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April 30, 2011

Derrious Gilmore signs with Wyoming

derrious-gilmore-jcc.jpg For the past three years, Derrious Gilmore has lived a nomadic basketball existence, bouncing from prep school to one junior college and then another.

The former Lake Clifton standout’s goal through it all was a Division I scholarship – and some much-needed stability.

“It was discouraging. It was hard. It was a rough transition for any young man to go through so many things, with three schools in three years,” said Gilmore, who played at Princeton Day Academy, Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College and Jones County (Miss.) Junior College. “That’s tough to do. But I put all my faith in the Lord. That just keeps my faith. The Lord would see it through. I kept putting my faith in him. It just helped me through the whole situation. It was very discouraging, but I worked hard for it. I felt that I could make it by sticking with it."

Earlier this week, Gilmore’s perseverance finally paid off. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound guard signed a letter of intent to Wyoming, picking the Cowboys over Morgan State and Towson, among others.

“I’ll be part of their family and come in right away and make an impact right away and help turn that program right around,” Gilmore said Friday. “I really just love the coaching staff. They stood out to me and it was [about] trying something new, experience a part of the country that a lot of people from Baltimore never get a chance to see.”

There was little doubt that Gilmore was a Division I-caliber player coming out of high school in 2008. But the Lakers’ floor general missed NCAA qualifying standards and headed to Princeton Day Academy in Lanham for a post-grad year. Gilmore generated a good deal of DI interest there, but after his scores came up short again, he packed his bags for Florida.

Gilmore fared well at Pensacola, but a coaching change prompted his transfer to Jones County. While living in a small town in Mississippi was an significant change in lifestyle for Gilmore, he flourished with the Bobcats.

“I think he showed a lot of maturity,” said Jones County coach Don Skelton. “When you move around like that, it’s tough to keep your focus. But he was great this year on the court and off. … He’s just a real competitor. He’s a really loyal guy. If you take care of him, he’ll be totally loyal. He gives it back to you. I was extremely impressed. The bigger the game, the better he got.”

Gilmore averaged 12.3 points, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals for the Bobcats. He ranked 26th nationally in assists among all Division I junior college players. He also converted 44.7 percent of his 3-pointers. Under Gilmore’s direction, Jones County finished 15-10 and played in the Region 23 tournament.

“He’s just a tough, true point guard,” Skelton said. “On the offensive end, he’s going to push the ball on the break for you and get you set up if you want to run the half court. Defensively, his ball pressure starts the man-to-man defense.”

West Virginia expressed interest in Gilmore earlier this year. A scholarship wasn’t offered, but Mountaineers assistant coach Billy Hahn recommended Gilmore to new Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt. Skelton, who sent former All-ACC player Jamar McKnight to Clemson when Shyatt was the coach there, thought it was a good fit for both parties.

Gilmore visited Laramie last weekend and was blown away by the mountains and the campus atmosphere. While the trip clinched his decision, it wasn’t easy letting the Morgan and Towson coaches know that he wouldn’t be coming back to Baltimore for his final two years of college.

“It was real tough because of course getting recruited by a school in your hometown [would] let you come in and play in front of family and friends and everyone you grew up with and went to high school with,” Gilmore said. “But my family and I thought a lot about it, and it was just best for me to just stay away. I’m doing really good. I don’t want to take the chance of coming home and losing focus. It’s really easy to come home and lose focus with everyone that you love.”

Gilmore said he’s excited to play for a veteran coaching staff, but also be part of something “brand new.” He expects to challenge for the Cowboys’ starting point guard job.

After three years of moving around, Gilmore can’t wait to settle in to his new life out west.

“Going through what I’ve been through, my struggles made me a lot stronger,” Gilmore said. “It made me the person I am today. When you go through things in life, it makes you stronger. I’m going to appreciate the opportunity to play at the Division I level at a great school in a great conference. It really helped me mature a lot and prepared me to take advantage of the opportunity I have to play at the University of Wyoming next year.”

Photo of Gilmore courtesy of Jones County Junior College.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:33 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 29, 2011

Weekly recruiting roundup

The Maryland men's basketball program's search for a 2011 big man has turned to the junior college ranks.

InsideMDSports.com reported Thursday that the Terps are "moving" on Robert Goff, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.

Goff, who will have two years of eligibility, signed with Oklahoma last fall. But the three-star prospect came back on the market this week.

