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Checking Back in on Maryland Basketball Recruiting: The Final Targets

CJ Leslie
CJ Leslie

The season is in full bloom, but life never stops for NCAA basketball coaches: Gary Williams and his assistants are still out on the trail, tirelessly scouting and recruiting. Sure, maybe not as much as usual, but, despite NCAA efforts, there's never a dead time in basketball recruiting.

We've continuously discussed this stuff in MM links, but it's easy to forget or overlook individual links, and we have a solid 24 hours until another game (I don't know what to do with myself), so this is a good time to jump back in here.

C.J. Leslie is the first major recruit left. You might've heard that he stopped by Maryland's locker room after the N.C. State game, and that's likely a sign that Maryland is still recruiting him. He's not been listing Maryland all the itme, but you never know what can happen with this type of guy. He's expected to string out his recruitment, but even if he does it'll be worth it - just watch some videos to remind yourself of what this kid is capable of. Unfortunately, he's still an uphill battle at best and probably a long-shot.

Meanwhile, Moses Abraham is still an outside possibility too. The big Nigerian goes to school at PCA in Temple Hills, and has absolutely blown up. He's the very definition of big time, and his top 7 is rather impressive, including both Kentucky and Georgetown. He'll be a tough one to lure to College Park, but Maryland still has that same long-shot chance.

Maryland's last chance at another legitimate top 50 player comes in an unknown form: a future decommitment or last-second fling. It's getting late to be last-second fling status unless a major shocker occurs (I remember reading that Josh Selby doesn't "even know what his options are" or something like that, but I'm sure Maryland will never be one), but decommitments are a constant in college basketball and are highly difficult to predict. Some things to keep an eye on are players who committed before the early signing period but didn't sign their LOI (like Terrence Ross or still-committed Luke Cothron) and players in highly volatile coaching situations, ala Roscoe Smith with Jim Calhoun.

Like Leslie, you can't count on it or even consider any of them possibilities, but they're things to look out for.

And, of course, plenty of others hang out on the periphery, most notably Juvonte Reddic, Eric McKnight, Haukur Palsson, and Josh Langford. We've already touched on Reddic and McKnight in our last update, and not a lot has changed there, though it's worth noting that Reddic's recruitment has seemingly picked up steam and he's received a lot of love from ESPN. Both are similar players with solid size and great athletic ability. Reddic might be a little better, but his situation is more complex (QEA isn't the most reputable school) and there's more buzz surrounding him right now, so McKnight might be the easier get.

Both have offers, though how commitable they are is in question.

Palsson and Langford, similar to Reddic and McKnight, are two guys that play the same position and are probably either/or, if Maryland gets either of them. Gary Williams is probably pretty comfortable in the wing situation right now, so adding one more isn't a huge priority, but it's probably not a bad thing, either. Palsson is from Iceland via Monteverde Academy in Florida, and is the stereotypical "Gary guy" - hard worker, team player. I say parts of his game on ESPNU a few weeks back, not nearly enough to actually make any kind of assumption, but he wasn't all that impressive. It'll be interesting to see where he factors in - he already has an offer, though like above, we're not sure if he could commit right now if he wanted to.

Langford is my personal favorite for 2010, partially - not only - because of his connections with cousin and 2011 SG Devin Langford. Josh is a Louisville decommitment, and has interest in Maryland, though no offer yet. ESPN calls him the prototypical SF for a pressing team, and that fits in well with Maryland's style. That also means his handles are suspect, ala Landon Milbourne, and his jumper is iffy. He's very athletic, and even if he ends up being a project I wouldn't be surprised to see a Landon-esque career. Oh, and I really like his cousin.

So: discuss. We have time, and I'll be on the road tonight (heading to Blacksburg, because its closer than College Park), so might as well have, to borrow from a Maryland alum, TAY time.