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January 16, 2009

Weekly recruiting roundup

St. Frances forward Terrell Vinson is apparently back on the market.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder signed a letter of intent to Loyola Marymount in November, but will reportedly ask for his release due to the recent resignation of Lions coach Bill Bayno. According to, the Terps are on Vinson's short list.

“Virginia Tech and South Florida” along with Providence are all possible suitors, plus “definitely Maryland” said [Vinson’s father James] Gilyard, with more to surely be evaluated. According to him, Terrell initially “liked the weather (Southern California provides), but now he’s at the point where he wants to go where he’s wanted and playing time will be available”.

• Maryland power forward signee Jordan Williams was stifled by the Holy Cross defense in Torrington (Conn.) High’s 73-66 loss on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-10 Williams, who has averaged 32 points per game this season, had just seven points at halftime and none in the third quarter before finishing with a season-low 13 points.

The reason was three-fold: Holy Cross' Ryan Kolb (game-high 23 points, seven rebounds), Kyle Murphy (20 points, 16 rebounds) and Trevor Platt (10 points, seven rebounds). When they weren't scoring on the offensive end, defensively they swarmed Williams from every angle, preventing the University of Maryland recruit from getting the ball down low.

..."We couldn't let Jordan Williams beat us," Murphy added. "I think this was the first time we kept him under 40 points.”

• Plainfield, N.J., point guard Isaiah Epps spoke with about his commitment to Pittsburgh early this week.

"I sat down with my family and all my AAU coaches," Epps said. "They were talking about what would be better for me, and said that in the Big East there are better guards. I wanted to try and play in that conference."

Epps chose the Panthers and head coach Jamie Dixon over Maryland, Rutgers and Seton Hall, saying that while he likes both the ACC and the Big East, he felt most at home at Pitt.

• Maryland and Pitt will apparently battle for another 2010 recruit, according to NBE Basketball Report.

The Panthers only had one opening for the 2010 class, but they will continue to pursue top prospects, especially 6′4″ wing Will Barton of Lake Clifton HS in Baltimore, MD.

• UM power forward target Will Regan reached a career milestone last week.

Will Regan scored 37 points to surpass 1,000 in his career as Nichols downed St. Francis, 83-71, in a Monsignor Martin Association basketball game Friday night. The junior center also had 19 rebounds as the Vikings moved to 11-1, 3-0. Nichols led, 47-46, at halftime.

• Maryland shooting guard target Taran Buie led Bishop Maginn to a blowout over Troy (N.Y.) on Tuesday.

Junior Taran Buie pumped in 18 points to lead Big 10 frontrunner Bishop Maginn to an 83-30 victory over Troy.

• Terps forward targets and Miller (Va.) School teammates Mychal Parker and Hippolyte Tsafack had big games for the Mavericks in a 58-54 loss to Blue Ridge this week.

But Miller (9-3, 1-1) got a big-time performance from Mychal Parker, who poured in a game-high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals. Hippolyte Tsafack also had a productive outing, contributing 12 points and pulling down a team-high 12 rebounds.

• Maryland women’s commitment Alyssa Thomas paced Central Dauphin in its 57-34 win over Trinity (Pa.) on Wednesday.

Broken by the talent of Alyssa Thomas, the touch of Karyn Purcell and the leadership of Gabby Singer, Trinity again played victim to girls' basketball rival Central Dauphin Wednesday night.

Thomas poured in a game-high 24 points and Purcell chipped in 13 for the Rams, who needed one memorable period to resolve this Commonwealth tussle.

• UM women’s combo guard recruit Natasha Cloud has played an integral role in helping Cardinal O’Hara (Pa.) to the No. 1 national ranking.

It is a talented, interchangeable group. All five starters are headed to Division I schools. Star senior center Stephanie Holzer, bound for Vanderbilt, once walked through O'Hara with a halo around her right leg, unable to walk up and down a court, let alone run. Natasha Cloud, the lone junior starter who verbally committed to Maryland last month, was once the starting quarterback of her grade-school football team. Danielle Callahan (La Salle) and Alicia Manning (Lafayette) each come from rich basketball bloodlines, and Alysha Womack (Monmouth) somehow manages to find time to breathe in between juggling three varsity sports.

Football recruiting

• According to the Boston Herald, Everett, Mass., cornerback and Boston College recruit Jim Noel is looking at other schools thanks to the coaching change at BC.