Goff signed with OU in November prior to his sophomore season at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. When Goff signed, it was to play for former Sooner coach Jeff Capel. When he was fired last month, it led to a change of heart. He asked OU to release him from the letter of intent.

• Former Bladensburg star and Kansas State transfer Wally Judge will visit Maryland this weekend and Washington the next, according to Adam Zagoria.

Still, sources said Rutgers remains the team to beat after the 6-foot-9 Judge visited the campus two weeks ago and was hosted by Dane Miller and Austin Carroll.

• Two scouting services released their final class of 2011 rankings this week. In Scout.com's Top 100, Terps shooting guard signee Nick Faust checked in at No. 49. Faust was ranked 48th in Rivals.com's Top 150, while Martin Breunig made a surprise appearance at No. 137.

Joe Davis of ScoutsFocus.com tweeted an update Thursday on the recruitment of potential Terps forward target Jared Guest.

Top 4 right now is VCU, UGA, Clemson, TN. Florida called yesterday.

• NBE Basketball caught up this week with Brewster (N.H.) Academy center Mitch McGary.

He’s already taken trips to Illinois, Marquette, Purdue and Indiana and is attempting to plan visits to Cincinnati, Maryland, Florida, Indiana and Texas.

Football recruiting

• Maryland cornerback signee Michael Williams ran the fastest 400-meter hurdles time for high school runners in the country last weekend at the McNamara Mustangs Invitational.

Williams, a key member of DeMatha’s 4x400 relay team that finished the indoor season with the fastest time in the country, showed tremendous strength in the 400 hurdles. He led from the start and ran away from Oxon Hill’s Kyle Smith to win in 54.28 seconds. That time eclipsed the 54.43 run by Antonio Blanks of Dunbar (Ohio).

• The Sporting News named Good Counsel's Stefon Diggs one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2012 class.

He's a Maryland product, and nearby schools like Maryland, Virginia Tech, Rutgers and Pitt should be considered potential threats to land him. The rest of the nation's powers won't quit trying to get him.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 1:04 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

April 28, 2011

Season recap: Lexie Brown

Bryan Sellers wasn't familiar with Lexie Brown's basketball past when she moved to the Atlanta area from Orlando and enrolled at North Gwinnett (Ga.) High last fall. But after some cursory research, the Bulldogs' girls basketball coach quickly became excited for the Maryland commitment's high school future.

“I knew who her dad was,” Sellers said of former NBA player Dee Brown. “When I found out she was coming, I was talking to some people around the Atlanta area who are in girls basketball. They were filling me in on who she was and what kind of player and what kind of kid she was. Obviously, I was very excited to have her in our program. When she got here, a lot more people found out what kind of kid she was and what kind of student she was, and obviously what kind of basketball player she was.”

The weeks leading up to the official start of Brown’s sophomore season weren’t without a few bumps in the road. Sellers said Brown, a 5-foot-9 sophomore point guard, was “hesitant” in acclimating herself to the team. It was readily apparent that she had talent, but it took some time for the Terps recruit to get completely comfortable in her new surroundings.

“She didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes or anything like that,” Sellers said. “She didn’t want to just come in and say, ‘Hey, this is going to be my team.’ It really showed what kind of player she was. When she was at our first scrimmage, competition started and [she was like], ‘Hey, it’s time to play.’ She turned it on and went up three or four notches from what she had been doing before that. At that point, I was like, ‘Don’t hold back. You play your game and everyone else is going to have to catch up.’”

From that point on, Brown guided the Bulldogs with the sort of fearlessness that earned her a Maryland offer last summer. Sellers said Terps coach Brenda Frese and assistant David Adkins checked in periodically, and were always impressed with what they saw in Brown.

“They’re excited to have her. They really are,” Sellers said. “There are some aspects that she brings to the table that they kind of struggled with this year. She’s got great handles. She’s a consistent outside shooter. I think she led or was second in 3-pointers made this year. So she’s a multidimensional player. When Coach Frese was here, she watched us play Norcross the first time and Lexie had 31. When the game was on the line, Lexie wanted the ball. She made something happen with it. That’s something Coach Frese was very impressed with.”

Brown proved to be the unquestioned star of North Gwinnett, averaging 18.5 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals. She guided the Bulldogs to a 22-7 record and the Sweet 16 of the Georgia Class AAAAA state playoffs. Off the court, she ingratiated herself to teachers by making straight As in her honors and AP courses. And with the Bulldogs, Brown quickly showed herself to be the ultimate teammate.

