FanPost

The Alex Len Effect (a.k.a. "ALE")

There is good news and bad news pertaining to Trayvon Reed's verbal commitment to Maryland. Fortunately, it's mostly good news.

The first piece of good news is that the Alex Len Effect has begun. I have little doubt that Len's success at UMD influenced Reed's decision. What tall, skinny, athletic high school player with realistic NBA aspirations wouldn't want to be coached by the same staff that turned a tall, skinny, athletic Ukrainian kid into a lottery pick in just two years? For the ALE to continue, however, Reed needs to perform; he needs to be drafted - not necessarily after his sophomore season - but he doesn't have to be a lottery pick (although that would help).

Depending upon how you look at it, the bad news could be construed as good news. Unless someone currently on the roster leaves the program, or one of the existing recruits spends a season at a prep school; our allotment of 2014 scholarships are filled, and one of our greatest needs has not been addressed. The 2014 team is missing an athletic power forward - a Chris Wilcox-type player. Chinanu Onuaku, a local kid, is just that kind of player.

It's possible an existing recruit (Dion Wiley or Romelo Trimble) will need a year in prep school to get their grades in order - both have the physical tools to contribute as true freshmen - but my guess is they'll be playing in College Park next season. Originally a 2013 recruit, Jared Nickens pushed his first year of eligibility to 2014, so may not be available for the prep school option.

So, if we're going to land Onuaku, Reed might be the most likely player to take the prep school route. He could certainly afford to use that year to add some bulk and muscle; and his offensive game could certainly use some work. Where that complicates matters somewhat is in the recruitment of 5-star recruits Diamond Stone and fellow Georgian Daniel Giddens, a 6'11" center from Charles Mitchell's high school. If Reed goes to prep school and Stone or Giddens commits (which is unlikely), we'd have two highly-rated centers entering in the same season.

Of course, getting Onuaku is far from a foregone conclusion. He recently picked up an offer from defending national champion Louisville, and has a handful of other big-time offers. Can we afford to delay getting an athletic PF for a year? If that's what transpires, there are several 2015 targets in whom the Terps have expressed an interest, including Fairfax, VA's, Marcus Derrickson.

The bad news, however, has it's roots in the good news: None of the options are bad options. If we have to go through 2014 without an athletic PF - Damonte Dodd and Jake Layman may be able to fill that role, although it's not playing to their strengths - so be it. That doesn't mean we can't still make the dance. If Reed preps, and we have to go though 2014 without a certified rim protector, so be it. One of Dodd's strengths is blocking shots, and there have been numerous national champions in the last few decades that didn't have a 7-footer. So whatever happens, we're in damn good shape.

Anything deemed inappropriate will be deleted by an admin or moderator with the power to do so. The views of the above FanPost do not represent the beliefs of Testudo Times or Testudo Times' authors, nor are they the work of them.

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