One local player who had committed to BC, Everett defensive back Jim Noel, now has scheduled visits to Penn State and Maryland. Everett coach John DiBiaso said yesterday that Noel, who was recruited by Spaziani and defensive line coach Jeff Comissiong, would look positively at a Spaziani hire.

“He’s just waiting to see what happens with the coaching situation,” DiBiaso said. “He’s got a good relationship with the current staff. They’re the ones who recruited him and he’s comfortable with them. I don’t know how he’s going to decide though. Right now it’s up in the air.”

• According to, Quince Orchard cornerback and Maryland commitment Travis Hawkins is scheduled to visit Florida this weekend.

These next two weeks will be huge for UF, as some of the top talent is expected on campus. The Jan. 16 weekend lineup currently stands at Reid, Gadsden, Ala., Gadsden City cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama running back pledge Trent Richardson, of Pensacola, Tampa Plant tight end Orson Charles, Irvington, N.J., athlete Joshua Evans, Gaithersburg, Md., Quince Orchard defensive back Travis Hawkins, Columbus, Ga., Carver linebacker Jarvis Jones, Miami, Gulliver Prep linebacker/safety Frankie Telfort and Fort Pierce, Westwood defensive tackle Luther Robinson.

• Maryland cornerback commitment Avery Graham had a strong showing at last week’s Montgomery Invitational track meet.

... Clarksburg's two-time 2A shot put state champion, Avery Graham, an All-Gazette first-team linebacker, placed sixth (50-0.25).

... Graham continued his strong performance by taking second in the 55-meter dash, clocking a time of 6.35 seconds. He finished less than one-hundredth of a second behind Damien Thigpin of Stonewall Jackson (Va.).

• Two prospects with Maryland offers committed to Virginia in the past week. Brooklyn, N.Y., offensive lineman Oday Aboushi pledged to the Cavaliers one week ago, while DeMatha defensive end Jeremiah Mathis verbally committed on Sunday.

Mathis said he also had scholarship offers from Maryland, Kansas State, Wake Forest, Clemson, N.C. State, New Mexico, Syracuse and Liberty. He arrived at Virginia with his parents for an official visit Friday and committed before heading home to Bowie, Md., Sunday.

“UVa was the perfect fit,” Mathis said. “It just made sense. UVa’s not just building football players, they’re building young men in their program.”

• Gwynn Park defensive tackle Raynard Randolph committed to N.C. State earlier this week.

Randolph was offered scholarships by 13 schools, among them Penn State, Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia, Michigan State, Syracuse, Illinois, Louisville and Connecticut. He said that he was glad to have his decision made so he can return to a normal life.

"It was crazy," Randolph said. "When I went to N.C. State I kind of had the pressure relieved off me. It felt like the right choice. I'm glad I can stay close to home."

• Terps defensive linemen targets and Hoboken (N.J.) High teammates Bernardo Nunez and Isaac Holmes both made official visits to Pittsburgh last weekend. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Holmes will choose between Maryland, Pitt and Florida, while Nunez is considering Maryland, Pitt and Michigan State.

• Former Sun reporter and current blogger Heather Dinich took a look this week at Maryland’s recruiting needs.

The Terps' main focus was to stock up on linebackers, especially with the departure of Rick Costa, Moise Fokou and Dave Philistin. Maryland will have to replace three seniors on its offensive line, and that was the staff's second priority. The Terps are still shopping in that department, but have a good start with three commitments in Pete DeSouza (Hyattsville, Md.), Bennett Fulper (Gretna, Va.) and Ryan Schlieper (Wexford, Pa.).

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:06 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup


Am I right to consider losing Epps a huge blow and a signal of more of the same from Gary. For several years now we keep saying...wait until next year's recruiting class. With Epps leaving, we've lost our next true PG to run our show and probably some of his good AAU buddies. Gary is a good coach, but you can't be the worst recruiter in high D1 and expect to return to past glory. His 5-year get out of jail free card from the Nat'l Champ is done - I'm ready for a coach who is not only a good motivator, but will recruit and not be an arse.

Since when is Brandywine MD close to Raleigh? I think Raynard Randolph got confused with the recruiting process and committed to the wrong school.

