Sorry for being incognito over the weekend - sometimes the real world hits hard, and it's easier to let it happen when there are no pressing issues.
But recruiting. Just. Never. Stops. There were even more events over the weekend, all worthy of note. (And again, I'm trying to work on some non-recruiting things, so hang in there if this isn't your thing.)
Let's start off with the big news of the day, eh? Maryland apparently offered Massachusetts combo forward Jake Layman, according to TheRecruitScoop (admittedly, a tad skeptical source, but pretty solid with NE guys like Layman).
Layman's pretty well traveled under the radar, even in the spring and summer circuits. Long, lanky, and athletic enough, he's an intriguing prospect kind of like an Isaiah Miles. I won't presume to know much about him, because there isn't that much to know - but in today's world of hyper-observed HS and AAU basketball, that tends to be a negative. He's playing with BABC, a Nike-based AAU team out of Boston, so he'll get plenty of looks as summer rolls on. It'll be worth watch to see if he stands out.
Layman was with BABC today at the Big Shots Tournament in Myrtle Beach. But if he got the offer off one of those performances, it wasn't Mark Turgeon giving it to him: the Turge is currently in Duncanville, Tx., for the Great American Shoot-out, better known as GASO. It's like the Texas AAU mecca, where basically all of the AAU teams in the talent-rich state get together in one tourney.
Given the presence Maryland is cultivating in the state between the Houston Defenders, Danuel House, and Prince Ibeh, it shouldn't be much surprise that he saw fit to make the trip. Also unsurprisingly, Andrew Harrison, fresh off a dominating performance against Nate Britt, continued his excellent performances, drawing some rave reviews. He also talked a bit with TexasHoops.com, and yes, he mentioned Maryland as a school, along with Texas, Baylor, Arizona, Kentucky, and Kansas. (Yikes.)
At least one of the games Turgeon caught was between Texas PRO and the Dallas Mustangs; you might remember Texas PRO as being Danuel House's AAU team. House wasn't there - neither, unfortunately, was the epically-named Chicken Knowles - so I'm not entirely sure who he was watching, but it's a nice segue to talk about House, who lists (somewhat increduly) Baylor and Houston as his favorites. Many of his recent lists have excluded Maryland, and that doesn't help, but I'm still loathe to write him off so early - heck, he doesn't even have a traditional list yet. Still, this is fair warning: don't get your hopes up.
And while sticking with the bad news, because I'm sure someone else will mention it: Nate Britt didn't mention Maryland either! After Tobias Harris, who on several occasions didn't list Maryland, I'm kind of over the whole "not listing Maryland during summer" thing. Is it a good sign? Nope. But he's a 2013, leaving tons of time to make up any lost ground, and Maryland has Dalonte Hill, a serious advantage given his connections with DCA. Given that Turgeon recently watched Andrew Harrison get the upper hand of the two, I'm guessing he's the priority, but it's way too early to get even a little discouraged about this news.
Another DC-based 2013, BeeJay Anya, just did a long interview with Recruiting Spotlight. It's well worth a read, especially for a few kind of funny comments (shared clothing style?), and he does mention Maryland a few times. Like here:
I had a good relationship with the Maryland coaches but then [former head coach] Gary Williams left and I haven't had the chance to talk to the new staff at Maryland.
Well. I'm a little less nonchalant about that little oversight, but I'm guessing that calling Anya is probably near the top of the staff's to-do list. At least, I'd hope so.
Now, unfortunately, I don't really have any better news, but I can switch gears to player evaluations. So ... yay?
Traveling back in time a little bit to the adidas Invitational, Jerry Meyer seems very upbeat about both of the Harrisons and Shaq Cleare:
Andrew Harrison (2013, Houston Defenders) - It isn't going to be that easy for Jabari Parker, Julius Randle or anyone else to take the No. 1 spot away from Harrison. He is a complete package point guard at a comfortable 6-foot-5 who is almost always going to be the strongest perimeter player on the court.
He plays at his own pace, gets to where he needs to get on the court and has a great feel for finding scorers. He can put up points himself and has a knack for getting to the free throw line. Harrison is also a physical force defensively and on the boards.
Aaron Harrison (2013, Houston Defenders) - Aaron caught fire on the second day of the event. During both games he rained three with a beautiful looking jump shot.
Shaquille Cleare (2012, Houston Defenders) - Cleare is establishing himself as one of the top post players in the 2012 class. He is a load down low but also quick on his feet. Unaffected by contact, he is a sure finisher with a solid repertoire of post moves. He also has as strong a pair of hands as you will find on the circuit. His play is demanding the consideration of a fifth star.
So, a potential fifth-star for Cleare, eh? Well, I suppose that would be good news.
To wrap things up, we have the final few LBJ Skills Academy/King James Classic recap pieces. To no one's surprise, Mitch McGary has continued to impress. Via ESPN:
In the first half, McGary stroked jumpers and owned the paint. There are times on the floor where the Chesterton, Ind., native's intensity may overwhelm opponents. If his jumper is rolling and he's using it to feed his game in the lane, it's over.
And Hoops Window:
McGary has a unreal passion for the game. He attempts to get everyone involved in the game even the opposing bench. He has outside touch and polished post moves. Surprisingly quick first step as he does not appear to be super athletic. He is seemingly the most respected player on his team if not the whole gym. Only complaint is that he does not look for the guards right away after a rebound. He does like to the bring the ball up the court or at the least take few dribbles before he finds a guard.
In other words: he's really good at basketball.