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Former Maryland Pledge Justin Anderson Switches Commitment to Virginia

Jeff Jones 2.0, new and improved.
Jeff Jones 2.0, new and improved.

What's been rumored (and driving Maryland fans crazy) for a solid week now is now solidified: a dozen or so sources are all saying Anderson is going to Charlottesville, including Montrose Christian themselves (via Facebook, of course):

Justin stated "The Cavaliers were always my second choice behind Maryland. Also, my family lives in Virginia. After the departure of Coach [Gary] Williams and Coach [Robert] Ehsan it just feels like the right fit."

I'd be really interested to see just how much he allowed new head man Mark Turgeon to recruit him. Turge made a comment a few days ago that certain recruits weren't giving him a chance, and Anderson, based on how abruptly this all happened, might be the guy he's referencing.

(Just as a note here: yeah, it was a questionable decision, but it was his. No point in asking "Why would he go to UVA?" because that doesn't matter. All that matters is that he's there. So let's focus on Maryland now, eh?)

Some fans will freak out about this, or have been doing it already, but that's something I advise against. For as good as Anderson was, he wasn't irreplaceable. Back when he committed, despite the obvious commitment high at the time, the most apt comparison was still "a rich man's Byron Mouton." And don't get me wrong: Mouton was great. You need a player like that to win championships. But they're not exactly tough to find.

Cases in point: Jerami Grant and Arnaud Moto. Both are local wings, both a little under the radar, and both shot above Anderson in the most recent ESPN rankings. Anderson's game is mostly limited to his athleticism and attitude, both of which he has in bunches, but his offensive game is limited and, frankly, run-and-jump wings are pretty commonplace.

It's a bad thing, of course, and don't pretend I'm saying it's not. Anderson was a legitimate 4-star or low 5-star recruit in the bag. That's a better scenario than ... well, almost anything else. But it isn't a death blow, especially with a staff as heavy on recruiters as Maryland has.

Anyway, Maryland is now looking at six scholarships in the 2012 class. Sleeper guard Seth Allen claims one of those, leaving another five for the rest of the year, at least two of which I'd like the staff to save for the 2013 class (but that's just me).

With Anderson off the board, they'll start targeting wings heavily (in reality, they've already been doing this for a week or so). The two local wings are Grant and Moto, and I've warmed to both very quickly. Grant exploded this spring and has found aggression to pair with his absurd length. Moto, meanwhile, has a college-ready body and a more varied offensive game than Anderson. Other guys, like maybe Marcus Smart and Twymond Howard, could be on the radar as well. There isn't a lack of options.

More than anything, though, I'm just kind of happy it's finally over.