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Where Maryland basketball stands with its top 2018 targets

Here’s what we’re hearing about the Terps’ recruits.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Tournament-Northwestern vs Maryland Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland basketball has been working hard on the recruiting trail all summer, and as a result is in the hunt for a number of five-stars and high profile recruits.

Mark Turgeon currently has the No. 19 class in the country for 2018, with top-50 commits in five-star power forward Jalen Smith and four-star wing Aaron Wiggins. Maryland is still in the running for some of its top options across the board, but will figure out backup plans, if necessary. The Terps hosted four top-100 players last month for official visits, and with the college basketball season less than a month away, here’s where Maryland stands with its most prized recruits.

Keldon Johnson (6’5, 200): No. 2 shooting guard, No. 14 overall

The Terps seem to be in strong standing with Johnson, and it’s helped that Maryland assistant Kevin Broadus recruited his older brother while at Georgetown. Johnson visited the weekend of Sept. 28, along with Devon Dotson and Eric Ayala with commits Smith and Wiggins in attendance to help sell the vision. The Terps are in the top two or three for the five-star, and are competing with coaches John Calipari and Kentucky and Shaka Smart and Texas for his services.

Johnson wants to be “the man” wherever he goes, something that Turgeon has assured him he would be. He’s likely a one-and-done prospect, so you can never count out Calipari, but Maryland seems to be in a good position here. He has no concrete plans on when he’ll commit, but is done taking visits, so it could be any day now.

Moses Brown (7’,0 210): No. 2 center, No. 15 overall

Brown was the first Terps target to take an official visit, but may end up the last to decide. Maryland assistant Bino Ranson is the lead recruiter here, and hopes to land another one-and-done big man, a la Diamond Stone.

After two of his other potential suitors — Louisville and Arizona — got wrapped up in an FBI investigation, Brown will take his time to make a commitment. With Louisville and Arizona out of the picture, Maryland’s only competition for Brown appears to be UCLA, who will host the five star big man on Oct. 28, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.

Devon Dotson (6’2, 180): No. 6 point guard, No. 24 overall

The Terps are in the top two for yet another five-star in Dotson. Again, he was on the same visit with Johnson and Ayala, and it helped that AAU teammate Wiggins was there, too. Turgeon has tried to sell him on the idea of a two-guard backcourt with him and Anthony Cowan, similar to the one he ran with Cowan and Melo Trimble last season.

Dotson’s a wildcard, but it looks like it’s down to Maryland and Kansas, after he eliminated Florida from the mix when former Maryland targets Andrew Nembhard and Noah Locke committed there last week. There’s no timetable on Dotson’s commitment, other than before his season starts in November.

Eric Ayala (6’5, 180): No. 6 combo guard, No. 76 overall

Ayala was a late addition to Dotson and Johnson’s visit weekend, but he is the only recruit on this list with a firm commitment timetable. He has always seemed higher on Maryland than the other way around, but the Terps said they would be willing to take both Dotson and Ayala in the class, according to InsideMDSports’ Josh Stirn.

Maryland has a solid relationship with Ayala’s school, IMG Academy, having recruited freshman forward Bruno Fernando and 2019 commits Makhi and Makhel from the same school. Ayala took a visit to Oregon this past weekend, and it’s down to an semi-aquatic battle of Ducks vs. Terps for his services. The four-star prospect was also considering Miami before it was also implicated in the FBI investigation. Ayala will announce his college plans this week, he said on Twitter.