Maryland Basketball Recruiting: Terps Offer Jerron Wilbut, Increase Guard Pursuits

Image via www.ny2lasports.com

Maryland and Mark Turgeon have seemingly wanted to add a guard to their 2012 recruiting class for some time now. For a good period, we thought their options consisted of versatile combo Sam Cassell Jr., French sniper Marco Bourgault, and perhaps D.C. native and bouncy wing Darrick Wood. In the past week, though, we've seen the additions of two more names on the horizon: California point Trey Dickerson and Illinois two-guard Jerron Wilbut.

Wilbut is the bigger and more recent name of the two. Rivals.com analyst Jerry Meyer mentioned in passing on Twitter earlier today that Maryland has recently offered the 6-2 Illinois shooting guard, along with Memphis, Oregon, Nebraska, and Virginia Tech. The offers have all come recently, as the combination of a very strong senior season and the disappearance of other high-level guards has served him well (as it does many). However, he's not an unknown commodity: he's a three-star on all major services, rated 91 on ESPN and in Rivals' top 150.

The more I read about him, the more I like him. (In fact, I like him a lot, partially because I see a role for him on the team right away.) The general consensus seems to be that he's bouncy and athletic, and he makes his living as a slasher with good first step and feel for the game. He's also a dangerous shooter, especially when he has time to set from deep. He purportedly has a good handle and is willing to facilitate when need be. What's more, everyone who's written about him lauds his work ethic and intensity, both Mark Turgeon hallmarks. If the reports are true, it's a little tough to find holes to poke in his game - he's a pretty well-rounded character.

Which isn't to say there aren't concerns - he's prone to some Terrell Stoglin-esque heat checks, plays out of control at times, and doesn't have great size. I've read worringly little about his defense, which is another Turgeon hallmark. He is, remember, a three-star recruit and that means that there will be some worrisome aspects. Regardless, it's pretty easy to look at his game and see a position becoming increasingly prevalent in today's game, those undersized two-guards with hyper-developed offensive games. Think, say, Terrell Stoglin, Russ Smith or Michael Dixon, providing instant offense off the bench and able to score in a variety of ways. (And remember, all of those guys were ranked similarly out of HS.)

Oh, and added bonus: plays AAU for Illinois Wolves, which is Under Armour sponsored. (It's about time we got someone from a UA grassroots team.) Oh, and another: per the embedded video below, his nickname is Otis.

It is a lot of fun to watch him finish, I have to say. I'm not sure Wilbut is the type of guy who'd come in and be big right away, but I could see him making an initial impact as a scorer off the bench, providing a spurt when Maryland hits their usual second-half wall and can't break down the defense.

Dickerson is actually old news of a sort - it first came out about five days ago that the Terrapins were showing interest, with high-majors like Georgia Tech and USC also starting to sniff around, and it got some play in the FanPosts, but we never really talked about it on the front page. Dickerson is, by all accounts, a 100% pure point, something Maryland could really use. The 6-1 guard is a New York native who moved west to play ball, first at Montclair Prep and current at Price HS.

Annnnnd ... that's about all we have on him. He's unranked across the major services (two stars on Scout, but that's Scout's way of saying "We've heard of him but have no evaluation") and there isn't much in the way of scouting reports or video on him, unless you're a big fan of rimgrazing dunks in workouts. He's friendly with Ashton Pankey, so perhaps Maryland could have a bit of a leg-up if they do eventually offer. He doesn't appear to have any big offers at the moment, though, so perhaps he's the type of guy Maryland will keep in contact with while waiting to see what happens with Cassell.

Maryland is in need of a true point, no one would argue otherwise, but while Dickerson is that I don't know how much Maryland will push, or if they'll even offer. I'm not so sure they're in need of another combo/undersized 2-guard, with Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard already here and Seth Allen in on the way, but they do need perimeter depth and Wilbut would help out in some areas they desperately need - like, say, offensive perimeter help off the bench.

If you're wondering about Maryland's scholarship situation in the wake of Dodd's commitment: they have two or three open slots left, depending on whether Dodd preps (3) or arrives on campus right away (2). That, of course, is assuming no attrition, which truthfully seems an unlikely proposition.

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