Four-star shooting guard Brandon Slater committed to Villanova Wednesday night. Slater appeared to be high on Maryland’s wish list for the Class of 2018.
His commitment to Villanova continues a trend of Washington-area basketball players leaving the area to head north to the suburbs of Philadelphia. Last year’s roster included five players from D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and one more from Delaware, while Maryland only had three — all from Maryland.
When Maryland missed on four-star guard Prentiss Hubb last week, Slater presumably moved up that big board, but ultimately chose Villanova over Maryland and Miami, among others. While Slater is more of a wing and Hubb is closer to a point guard, the Terps just need bodies in the backcourt with Melo Trimble gone to the NBA Draft and Jaylen Brantley off to Massachusetts.
Maryland needs to add guards in this class, as Darryl Morsell was the only guard added in the Class of 2017. Sophomore guards Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter and redshirt junior Dion Wiley are the only other scholarship players that will probably be at Maryland by the time the Class of 2018 gets to campus.
With both Hubb and Slater committed elsewhere, Turgeon and his staff will likely focus on landing local five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley and other blue-chip guard targets like Keldon Johnson, Aaron Wiggins and Kiyon Boyd, among others. The silver lining here is that the Terps seem to be in a good position with a lot of top players, at all positions, in the Class of 2018, so while Hubb and Slater didn’t go their way, there are plenty of other options.