Weekly recruiting roundup
It’s been a busy week in Las Vegas for Gary Williams and the rest of the Maryland staff.
At the Reebok Summer Championships AAU tournament, the Terps have been hitting the 2009 class hard. Two prospects, in particular, that appear to have piqued UM’s interest are former Riverdale Baptist and current Brewster (N.H.) Academy power forward Thomas Robinson, and Torrington, Conn., power forward Jordan Williams.
Robinson, 6 feet 8, had a standout performance on the second day of the tournament, according to Rivals.com.
A high energy player with a load of athleticism, Robinson racked up a solid double/double of 22 points and 12 rebounds. He pursued balls outside of his area and left little doubt who would come down with the ball when he got his hands on it. Offensively, Robinson wasn't utilized a great deal more than as a rebounder, but he did finish with authority and scored on some powerful drives to the basket.
Head coaches from West Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia, South Florida, Miami, Boston College, Xavier, Pittsburgh and Kansas along with assistants from Texas, Oklahoma and Duke were all in the gym.
Scout.com -- via Zags Blog -- had similarly high praise for Robinson’s play.
“He challenges shots, looks to score in the paint and knows how to use his athleticism,” Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels wrote. “His performance against Illinois Magic had to have made a good impression on the eight head coaches in the building to see him.”
He told Scout he’s considering Kansas, Duke, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Virginia, South Florida, Providence, Seton Hall, Maryland, Louisville, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, George Mason, George Washington, Georgetown, Georgia. Duke has not yet offered.
Williams, 6 feet 8, was off-the-radar of many major colleges before Vegas. That’s no longer the case, Williams told Rivals.com.
"I was terrible in the spring. Just terrible," Williams said. "But when I started getting used to the competition and the type of players that you play at this level, I started playing better. I adjusted to it and things have been going pretty good."
Oh yes they have. Williams has been one of the hottest players this month for coaches. He said Georgetown, Maryland, Xavier, Providence, Rhode Island and UMass have offered. John Thompson III, Gary Williams, Sean Miller and Keno Davis were all on hand to see the young 17-year-old score 14 points (12 in the second half).
According to The Republican-American of Waterbury, Conn., the Terps offered Williams before his big week in Vegas.
Playing this summer for ex-Boston Celtics coach John Carroll and the New England Playaz 17-under AAU team, Williams’ game, including a double-digit average in scoring, has caught the eyes of some high-profile college coaches.
Among them is the University of Maryland’s Gary Williams, who offered Jordan a scholarship earlier this week during a tournament stop in South Carolina.
• Maryland women’s basketball recruit Lynetta Kizer has turned in two impressive performances in a pair of wins for the USA Women's U18 National Team in Buenos Aires, Argentina this week. Against Canada, Kizer scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in just 12 minutes of play. In the opening round against Venezuela, Kizer paced the team with 13 points.
"We can feed off this win, but we have to remember that there are much tougher teams out there," said Kizer. "It feels good to win big, but we have to keep working if we want to win the gold medal. We worked really hard to get here, and we can't afford to lose focus.
• DigitalSports.com’s Lem Satterfield checked in with Edmondson defensive end and Maryland commitment David Mackall for a story and video this week. Mackall discussed the many reasons behind his commitment to UM.
"I had my mind set on Maryland since I was a little boy. As a young man, I used to watch Maryland play all of the time," said Mackall, who was also influenced by Terps' assistant coach Jemal Griffin.
"Coach Griffin, he's a coach up there [at Maryland], and he was my coach at Woodlawn when I was younger. So there's a lot of personal trust going on. I feel really comfortable with this decision," Mackall said.
• The Gazette took a look at Maryland’s Montgomery County commitments this week. The paper asked Good Counsel head coach Bob Milloy how running back Caleb Porzel’s commitment to Maryland might affect linebacker Jelani Jenkins’ decision.
He also may not be the last drop in the pipeline. Maryland has made official offers to rising junior cornerback Louis Young and rising senior linebacker Jelani Jenkins, a consensus top-10 national recruit. Jenkins and Porzel are close friends.
‘‘It’s not like they’re definitely going together, but the fact that Caleb’s going to Maryland, that’s going to help Maryland [recruit Jenkins],” Milloy said.
• The Post & Courier of Charleston, S.C., has its weekly football recruiting update, and per usual, several players with UM interest are mentioned, including offensive lineman Denzelle Good.
Gaffney OL Denzelle Good (6-5, 315) has offers from Maryland and S.C. State and is drawing some interest from USC, Clemson, N.C. State and North Carolina.
• Former Randallstown standout and one-time Maryland recruit Melvin Alaeze -- who is currently serving an eight-year prison stint on a first-degree assault charge -- is one of several five-star players from the class of 2005 that didn‘t pan out. Mike Huguenin of Rivals.com took a look at those ‘05 recruits that ran into trouble off the field and those who have yet to make an impact on it. Just another reminder to take recruiting rankings with a grain of salt.