The big news of the day was of course the hiring of former Kansas State assistant and DC Assault front man, Dalonte Hill. This signing is huge for all the reasons Ben B. touched on in an earlier post: He's an excellent recruiter, he's got strong ties to the two biggest AAU programs in the DMV (DC Assault and Team Takeover), and he's supposedly a solid X's and O's man, as well. More importantly, perhaps, the signing of Hill sends a message to the AAU programs in Baltimore/DC (and the country), that Maryland is serious about locking down the talent in this area.
But enough of what I think about it. You probably want to hear what recruiting experts and high school/AAU coaches think of the hire. We've compiled a list below.
Dave Telep, ESPN.com National Recruiting Analyst:
"I think it’s abundantly clear that Mark Turgeon is going to put a premium on relationships with the high school and AAU coaches in the area. Dalonte Hill is probably the biggest departure from Coach Williams that Mark Turgeon could have, and it’s a very significant hire for Maryland recruiting because he’ll be a catalyst for a bunch of relationships."
Evan Daniels, Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst:
"D.C. Assault is a program that clearly takes care of their own," Daniels said. "It’s not going to be a surprise to anyone when, over the next couple years, Dalonte’s able to reel in players to Maryland from D.C. Assault’s program. It’s not just about his connection to D.C. Assault. Dalonte’s very well respected around the coaching community. He’s got a lot of connections to the AAU programs and high school programs. The D.C. Assault thing is just what’s most publicized. He’s very well liked in the basketball community."
Eamonn Brennan, ESPN.com College Basketball Blogger:
"The implications for Turgeon are immediate and obvious. The former Texas A&M head coach was praised as a quality hire by most (including yours truly), but if there were any doubts about the hire, they stemmed from Turgeon's history as a so-so recruiter who built consistent success through long-term development and organized team hoops rather than flashy recruits and top-20 classes. The Maryland job was a sleeping giant, most believed, if only the new head coach could corral Baltimore, D.C., and the surrounding areas. There's just that much talent available.
The hiring of Hill -- alongside Gary Williams holdover Bino Ranson, another well-known Beltway recruiter (particularly Baltimore) -- does that. Turgeon wasn't going to morph into one of the nation's best recruiters overnight. Instead, he hired Hill, kept Ranson, and built a complementary staff that should be able to leverage AAU ties to compensate for its head coach's unfamiliarity with the D.C. area."
With Dalonte Hill AND Bino Ransom both at Maryland. All other schools might as well stop recruiting the Baltimore and DC area. #Pipeline
Followed by this depressing tweet...
I keep forgetting about UnderArmour. That's gonna hurt.
@insidemdsports great move now we talking back to the final four. Local great recruiter
Program changing hire? Dalonte Hill's history says yes. Can he do the same at Maryland? http://t.co/V2czc7U
For all those questioning whether Mark Turgeon can get it done on recruiting trail at MD, he just landed 5-star assistant in Dalonte Hill.
If you've got more, post them in the comments section.
What say you about the hire? Excited? A little uncomfortable? Let's hear it.