I just have one huge question. Why cant Maryland basketball keep big time locals home? And dont tell me about Braxton D., and Grevis V. Tell me about Carmelo and Durant and Beasley and Ruby Gay. Hell, if Len Bias where a recruit today, he'd probable end up in Texas or somewhere. Go look at the top 100 in 2010 on rivals. There are atleast 10 from the MD/DC area. How many are coming to MD? This has been and will continue to be if not the best, one of the best hotbeds for high school basketball in the country. I just don't get it. Your in THIS area, and have THIS arena, but we can't keep the local kids in state? Hell, even George Mason went to the final four, How? ALL LOCAL TALENT! And if you don't think the local talent is endless, how in the hell have we lost to MORGAN STATE and AMERICAN in consecutive years? Get out of NJ, don't waste your time in CT, lock down the borders, AND KEEP THE TOP TALENT HOME!!!! I understand losing out to GT. I'll even understand Duke or NC every once in a while. But Pitt? Xavier? Kansas State? Not Kanas. Kansas State! Even LMU?.......LMAO.
Its time. Gary, I LOVE YA. But its time. You did all you can do, and thank you for it. But its time. These kids today don't remember Bob Wade, but I do, so I know how far you've had to bring us, but now its time. If Brenda can take the womens program to that next level, the men should be able to also.

Jesus one of our only four star recruits is going to visit the school that just won the national championship. Hmm wonder if he may withdrawl that commitment after that visit.
Gary please god for the next coach get vinson so we can have one four star recruit for the 09 class not two dave neal caliber players. speaking of if neal is one of the top 5 basketball players at umd there is something really wrong. he is one of the worst players i have ever seen. he shouldn't be allowe to watch basketball.

Lay off Neal. He plays hard, seems like a very good kid, and does all he can do with his athletic ability. It's not his fault that Gary won't recruit anyone better to play.

It's very obvious that the only reason we got the good talent here was the long-term assistant coaches like Hahn, Dickerson, and Patsos. Those guys got the kids and somehow could put up with Gary's crap. Now with all the turnover and Gary's disinterest, we're lucky to get a kid rated 100. So sad. Just when we thought we were going to be an elite program with Duke and UNC, we slide back to just another ACC school with the likes of Clemson, Miami, FSU, GT, NCSU...and dare I say UVA?

Let's get a coach in who can recruit and capitalize on Comcast and the history that is becoming more and more distant...

Mark Davis - I think the general consensus is that if Bouie comes it offsets most of what we lost in Epps. No idea how close they are in talent but that is what I read.

Jordan Williams and James Padgett are both 4 star recruits on Recruiting and talent have nothing to with the losses to morgan st or miami. This team should be 2-0 in the ACC. They just need to finish out games. This team is better than people give them credit for. They beat Mich St a top 10 team. All the haters need to shut up and let the season play out.

Thanks Lucky, hope so. I thought Bouie was a sg though. And at this point, if he is really that good - history says he'll go elsewhere.

Are we surprised that Epps chose to attend Pittsburgh over Maryland? He did attend Midnight Madness at Comcast where the arena had empty seats and the atmosphere was stale. The Gymkana group drew the loudest cheers that night as it has the past few years. As a lifelong Terp fan and Terp grad there is more to this than our coaches being outrecruited. Our fan base has become complacent as evidenced by the sparse student section against GA Tech and the fickle season ticketholder/Terrapin Club member who only attends key games. This didn't happen at Cole but it is a regular sight at Comcast. It is really pathetic. If Epps chose to attend a school with more galvanizing support and a better caliber of opponents then who can blame him. Maybe the Maryland program needs some change but it starts at the grassroots...with the fans. Get behind our teams and the players & coaches will jump though fiery hoops like the Gymkana troup does for those of you who bother to attend Midnight, or Maryland Madness.

TerpnTime - you're exactly right, no one is suprised, and that's the point. Going back to Jawad Williams, time and time again Umd is only getting the recruits no one else wants. I used to follow this on the premium sites until I got sick of the constant disappointment. Gary has created the apathy b/c of the lack of talent on the floor.

Fans need something to get excited about, and watching 3 guards and 2 SF with no perimeter game try to compete is not going to get it done. They try hard, great - but Md fans expect to be a fixture in the NCAAs, not hopeful to get there.

Gary took this program from the bottom, brought it to the pinacle and I will be eternally thankful. But he has since brought us back to ACC afterthought with no hope for a return anytime soon - so that is why it's time for him to leave and with time he'll be remembered for the good he did.

And I doubt Pitt has better fans than Md. They're a football town and I know they're very good right now, I doubt they have the long-time fans that Md does. All the Md fan needs is hope, and this team is as good as it'll be and there are no frosh now or coming that will take us back to where we were.