“She had this breakaway, 2 on 1, and she sees the girl that’s running with her, who probably hasn’t scored 10 points all year,” Sellers said. “All she has to do is take it up a notch for the layup. But as soon as she saw her [teammate], there was no doubt in my mind that she was going to pass the ball. It was a perfect bounce pass and the girl lays it in. She’s just unselfish. Moments like that [happened] throughout the year. There were games that she didn’t play halfway through the third quarter because we were ahead by so many points. And she was just excited watching other girls on our team compete. She was on the bench, cheering on her teammates louder than anybody else.”

North Gwinnett beat the eventual state champion two out of three times, and enjoyed an 18-game winning streak midway through its season. With Brown on the Bulldogs’ roster for two more years, Sellers can’t help but wonder how much more success is in his program’s future.

“It’s just kind of amazing how mature she is. It’s hard to realize she was just a sophomore,” Sellers said. “She sees the whole game. She understands the whole game. And she just stepped into the situation where she fit in. She embraced the role and she was a leader on our team. It’s just amazing to me to know that she’s going to be back for the next two years. … So I’m excited to have her. I know Coach Frese is excited to have her, too.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:48 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Season recaps
        

April 27, 2011

Daquan Cook, Aquille Carr bring home gold

carr-cook-1.jpg Daquan Cook, Aquille Carr and the rest of U.S. Elite Select Basketball's under-19 team returned home from Italy on Tuesday as champions.

The U.S. team rolled to five wins in three days at the Junior International Tournament in Milan, culminating with an 86-66 victory over Italy’s Basket Rimini Crabs in the championship game Monday.

“We brought the gold home,” said Cook, a 6-foot-1 combo guard from Digital Harbor. “Competition was great. Everybody was strong, big, tall, athletic and fast. Every game was tough. We had to work hard every game.”

Cook saved his best performance for last, scoring a game-high 31 points in the title game. The Rams junior averaged 21 points for the tournament, earning MVP honors for his efforts.

“I think it’s going to be a big turning point in my basketball career because it’s an international tournament,” Cook said. “I never played against competition like that before. Playing competition like that and doing well, that’s a big statement.”

Carr averaged around 30 points for the U.S. The Patterson point guard had never left the country before the JIT, but his introduction to Italy was a surprisingly welcome one.

carr-fan-club.jpg “They really knew my name and who I was,” Carr said. “That was just great. I’m not just known in my city or my state. I’m known all over the [world]. … [Kids were] coming up to me, [saying] ‘We watched your You Tube videos. You’re a great player. Why don’t you come over here and play?’”

Said Cook: “It was like in the NBA. We were celebrities up there, signing autographs, taking pictures with little kids, giving out our jerseys. It was a great experience.”

U.S. Elite Select beat two teams from Italy, one from Spain, one from Serbia and one from Croatia. Coach Chris Chaney said he was blown away by the crowd’s reception to his team throughout the tournament – particularly in the championship game.

“It’s the love of basketball,” Chaney said. “I was in China last summer and it’s just amazing the love of the game of basketball internationally. It’s just so strong. It almost felt like everybody was against us in the beginning of the [title] game, but throughout the game, it just kind of grew. You start hearing chants of ‘USA, USA.’ I think people saw how hard we played and how we overcame different circumstances. We just kept fighting and fighting. It was a fun environment to be around.”

carr-cook-2.jpg Carr got in a minor shoving match with an Italian player in the title game. The officials, having set a precedent in an earlier game, bypassed technical fouls and ejected both players from the game. Still, Chaney said it was easy to see how Carr and Cook became crowd favorites throughout the tournament.

“I think they both have tremendous upside,” Chaney said. “I really like Daquan. I think he’s going to be a fantastic player. I like his game a lot. He’s got a great midrange game, really defends, obviously knows how to score. He’s going to be a really good one. Aquille is obviously … a very exciting player, a very driven player. Obviously, he has high upside, too.”

Overall, the Junior Invitational Tournament was an experience Carr and Cook won’t soon forget.

“I just always wanted to go over there,” Carr said. “I never knew I would go over there this year and win a championship, bring the gold home.”

Handout photos courtesy of bmorefinest.com

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:25 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 26, 2011

Rosters set for I-95 Elite Challenge

Some of the top boys and girls basketball players in the city will be on display Saturday during the third annual Under Armour I-95 Elite Challenge at St. Frances.

