As important as Lance Stephenson is for what he represents, when you look at it practically, he doesn't fix much. He would make recruiting much easier, and there'd be more hype in Maryland recruiting, but the big class is 2010. Maryland could really win out in this class, or they could end up with a horrible class that leaves them in worse position than they are now. Three to four scholarships will be available, three of them guaranteed (Vaz, Hayes, and Milbourne all leaving, one more will probably pop up - Lance leaving, a transfer, etc.). 2010 could truly be make or break for this team. Maryland should (hopefully) have two solid big men by then, but one more would be nice for good measure. Maryland could lack a true wing at that point, however - Cliff Tucker could transfer, Jin Soo Kim could become more of a post player (or not really develop), and Landon will be gone at that point. That means that it'd be nice to get one big guy and one wing. See who that would be after the jump:
6-7, 220, PF, Lutheran HS, Glen Head NY, Albany City Rocks AAU
Rated 97 on ESPN (Rare abilities + starting frosh on top 25 team), #27 overall, #6 PF; 4 stars on Scout, #7 PF; 4 stars on Rivals, #33 overall, #9 PF
Strengths: Strong combo forward. Good low post skills combined a Landon-style jumper. Nice rebounding skills on both ends. Not hugely athletic, but enough to score on the wing. A lot like Landon, except he’s better in the low post. Very smart to boot.
Weaknesses: Could use an inch or two to become a full-time PF. As it is, he’s a bit of a tweener. Not quick enough to play the three, not big enough to play the four. Could use some more strength to overcome lack of height. Below average defender down low, and has some trouble staying in front of perimeter palyers.
Also Considering: UConn, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Rutgers, Syracuse
Odds: Don’t like them as much as a guy like Buie, but I wouldn’t call it a longshot. Harris isn’t as far along in his recruitment as the first two, I think, which makes it a bit tougher to get a read on him. I think the Terps have a legit chance, here, though.
6-6, 190, SF, Miller School, Crozet VA, Richmond Squires AAU
Rated 97 on ESPN (Rare abilities + starting frosh on top 25 team), #31 overall, #9 SG; 5 star on Scout, #4 SF; 4 star on Rivals, #76 overall, #15 SF
Strengths: Very athletic, nice frame. Near unstoppable when he goes into attack mode; he’ll dunk everything, and with authority. Solid rebounder due to athleticism and length. Good midrange jumper and 3 pointer off the dribble. Can create his own shot. Hustles, keeps plays alive.
Weaknesses: Not quite a shutdown defender on defense. Doesn’t catch the ball ready to shoot, which takes away scoring opportunities. Doesn’t always give 100%, but it's tough to really call him lazy.
Also Considering: Clemson, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida, Miami
Odds: I like them. Virginia was his leader for awhile, but they have an uphill battle now that Leitao is gone. I’m expecting at least top 3, if not a commit. That's a good thing: I like Parker's game, and I think he could rise up in the rankings.
6-8, 220, PF/C, The Nichols School, Buffalo NY, Albany City Rocks AAU
Rated 84 on ESPN (Significantly contribute for national programs); 3 star on Scout; 3 star on Rivals, #11 C, #139 overall
Strengths: Good fundamentals and mechanics. Nice jumper for a big guy. Can run the floor and handle the ball well. Smart. Can go off-hand in the post, which comes in handy.
Weaknesses: Not very athletic. Needs to add strength to his frame. Post game is somewhat limited offensively, and he doesn’t utilize his size to its full extent. Solid defensively, but not a game changer.
Also Considering: Arizona State, Stanford, Georgetown, Kentucky, Penn State, Providence
Odds: Not horrible, but not great. I haven’t heard much Terp hype around him, but I don't think he's quite that high on Gary's priority list. If the Terps really press for him, I could see Maryland getting far in the process.
6-8, 175, SF, Walbrook HS, Baltimore MD, Team Melo AAU
Rated 98 on ESPN, #9 overall, #3 SF; 5 stars on Scout, #2 SF; 5 stars on Rivals, #3 SF, #11 overall
Strengths: Long and athletic. Great frame to add weight. Great shot with a lot of range. Knows how to score, and has a nose for the bucket. Has the natural skills to become one of the best freshmen in the country. Pretty much an improved version of Will Barton.
Weaknesses: Needs to apply himself better on defense. Tends to overdribble. Relies a bit much on the jumper. Really needs to add some strength. Not quite a team player.
Also Considering: UConn, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA
Odds: I don't particularly like them. He hasn’t crossed the Terps off, but he hasn’t crossed any school off yet. I expect Maryland to make his final five or so, but I’d be surprised to see them get farther. Maryland just tends to have trouble landing these types of guys, even in football.
6-8, 230, PF/C, The Miller School, Crozet VA
Rated 93 on ESPN (Rare abilities + starter on top 25 team); not rated on Scout or Rivals
Strengths: Great body. Very strong, and he knows how to use it. Pretty athletic. Great rebounder, but he doesn’t rely on size: he actually boxes guys out. Hustles. Despite not being the fastest guy, he can beat other guys down the court. Sounds strange, but he knows how to dunk. Can just bull through people offensively. Challenges and blocks every shot in his area. Incredible potential.
Weaknesses: Ultra raw. He came over from Africa just recently, and is still learning some of the finer aspects of the game. His offensive game is pretty much limited to dunking right now. No shot. Poor FT shooter.
Also Considering: Clemson, Virginia, VT, VCU
Odds: Very good. I really hope Maryland lands this guy. He has a chance to be a more talented Boom, which I would not turn down. The very first basketball game he saw in America was a Maryland win, and Maryland was the first school on him. He will blow up, though, so I think the Terps need to act fast.
I'm torn between Tsafack and Harris right now. Tsafack could be the short version of Thabeet in my mind (raw, potential-laden big guys), which I'd take in a heartbeat. Harris is the safer bet, but his potential is limited. Obviously, the best case scenario is Roscoe Smith, but I think that Mychal Parker is more likely, and he's not a bad player himself. The big thing is landing two of the guys on this list - I wouldn't complain no matter what the combination is. If I had to bet, I think the realistic best case would be Parker/Tsafack/Buie, and if one more scholarship became available (which it likely will), either Garland or Oladipo.