Four-star class of 2023 guard DeShawn Harris-Smith has committed to Maryland men’s basketball, he announced live on 247Sports’ YouTube channel Wednesday.
Harris-Smith took an official visit to Maryland on Aug. 1 and released his top-five schools just four days later: Penn State, Xavier, Indiana, Villanova and the Terps. He opted to play collegiately close enough to home for his family to see his games, which he reiterated throughout the process was an important factor in his decision. Following Harris-Smith’s announcement, Maryland now owns the nation’s eighth-best 2023 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Listed at six-foot-four, 180 pounds, Harris-Smith is a high-level, left-handed combo guard that is elite at attacking and finishing near the rim. He is rated by the 247Sports Composite as a four-star recruit and is ranked as the best prospect in the state of Virginia and the 39th-best prospect in the nation in the site’s Top247 player rankings. Harris-Smith figures to compete for a starting guard role in his freshman year following the expected departures of graduate guards Jahmir Young and Don Carey.
Perhaps more importantly than his potential freshman minutes, Harris-Smith’s commitment marks the beginning of what could be a breakthrough for the Terps. He attends Paul VI High School, a national powerhouse in Northern Virginia whose top prospects have long evaded Maryland. Paul VI has repeatedly produced elite guards in recent years, including Duke teammates Jeremy Roach and Trevor Keels — Keels was drafted by the New York Knicks — along with class of 2022 four-star prospect Dug McDaniel, who will begin his freshman year at Michigan this fall.
Harris-Smith also plays for Team Takeover on the AAU circuit, a Nike-sponsored program that has become one of the best in the region. The Terps have struggled to make inroads with both Paul VI and Team Takeover players (there is often overlap), and Harris-Smith’s decision to attend Maryland bodes well for head coach Kevin Willard’s ability to lock down the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area and bolster his teams with local talent.
Willard’s 2023 recruiting class is shaping up quite nicely, with three of the area’s top high school prospects pledging to play for him. In addition to Harris-Smith, four-star wing Jamie Kaiser and St. Frances Academy guard Jahnathan Lamothe will not only suit up for Maryland, but have been active in trying to recruit their peers to join them in College Park — Harris-Smith included. Willard has been forthcoming in his desire to keep the momentum going on the recruiting trail and have four or five of the top local players in his first full recruiting class.
With the roster turnover associated with a new coaching hire, Willard has the opportunity to promise early playing time to recruits, and it has paid off well to this point. Harris-Smith, Kaiser, Lamothe and any other player in their class will have the potential to earn significant minutes in their first year, and the 2023-24 Terps will likely field a starting lineup featuring multiple highly-touted freshmen.