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4-star forward James Graham commits to Maryland men’s basketball

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The Terps add another key piece to the 2021 class.

Maryland men’s basketball picked up another key piece to its 2021 recruiting class with four-star Wisconsin small forward James Graham announcing his pledge Wednesday.

The Terps made inroads with Graham early as the first major program to offer back in May. Wisconsin Playground Warriors AAU executive director Duane “Ike” Wilson is close to Maryland assistant Orlando “Bino” Ranson and connected the two this spring.

“I was sending coach Bino a lot of clips and he was liking me alot,” Graham told Testudo Times in May. “They didn’t know I could be a ball-handler, so I sent a lot of clips of me handling the ball, one-on-one and that’s where he really felt well. Coach Turgeon then saw my clips and got on the phone with me. Then after a good 15-minute conversation he offered me the scholarship.”

That initial offer was just the start for Graham, who saw his recruitment blow up as he received offers from 23 Division I programs. He ultimately chose the Terps over a top-four that included Auburn, Memphis and Wisconsin.

At 6’8, 205 pounds, Graham provides a growing frame that fits the three position well and he has the ability to become a stretch-four at the college level. He operates well in the mid-range and post, but also shows smooth ball-handling and passing to fit an all-around role.

“I pride myself in my post game, especially my ISO,” Graham said. “I get called ‘baby Melo’ a lot so I love to be in the high-post.”

“[The Maryland staff] were telling me how they like my versatility — how I can handle it, shoot it, make decisions,” Graham said. “Coach Turgeon is high on me because I’m only 16, and he thinks if I can get to 6’10 I could be a star at the four or even five.”

Graham, who is ranked as the No. 151 player in the 24/7 Sports Composite, joins a loaded 2021 Maryland class that already includes two four-star recruits in power forward Julian Reese and shooting guard Ike Cornish. The trio has the Terps ranked as the No. 8 class in the country and No. 3 in the Big Ten.