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Maryland isn't just sitting around waiting for Mario Kegler's decision

Mark Turgeon seems to have another forward in mind if Kegler doesn't choose the Terrapins.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

It's been more than two weeks since four-star recruit Mario Kegler left Maryland's College Park campus for his official visit.

In consecutive days he was seen at the Terrapins' soccer game against Indiana with coach Mark Turgeon, Melo Trimble, Damonte Dodd and Michal Cekovsky and at Maryland Madness talking with Robert Carter and a few other players.

Turgeon said he envisions Kegler as more of a guard than his 6'7 stature leads on, according to guardian Omahr Carter in an interview with Adam Zagoria. He'd play on the wing as a two or a three, which fits Turgeon's current mindset of staying "big as long as possible," with two near seven-footers beside him in the interior.

His trip to Maryland was his fourth of five official visits – the most allowed per NCAA rules – after visiting Arizona State, Baylor, and Mississippi State first, finishing his country-wide tour at Indiana.

The irony of visiting four schools approximately 3,555 miles in total distance away from his hometown in Jackson, Miss., is that 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction still sways toward Mississippi State, which is just two hours north of where Kegler spent most of his playing days, as the overwhelming favorite.

His home has changed twice since his sophomore year though, after transferring to Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Fla., and now Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

At top-ranked Oak Hill, he's paired with four other highly-regarded senior recruits in five-star and likely Duke commit Harry Giles, Alabama commit Braxton Key, Penn State commit Joe Hampton and Miami commit Rodney Miller. In a season-opening blowout 45-point win, Kegler tied for the team lead with 15.

It's a busy time of year for the 18-year-old, who's now on the later side of his guardian's plan to cut down his list to two or three schools before the early signing period from November 8th to 11th.

Justin Albers, of Indiana's affiliate, reported that Indiana and Mississippi State will be two of the three finalists, but there has been no further confirmation. Kegler's guardian did mention that the early signing period was a target and not a definite.

But Maryland hasn't sat around waiting for its best remaining recruit. A week after Kegler left, Mark Turgeon watched him at an exhibition game in Virginia, but then pointed his attention toward another class of 2016 6'7 guard/forward, three-star recruit Micah Thomas, and didn't leave before giving him an offer, Chip Miller reports.

Thomas is ranked the 33rd-best small forward in his class and second best player in Tennessee according to 247Sports. He currently plays for Huntington Prep in West Virginia, whose alumni include former No. 1 NBA draft pick Andrew Wiggins and his Minnesota Timberwolves teammate, former No. 22 pick Gorgui Dieng.

Tennessee's Mr. Basketball 2015 is known for his three-point and shot-blocking abilities, shooting 41 percent from deep and swatting away 2.5 shots per game. He has offers from Iowa State, LSU and Memphis among others.

The Terrapins have a solid backup plan in Thomas if Kegler chooses against playing for the No. 3 team in the country, or possibly great depth if both choose to come to Maryland.

Either way, with a pair of four-star recruits in Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter on board, a three-star in mind and a handful of players set to return, Maryland can survive missing out on Kegler and five-star Kentucky commit Wenyen Gabriel and still return to top-25 polls next season.