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August 13, 2010

Weekly recruiting roundup

A new power forward prospect has emerged on the Maryland men's basketball program's wish list.

Johnny O'Bryant, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound rising senior from Cleveland, Miss., has added the Terps to his list of schools. The four-star prospect is focused on seven programs. reported earlier today that O'Bryant has trimmed his list to Maryland, Miami, Alabama, Ole Miss, Miss. State, LSU & Georgia Tech.

Rivals High named O'Bryant the best big man at last weekend's Nike Global Challenge in Oregon.

If there was one glaring omission from the All-Tournament team, J.O.B. was it. The stocky 6-foot-10 center owned the paint for USA West all three days while averaging 19.3 points and 12 rebounds a game.'s Jerry Meyer said this week that he'd put O'Bryant as a bench player on his all-star team for the class of 2011.

And at center, the problem here is that the best low-post players in the class aren't physical players. [Anthony] Davis would be my pick, with James McAdoo of Norfolk (Va.) Norfolk Christian School right behind him. But then I would want a physical grinder like Johnny O'Bryant of Cleveland (Miss.) East Side to come off the bench.

• Adam Zagoria reports that Queens, N.Y., forward Maurice Harkless will take an official visit to Maryland on Sept. 17.

Asked why Maryland gets the first visit, he said: “I just really wanted to get down there and check it out.”

The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy said Harkless was one of five prospects who raised his profile this summer on the AAU circuit. ranked Harkless No. 96 entering the summer because of some uninspiring spring performances. He tore through July, though, showing off ballhandling and 3-point shooting ability that'll make UConn sorry he's no longer committed to the Huskies (and no longer considering their program). He has a long list heavy on Big East schools.

• Maryland remains in the mix for New Egypt, N.J., center Desmond Hubert.

Pittsburgh, Virginia, Wake Forest and Maryland are at or near the top of Hubert’s college list, said his high school coach, Jay Corby.

• City shooting guard Nick Faust fared well at the Nike Global Challenge, according to's Joel Francisco.

[Trevor] Cooney hit a number of 3s and moved very well without the ball, while Faust displayed his all-around game with some exceptional passes and deep 3s.

• The Virginian-Pilot notes that Norcom (Va.) small forward Dorian Finney-Smith is now's 13th-ranked player in the 2011 class.

Finney-Smith narrowed his list of colleges down to Virginia Tech, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Wake Forest and Old Dominion.

• NBE Basketball Report has an update on Team Takeover's players, including DeMatha junior guard James Robinson.

“The biggest question coaches had with James -- and it wasn’t a question with me because I’ve had him since he was 12 and know what he can do -- was could he play the point guard spot,” said [Team Takeover coach Keith] Stevens. “He proved that and then some as Maryland, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, UAB, Va Tech and Wake have all offered.”

Rodney Purvis, a sophomore guard with an early Maryland offer, was a top performer at the adidas Nations event in Chicago.

When it comes time to rank the class of 2013, Purvis is going to have to at least be discussed for the top spot. Let's be clear, he's probably more of a combo at this point. But, he's easy to project as a physical, athletic and hard charging point down the road. We'd never really seen how he reads pick and roll situations but he proved in Chicago that he's more than comfortable in those situations and a good decision maker. He appears to be the total package on and off of the floor.

Football recruiting

• After a summer spent touring college campuses, Gilman quarterback Darius Jennings is now focused on 10 schools. Penn State blog Linebacker U has Jennings' list.

His top ten include (according to his Facebook page) Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

• The Terps are still in the running for DeMatha offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.

Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Virginia and USC are his final 11.

• Virginia Tech picked up an offensive line recruit with a Maryland offer, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Jake Goins, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound tackle from Manchester, has orally committed to Tech. That helps ease the loss of two star prospects who went to North Carolina this summer. Goins picked the Hokies over scholarship offers from Clemson, Duke, Maryland and Virginia.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 1:15 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup


Good afternoon Matt, how are you? Why did Jackie Nared leave the womens basketball team?

Keep up with the great work

Rodney -- Nared was going to transfer closer to home, and probably to a program with more playing time available.


With all of the player and scholarship movement that has occurred over the past year or so with the program, how many scholarships do the men's basketball team have for 2011 and 2012, respectively? I ask because it appears that the Terps have extended offers to and/or are looking hard at many highly rated players. While I fully understand that more offers are routinely made than there are available scholarships--with some offers being "soft," some being withdrawn, particularly after a like-kind player/position has been filled, and still others disappearing as players commit to other schools--it just seems like Maryland has an awfully high number of kids sporting "offers" at this time. This can certainly mean an increased aggressiveness in the Terps' recruiting efforts, but I would imagine a "scorched earth" approach, if this could even be categorized as such, could also have a potential negative impact by leaving too many recruits empty-handed at the end of the day. Is this observation accurate or is it the recruiting "norm" and simply a reflection of our access to the more comprehensive recruiting information, such as your blog, et al. that is now available to the public?

Terp'nTexas -- Maryland will have 12 scholarship players this year. The Terps will graduate Gregory, Bowie and Tucker, giving them four open scholarships for 2011. One of those scholarships will go to Sterling Gibbs, so UM could give up to three more scholarships for the 2011 class. If they fill those, then they'll have two more for 2012, but there's obviously a lot of time for all that to be worked out, and as we've seen the past few years, things can change in a hurry. As for Maryland offering so many players, I'd say that has become the norm in college hoops. Certain players with offers are prioritized over others, though, so it's a delicate game that has to be played. But Maryland's certainly not alone in offering this many prospects.

Thanks, Matt.

Nice job as always. I don't if it's worth mentioning but I heard Luke Piotrowski (had MD high on his list a few months back) gave a verbal to Richmond.

Michael -- Thanks for the kind words. I think Driesell was the main guy tracking Piotrowski, but the Terps had slowed their pursuit of him a little bit ago. He's a great get for Richmond.

Don't know anyone is interested in this, but this article is related to past recruit.

NEW YORK (AP) — Indiana Pacers draft pick Lance Stephenson, after pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs, grabbed her and hit her head on the bottom step, prosecutors said Monday.
Authorities say the confrontation occurred around 5 a.m. Sunday when the woman, Jasmine Williams, was returning home to her apartment building with two friends. Witnesses said Stephenson was waiting for her and yelled, "Are you kidding me?" before pushing her down the stairs.
A criminal complaint provided Monday by the Brooklyn district attorney's office said that as Williams lay at the bottom of the stairs, Stephenson picked up her head and slammed it on the bottom step.
When police arrived, Stephenson told them the woman had fallen down the stairs, prosecutors said. The complaint said Williams suffered head and back wounds and possible damage to her neck.

Am glad we didn't get him.

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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.

High school recruiting database
Area high school commitments -- 2009
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Maryland's 2011 football commitments
Maryland's 2010 football recruiting class
Maryland's 2009 football recruiting class
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