The event tips off at 2 p.m. with the Class of 2014 boys game. The Baltimore all-stars are headlined by Lionel Owona (John Carroll), Allen Costley (St. Frances) and Justin Jenifer, who was profiled as a 10-year-old phenom in a 2006 Washington Post article.

At 3:30 p.m., the Baltimore girls take on a DMV all-star team. Digital Harbor's Infinity Alston is one of many top local players scheduled to appear.

The Class of 2013 game is set to start at 4:30 p.m. Patterson point guard Aquille Carr, The Baltimore Sun's 2010 All-Metro Player of the Year, will be joined by Clippers teammate Myrek Lee-Fowlkes, Forest Park's Anton Waters, Glenelg Country School's Warren Powers, and several others on the city's squad. They'll face a national team led by forward Sindarius Thornwell, a four-star prospect from Lancaster, S.C.

The main event for Saturday's festivities is scheduled for 6 p.m. The Baltimore team features Digital Harbor's Daquan Cook and Antonio Manns, Forest Park's Quentin Judd, City's Lionel Greene and St. Frances' Josh Forney, among others. The national all-star team will be led by Indian Land (S.C.) point guard Terrell Rogers, the son of Lake Clifton legend and former George Washington star Shawnta Rogers.

Tickets for the I-95 Elite Challenge are $10 at the door. Find complete rosters and more information at bmorefinest.com.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:56 PM | | Comments (0)
        

Houston team has Baltimore ties, Terps interest

Aaron Harrison comes back to Baltimore five or six times a year, but the Patterson grad's homecoming next month will be particularly special.

Harrison is set to bring his Houston Defenders AAU program here for the Nike Baltimore Elite Invitational Tournament, which is scheduled to run May 6-8 at CCBC-Catonsville.

The Defenders’ 17-and-under team includes up to seven future high-major Division I players, including Harrison’s twin sons Andrew and Aaron -- both consensus top 10 players in the country for the 2013 class.

“The family can get a chance to see them play,” Harrison said. “That is very important. It’s Mother’s Day.”

After starring for the Clippers’ basketball team and graduating from high school in 1987, Harrison joined the army and ended up in Texas. He met his wife in San Antonio, and the couple settled in Houston. He got involved with the Defenders seven years ago. Today, the Defenders are one of the top AAU programs in the country.

In addition to the Harrison twins, the Defenders also receive major contributions from center Shaquille Cleare, shooting guard Christian Sanders, forward Derrick Griffin, forward Clyde Santee, point guard Eugene Wright, shooting guard Wesley Iwundu and point guard Ali Muhammad.

Cleare, a 6-foot-10, 285-pound center originally from the Bahamas, came to Texas in ninth grade. With just three years of organized basketball under his belt, Cleare has already developed into one of the most highly recruited big men in the 2012 class. The Terps currently “stand at the top of his list.”

“They’re definitely working on Shaquille very hard. I would say they’re the front-runners for Shaquille right now,” said Harrison, who also mentioned Texas, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Arizona as schools involved with Cleare. “He’s one of those guys that needs to lose weight. But just his size and his build, he’s a really good athlete [with] incredibly good hands [and] good feet. Great kid.”

Harrison said Santee has also received some interest from the Terps, while his sons are being pursued by “Texas, Texas A&M, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, UCLA. There’s a lot more. I hate to leave them out,” Harrison said.

The Harrison twins landed their first scholarship offers from Baylor when they were seventh-graders. Aaron, a 6-foot-6, 206-pound shooting guard, and Andrew, a 6-foot-6, 208-pound point guard, couldn’t be more different in terms of personality. Harrison said Aaron is a “free spirit,” while Andrew is “very intense.”

“They’re two separate personalities, but they’re definitely connected at the hip,” Harrison said. “Even if, say, they could go to different schools, they wouldn’t. They’re different, but they want to be with each other. They’re each other's biggest fans. They believe in each other, put pressure on each other.”

Harrison said he’s looking forward to next month’s tournament. It’ll give the Defenders – an Under Armour-sponsored team – a chance to see their coach’s old stomping grounds. Harrison also hopes to make time for a trip to College Park.

