Ever since under-the-radar big man Damonte Dodd committed to Maryland in February, I've been interested to see what scouts would think of the forward when they got to see him in person. It looks like a few are finally getting a shot to do that at an Under Armour sponsored AAU tournament. And the verdict: pretty impressive, apparently.
Not sure when he'll contribute but 2012 Maryland commit Damonte Dodd us most certainly better than advertised. Long, lanky with fluidity.— Hoopniks (@Hoopniks) May 27, 2012
I'm trying to figure out how Demonte Dodd stayed under the radar for so long. 6-9. Mobile and can board it. Maryland has a lot to work with.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDanielscout) May 27, 2012
Mark Turgeon is going to enjoy molding Demonte Dodd. Needs time but will eventually contribute.— Dave Telep (@DaveTelep) May 27, 2012
Biggest surprise of weekend? 2012/2013 (not sure which) Demonte Dodd. Maryland commit. Has the physical tools.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDanielscout) May 27, 2012
It looks like scouts have discovered what's been becoming increasingly clear to Marylanders: Dodd's physical tools really are top-notch. He's a legit 6-9, has a good frame and mobility, works hard, and is athletic. No matter how raw, you put that combination of tools together and people will be impressed. We knew he had that potential, but as a fan it's always nice to see someone who really knows what they're talking about see the same.
And more semi-news: he apparently told Evan Daniels that he's "not sure" if he'll be at Maryland next year or will prep instead, and will decide soon. (I assume Mark Turgeon will be deciding that as much as Dodd will.) Even with the recent scholarships to Conner Lipinski and Logan Aronhalt, there's still a 'ship open for Dodd next season. The question is going to be whether or not he and/or the staff think it's better for him to get games (prep) or get coaching on campus (redshirt). If it's the former, I'd expect more kind words coming his way as more scouts see him live.
We're kicking into high gear in the AAU season, and the weekend has seen another standout performer: Aaron Harrison, who, in absence of his brother Andrew, dropped 45 points in a game earlier today and drew plaudits from basically everyone for a "video game effort." Aaron has stepped out of his brother's shadow a bit in the past few months (not as if there was ever much of a difference between the two to begin with) and showed his ability to put up points in bunches. Video evidence below (with no cheesy Anno Domini beats!):
Actually, he and his brother were apparently quite good all weekend. Via Rivals (which also raves about Dodd, Dwayne Morgan, and Junior Etou at the same link):
Class of 2013 twins Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison would have fit in nicely on the Bad Boy-era Detroit Pistons. The 6-foot-5 five-stars embrace games that are physical and couple their size and strength with a high level of skill. Saturday, point guard Andrew looked like somebody had upset him as he relentlessly drove the lane and bullied his way to the free throw line with regularity.
Dave Telep echoes that, saying they look like caricatures on the floor - almost Space Jam at times. Of course, we already knew most of this, but hey, never a bad thing to impresse people. (Now Mark Turgeon just needs to land them.)
As far as recruiting news goes, there's not too much new; one of my favorites in the class, Kam Williams, sadly, didn't list the Terrapins, but he's been off the radar for Maryland for some time now. But for the forward-thinking among us: Mark Turgeon's getting an early start on 2015, expressing interest in Georgia duo Daniel Giddens (6-10) and Jaylen Brown (6-5). They both play for the same high school and AAU team as Terps commit Charles Mitchell, so there's clearly a Maryland connection that Turgeon may try to mine. It's early to get too excited about anyone from that class, but Rivals says Giddens has "freakish athleticism" and earlier in the year called Brown "the most talented kid in Georgia." Both are in ESPN's early top 25 for that class.
And with this, it looks like we're fully in AAU mode. Here's to an interesting few summer months on the trail.