Hometown Boys: How Maryland Has Fared Securing Local Talent

Jason Szenes

A look at the past decade of local basketball recruiting, and whether the growing trend of securing local recruits is real.

Between high profile commitments from local stars like Nick Faust and the departure of Gary Williams with his lack of commitment to the recruiting game, many Maryland fans have been lauding the Terrapin's comeback as a local recruiting powerhouse.

The excitement is understandable when you look at the basketball talent that has come out of this area in the past decade or so. Huge, program boosting names have sprung up from the 50 miles around College Park. Rudy Gay, Melo, Roy Hibbert, Kevin Durant... all went local high schools, and all went elsewhere.

But has Maryland turned the corner yet in their local basketball recruiting? Looking back at the past 13 years of recruiting data from Rivals.com (as far as their database goes back), it's clear that Maryland is moving in the right direction, even if they haven't achieved powerhouse status yet.

Since the 2002 recruiting class, when Carmelo Anthony bolted North to play with the Orangemen, Maryland has gotten ten 4-star players who went to high school within 50 miles of College Park (all ratings are from Rivals). Some of these have certainly matured better than others. Nobody would compare James Gist to Greivis, but in the recruiting crap-shoot ratings are what we have to go on.

Year 2002 2004 2006 2011 2012 2013 2014
Top Local Recruit (School) Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse) Rudy Gay (Connecticut) Kevin Durant (Texas) Nick Faust James Robinson (Pittsburgh) BeeJay Anya (NC State) Dwayne Morgan (UNLV)
Top Local Maryland Recruit Travis Garrison James Gist Greivis Vasquez Nick Faust N/A Roddy Peters Romelo Trimble

Getting 10 local 4-stars in in 13 recruiting classes isn't awful, but considering the talent in the area it could easily be higher. Those 10 were part of a group of 45 4-stars from the area in that time frame. In recent years the pace has picked up: three highly rated players have been added in the past 2 classes. Peters, Wiley, and Trimble (our own Melo) join Nick Faust as 4-stars.

This local recruiting output is almost as high as the eight prior years combined. Considering those years came on the heels of a National Championship, and not three straight seasons of missing the tournament, and it's pretty evident that recruiting in the area has improved. Why is a complicated question, as it's hard to isolate the various factors going in to a recruits decision. An NBA lottery pick from the team, the Under Armour angle, and Turge's killer campus visits all play their part.

Yet while Maryland has improved in securing the hometown talent, the prime targets are still getting away. In the 2014 class it was 5-star Dwayne Morgan, who decided on the bright lights of the Vegas strip over College Park. The Terps haven't gotten a hometown 5-star in the past decade. So even though the future is looking bright, the recruiting machine still has to land their big fish to be considered a powerhouse.

I'll do a similar look at the past football recruits in the coming days, and see how the numbers stack up on that side as well.

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