Hey TerpnTime, perhaps Epps selected Pitt so he could play not for only Coach Dixon but with a guard named Dixon. That's right, none other than Jermaine Dixon, Juan's little brother. There could be legit reasons why Jermaine did not select MD such as: could not qualify (he did get to Pitt by way of a JUCO), didn't want to follow in his big bro's footsteps or maybe Juan and Gary's great relationship isn't any thing that is inexcusable is how little has been mentioned about this recruit. It's one thing to not get a so-called talent like Epps but to not get even a serious look from the little brother of one of the most beloved Terp hoop player ever is ridiculous. Worse is how little coverage this has received from the Sun or any other local media outlets. It is unreal how much the room the media gives Gary. If Jermaine did not want to come, that's his decision. The kid is certainly good enough as he's starting for a team that was ranked #1 in the nation as of yesterday! I just think it would be nice to know if MD even offered him. If the kid "blew up" since HS that would sound like a family trait and one we would welcome at this point.

As a long time season ticket holder(even as I have moved all over the country)I resent anyone trying to blame a lack of support for the program as a reason for failing to land top recruits. Our fan base has always been one of the most passionate in the ACC. The empty seats have only turned up in the last couple years as a result of a significant downturn in the program. It is a difficult pill to swallow when your program goes from elite to irrelevant almost overnight. Gary set the bar high and in the last 5years has failed to live up to the standards he set. I will always be grateful for rebuilding our program and like most fans would like some signs of a turnaround. Fans don't attract recruits. Recruits are drawn to winning on the national stage, competing against the best and coaches they believe in. Our program needs a hard look in the mirror.

Thanks for the insight on Juan Dixon's brother. Sometimes younger bros don't follow the footsteps such as Vontae Davis choosing Illinois over MD where Vernon Davis played. No one is arguing whether we have passionate fans or not. I resent that the passion only comes out when Duke or UNC comes here. The empty seats at the last 2 home Big Ten-ACC Challenges (Michigan and Illinois) are inexcusable. You think recruits don't notice this? In front of a national audience watching ESPN? I stand by my Midnight Madness remark. A number of prospective recruits attend this or take one of their visits during this. If one sees a lack of enthusiasm plus empty seats why commit to Maryland? Also, I'm not a Williams apologist when it comes to our recruiting woes. You win with talent because most of these guys can coach at this level. For example, Indiana is down because the talent isn't there. I get it. But booing, not attending, and having only a cheer or two beyond Hey, You Suck isn't what I call passionate...maybe incompassionate is appropriate. We do need to take a hard look in the mirror. This includes fans like us. Let me know when you hear the Fight song? You're lucky if they play it once while they play the Victory song ad nauseum. I have ideas to change this just tell me who to contact and I'll work on it. Go Terps!

The terps just dont have "it" anymore. Gary has no will to recruit anymore, and his assistance just cant out recruit these big time programs themselves. The lack of talent is the problem on this team, and if you dont admit that then you are just refusing to face the truth. Look at Duke and UNC. UNC has 8 McDonald's All Americans on their roster, Duke has 7. Guess how many Maryland has? That's right, ZERO!!!! To win you must recruit, and that is why Maryland is not winning. You can not just rely on trying to find "lightning in a bottle" when recruiting(like Juan Dixon). Gary brought us to the national stage, but it is time for him to go. We need someone who is not so lazy and wants to win, and win badly. If anyone has any thoughts about this, good or bad, please criticize, i like to see what other heartbroken and frustrated Terps fans think too.

I think the problem is that flex offense. Big time atheletes want to run motion and get up an down the floor. No wonder the top players go elsewhere. And another thing: Baltimore doesn't do a good job of promoting their top players. If Dino Gregory was Baltimore player of the year then what does that say about the other players from there. Loose the Flex, stop yelling at players who are not in the game and stop pressing so much. Any half @$$ team can beat a press these days. They players spend so much energy pressing they can't any good half court defense. Gary I'm on your side but make a change.

The problem is not the flex offense. No matter what offense you run, if you get the right players into that offense then you will succeed. Obviously, Gary is too lazy to recruit these kids into his offense, so he is picking up the scraps left from the elite ACC teams and throwing them into this offense. I think changing the offense would be a decent idea, but Gary and his staff would have to be ready to recruit these big time players hard on really sell them on Maryland and playing early. If we dont change the offense or fire Gary, then it is time to really do some work on the recruiting trail and find out who the best players are for this system. Hopefully Padgett and Williams are those types of guys who can get it done. How we go Mosley to come to Maryland is beyond me..................

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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