Apologies for being off the air as of late; I just got the flu out of my system. I now feel much better, thanks for asking. And, as is usually the case after I'm sick, there's some important recruiting news deserving discussion. These two things are already present in two separate FanPosts (thanks Charlotte and aholla) but they deserve both front-page 'pub and some centralization.
First off, PointGuardU, an Arizona recruiting site, and Coast2Coasthoops.com interviewed everyone's favorite Kazaam namesake, 2012 center Shaquille Cleare. Contrary to what you expect as a Maryland fan, the information was actually really encouraging.
A lot of those two minutes are about his game and goals and whatnot, so just watch that for your entertainment. More importantly, he mentions Maryland a lot, which is what we all care about here.
First, when he lists the schools he's interested in, he says Maryland first, if you're in to reading into that kind of thing. Then he says Maryland is the school recruiting him the hardest. And then he says he has a visit set up to Maryland (only mentioning the Maryland visit even though he has other ones set up, which the interviewer makes clear(e)).
Unfortunately, he's claiming no leaders at this point, which is both the PC answer and, admittedly, entirely possible. Just because Maryland pushes the hardest doesn't mean they're offering the best package. Still, Gary and the staff have obviously put themselves in a great position here, so hopefully this isn't as much as a pipe dream as it seemed earlier in the process.
Oh, and if you're wondering, that accent you're hearing is Bahamian.
The other piece of recruiting news comes in the form of Mitch McGary, a 6-10, 250-pound center playing at Brewster up in New Hampshire. Earlier in the weekend, Rivals called him the star of the Pittsburgh Jam Fest. Even better, he called Maryland one of the schools most intriguing to him:
I couldn't help but think of Kevin Love while watching McGary. Like Love he controls space and snags rebounds and passes with one hand. McGary physically punishes opponents, plays with great composure with the ball in his hands and fires off outlet passes. McGary isn't nearly the outside shooter that Love is but he is more mobile, a little longer and is more of a playmaker off the dribble in the open court. ...
McGary, who has the makings of being a NBA big man, is wide open in his recruitment but is most intrigued by Arizona, Florida, Maryland and Texas.
You may look at those four schools and see two established recruiting powerhouses, one burgeoning recruiting powerhouse and....Maryland. And you'd probably be right. But Maryland has faced stiff competition before, and even beaten it a couple of time (no, really). With McGary playing as well as he is right now, he's probably worth the effort.
If you're wondering, there's been a decent amount of video of McGary from the past weekend, including this 7+ minute highlight reel. It shows everything, including misses, so brace yourself for the free throws. He was active defensively, but more impressive was that he handled the ball and ran the court the way he did. Just wow. Is there such a thing as a face-up five? A point center? (Just kidding. But seriously, he seemed more at home running the break than banging down low. In that sense, though, he'd be a good pairing with Cleare.)
Oh, and yes: McGaryland.
One final PSA: don't be a Facebook/Twitter jerk to recruits. It makes you similar to Duke fans.