Been quiet on the recruiting trail around here lately, which I suppose is what happens the season after you bring in a five (or six) man class. Maryland's staff has largely done their homework early and identified their main targets (the Brothers Harrison, Rysheed Jordan, perhaps Stanford Robinson and Junior Etou) for a should-be-small class, which means the summer is kind of boring until anything happens with that crew. And ... nothing's really happening.
The Harrisons are looking like the end of the summer, but there's no real end in sight there. And Jordan? Well, he was deciding in July, but things like getting an offer from Kansas can change your plan.
"He was going to commit in July, but he's really not ready for that yet. He doesn't entirely know what he wants to do. Does he want to stay close to home or does he want to [get away]? He hasn't really decided yet, so he'll probably wait a while," said Kamal Yard, director of Philly Pride, the AAU program for which the touted point guard plays. [...]
"It's still Maryland and Temple at the top, and then you've got Villanova. Kansas is in there, too. It's the same as before, pretty much," Yard said. "He's a Philly guy and he's got a really close relationship with his mother. He's willing to go a few hours, but probably not too far. But you never know if that could change. Kids are so fickle."
Ah, the ol' "I want to stay home until I get a better option" switcheroo. We're familiar. Yes, kids are fickle, especially when huge offers come out of the blue. (I'm not hating, for what it's worth. That's actually a completely rational response, and it's something all of us have either done at some point or would've done if we ever had the option. I'm just a jaded cynic.)
The rest of the article, though, reads fantastically. Maryland and Temple leading is good news; the Owls aren't easy competition now that they're in the Big East and have hometown vibes, but I still find it tough to believe a top-15 player will trailblaze that much. His coach says plenty good about Maryland and Dalonte Hill, too, including that they're "recruiting the hell out of the kid" and that the coach "loves Maryland." But the best thing: "If Rysheed goes to Maryland, the floodgates will open up." A Philly pipeline would be wonderful. I'd love to be to the Philly schools what Syracuse was to us for a spell. (If you're wondering, the next big thing from Philly looks to be 6-3, 2014 point guard Ja'Quan Newton, whom Maryland is already recruiting.)
The staff presumably isn't just sitting on their hands, though. Earlier this week Maryland started to get mentioned around Jermaine Lawrence, a 6-9 forward who's ranked as a four-star by Rivals (#62 in the nation) and ESPN. Lawrence seems the best candidate to be this spring's breakout star, tearing it up over the past month with big performances at the Under Armour Hoop Group Jam Fests before an MVP performance at the Mary Kline Classic. And hey, he's listing an offer from Maryland, among a host of other high-major schools.
As someone in the midst of a blow-up, Lawrence probably has dozens of offers he didn't have two weeks ago, including Maryland's. So before you get too excited about it, tap the breaks and let's see if Maryland can make the first cut, which would show at least some measure of interest on both sides.
At first glance, Lawrence seems to replicate some of the skillset of Maryland already has: he'sthin at 6-9ish and under 200 pounds, which means he won't be able to bang in the post. He has a great shot and has been compared a bit to Kevin Durant, but he can take it to the hoop as well. That makes him either a tall swingman or face-up four, which you'd think Maryland has covered between Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz. It certainly seems like Turgeon likes a certain type of player for his forwards, though, and Lawrence fits that mold. After watching a quick highlight reel, he's certainly more of a perimeter player than a traditional forward, so the question becomes whether or not Turgeon would try to play him at the 4 with Layman at the 3, or if he and Layman would be competing for the same spot.
Again, though, I'll wait before getting too far into it. He supposedly already has a few favorites, and though that will almost certainly change given that he just received, oh, two dozen extra offers, who knows if Maryland will be one that makes it. Hopefully they do, because I don't know about you, but this spring has been straight-up boring for me.