious credit: if he gets knocked off the horse, he jumps back on real quick.
Less than two weeks ago, Turgeon and the Maryland Terrapins lost out on Andrew and Aaron Harrison to Kentucky. Now, only 12 days later, they've got their man: Roddy Peters, a composite four-star prospect and the most highly-regarded recruit in Maryland's recruiting area, committed to the Terrapins today, choosing the Terps over the likes of Kansas, UCLA, and Georgetown.
I won't go so far as to say "Harrisons who?", but I won't blame you if you do.
It wasn't long ago that Peters was a relative unknown campaigning for a Terps offer, essentially calling Maryland his dream school. He joined D.C. Assault and lit up the AAU circuit, drawing plaudits from scouts and offers from high-level programs - including, eventually, Maryland's. After his recruitment seemed to slow down slightly while the Harrisons' ramped up, some were worrying if the Terrapins, former favorites, had dug themselves into a hole. Apparently not.
Peters is, of course, probably not as promising a prospect as either of the Twins, but he's a darned good one in his own right. 247sports' Jerry Meyer considers him a five-star prospect and the third-best point guard behind only Andrew Harrison and Florida commit Kasey Hill; not everyone is that bullish on him (me included), but he's a consensus top-50 guy and unquestionably fills the biggest hole on Maryland's roster: an elite-level point guard to run the show.
He's long and lanky, listed at 6-4 and probably every bit that size. He's not particularly quick or explosive as an athlete, but he's a smart and undeniably crafty player, which is right up Turgeon's wheelhouse. He's a bit of an old-school type, not blowing anyone away but using his understanding of the game to find open spots on the floor, either for himself or using his vision to find teammates. And his great skill on the ball helps, too. He's more of a combo than a true point guard, or at least has been in the past, so there could be a little tweaking to be done. But I imagine Turgeon, of course a former crafty point guard himself, will take to that with vigor.
I'm not sure if Peters will start immediately - that probably depends at least somewhat on how Seth Allen does this season. But he'll get major minutes quickly, and seems a missing piece to a well-balanced, dangerous roster.
His commitment is important for other reasons, too: he's the first D.C. recruit to commit to Maryland since Adrian Bowie, back in 2007, which is mind-boggling considering the amount of talent D.C.'s put out since then. He's also the first D.C. Assault kid to commit since ... ever? Assault, long a big-time power broker in the D.C., had notoriously poor relations with Gary Williams. Turgeon went to great lengths in order to smooth things over, hiring Assault alumnus Dalonte Hill as an assistant at the same time DCA switched over to Under Armour. This should be a long and fruitful relationship, and landing Peters is just the start of it.
In all, this says a lot about Maryland. Recovering quickly and strongly on recruiting misses is something that only the very best can do with consistency, and Maryland did it here. That they did it with a D.C. kid makes it all the more impressive (and important).
More on how this changes things for Maryland going forward is coming later. Peters isn't a game-changing recruit, but with the right pieces around him he could be a huge factor on the court. As for recruiting, my initial instinct is that Maryland might just shut the 2013 class down for the moment, saving the scholarship space for a Smotrycz/Wells opportunity down the road or for the talented 2014 class, where they have much more pronounced structural advantages. Either way, Maryland got its guy today, and that's worth celebrating.