Roddy Peters and the Importance of Momentum

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

After losing out on the Harrison twins, Maryland was able to recover quickly and nab a big-time target.

Tuesday morning, the news came in: Roddy Peters will be a Maryland Terrapin. He's one of the top point guards in the country, the top-rated player in the state of Maryland, and a future floor general with great on-the-ball skills.

I'm not here to talk about Peters' impact as a player with Maryland or what he brings to the table - Ben B. already covered that substantially. Instead, I'd like to briefly explore what this means for the state of Maryland's program and the future of their recruiting efforts.

Let's start by briefly looking at Maryland's recent history, with regards to top-rated in-state recruits.

Not including nine undecideds, there have been 42 four or five star prospects coming out of the state of Maryland since 2002 (Carmelo Anthony's class). Let's take a look at all the schools who got at least two of those recruits over the past decade or so.


Five Star Recruits

Four Star Recruits



2 (Freeman, Summers)

5 (Hopkins, Abraham, Starks, Sims, Sapp)




7 (Peters, Faust, Mosley, Gilchrist, Vasquez, Gist, Garrison)



2 (Donte Greene, Carmelo Anthony)

1 (Jerami Grant)



1 (Mouphtaou Yarou)

2 (Tyrone Johnson, Isaiah Armwood)


Florida State


3 (Echefu, Habel, Swann)



1 (Rudy Gay)

1 (Josh Boone)



1 (Dante Taylor)

1 (James Robinson)


Two things stick out - the lack of the Virginia schools (they each had one, bonus points if you can guess in the comments), and Maryland joining Florida State, who hasn't nabbed a Maryland recruit in over five years, as the only two schools without a five-star commitment.

At first glance, you might look at that table and think "Hey, it's not so bad. We're tied with Georgetown and they've always been a good program." But Georgetown isn't in Maryland. It's in DC. Maryland is the only major basketball program in the state, and those schools tend to lock down their area. There aren't many other schools in the same situation, but Minnesota, Arkansas, and Syracuse all held majorities in their home state. (There are some notable exceptions - Connecticut, who can recruit elsewhere by choice, West Virginia/Colorado/Nebraska, who don't have a large pool to choose from, and Boston College, who is Boston College).

For Maryland to become a factor again in the conference and in the country, they need to lock down that home base. That has started to change for the better, beginning with Faust's commitment last year. They have also brought in big names from outside the state, but with Faust and now Peters (with Damonte Dodd expected to be in the wings as well), you're starting to see that movement to "put a fence" around the state that's been talked about with the football program.

After losing out on the Twins Harrison, there were two schools of thought in regards to Maryland: "Hey, we held our own on two of the top recruits in the country and nearly beat out the best recruiter in the nation" and "Always the bridesmaid, never the bride." Both camps were worried about the fall out, namely with the two "back-up" targets, for lack of a better term - Peters and Rysheed Jordan.

When Jordan eliminated Maryland from his list, that pessimism grew. Fans feared that Maryland spent all of their energy on the twins, ignoring more reachable targets who still had a whole lot of talent and potential. The real fear was Peters, an in-state kid (the top in-state kid, at that) who rose out of relative oblivion to be one of the best point guards in the country. He had previously more or less said Maryland was his "dream school", but with Kansas and Georgetown pursuing, anything could happen.

And then the commitment happened. Roddy Peters pulled the trigger to Maryland, and while he may not be the Harrison twins, the Terps still managed to pull the top recruit in the state. People are going to take notice of that - particularly those other recruits in state, as we saw with the football program when the Good Counsel guys started to come in.

Mark Turgeon and Co. have turned around the recruiting ship of the Maryland Terrapins, sending it back towards a place of national prominence. The Terps have swung, and missed, at the big shots before, but usually fell back on a serviceable secondary option. This team, they managed to nab the best player in the state, and one who's always dreamed of going to the university. Sounds to me like that table will be shifting pretty soon.

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