“I’m going to try to walk every kid through the University of Maryland, find some time and take a trip over there,” Harrison said. “The younger kids really enjoy it. It’ll give Shaq a chance to see what it’s like over there.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:24 PM | | Comments (14)
        

April 25, 2011

Weekend wrap – Terps offer 2012 center

Maryland's search for a post player in the 2012 class has expanded to the West Coast.

Scout.com's Josh Gershon reported this weekend that the Terps have offered Robert Upshaw, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound center from Fresno, Calif.

A four-star prospect and Scout.com's No. 15 center, Upshaw reportedly claims offers from Arizona, Arizona State, LSU, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC and Utah, among others.

SLAM's Jamie Palmer offered a scouting report on Upshaw from the Real Deal in the Rock event last weekend.

In his match up against CBC (Andre Drummond), he showed tremendous ability to use all of his length to block shots and rebound where he recorded 11 blocks and 12 rebounds on my count. He is a back to the basket big who has great feel and finishes with authority around the basket where he is at best.

Check out a couple highlights of Upshaw starting at 1:28 in the video below.

Phil Kornblut reported last week that Jared Guest -- a 6-foot-8 forward from Charis (N.C.) Prep who has drawn interest from Maryland -- has two schools at the top of his list.

Guest said he can play SG or small forward. He averaged 15 points and eight rebounds per game last season. Guest said VCU and Georgia are his top two.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:34 AM | | Comments (2)
        

April 22, 2011

Weekly recruiting roundup

Just a couple of weeks on the AAU circuit was all it took for Brewster (N.H.) Academy center Mitch McGary to emerge as one of the most highly recruited players in the 2012 class.

The four-star prospect from Chesterton, Ind., told NY2LASports.com that his recruitment is "wide open."

McGary indicated that he’s already received offers from Maryland, Mississippi, Miami (FL), Marquette, Purdue, Indiana, Oregon State, etc. He indicated that over the past few weeks he’s also heard from the likes of Texas, Arizona, Florida, Florida State, West Virginia, Connecticut, Duke, Cincinnati, Illinois, Michigan, Rutgers, Iowa, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, and Washington State amongst others.

SLAM also offered a scouting report this week on the Terps target.

[McGary] has no problem getting a defensive board, begin the break himself, and finish with a crazy dunk. You don’t see guys who can eat up space in the middle with those type of skills, which is why schools ranging from the up and down PAC-10 to the slower paced Big Ten are all throwing their names in the Mitch McGary lottery.

Coast 2 Coast Hoops last weekend posted a video interview with Maryland center target Shaquille Cleare. Rivals.com's No. 27 player in the 2012 class said the Terps are recruiting him the hardest. Check out the entire interview below.

• The Washington Post's Josh Barr caught up this week with DeMatha coach Mike Jones, who hosted several high-major schools -- including Maryland -- interested in Bee Jay Anya, Jeremi Grant, and several other Stags. Grant has starred this spring on the AAU circuit for Team Takeover.

“They haven’t lost yet and he’s been killing it,” Jones said. “Both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are all over him. I know Connecticut is now interested in him. I know Syracuse is now interested in him. His recruitment was pretty good before, but now even more people are starting to inquire. He had a great finish to the last part of our season and he’s obviously taken that and continued it. He’s doing great.”

NBE Basketball published an updated list of schools for Grant.

Grant, a straight baller in the Class of 2012 showing the signs of a potential pro, told NBE’s Lauren Kirschmann that he holds offers from Georgetown, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami, Rutgers and Clemson.

Football recruiting

• Franklin wide receiver Ian Thomas told Rivals.com this week that Maryland and Rutgers are showing the most interest in him.

“I’ve been to Boston College, Rutgers, West Virginia and Maryland, in that order,” said Thomas, who also mentioned that he does not have any further visits finalized at this time.

• Potomac athlete Ronald Darby, a five-star prospect and Maryland target, committed to Notre Dame last weekend.

His scholarship offer list reads like a who's who of top programs, but he skipped over all of them to go with Notre Dame. Fans at Alabama, Florida, Penn State and USC were disappointed to learn that he's off the market. Darby is also a talented running back—and Scout.com rates him as a five-star prospect.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:47 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

April 21, 2011

Isaiah Philmore focused on five schools

isaiah-philmore-transfer.jpg After a sophomore season filled with individual accomplishment but devoid of team success, Isaiah Philmore decided last week to transfer away from Towson.

Philmore, a Baltimore Sun second-team All-Metro selection at John Carroll in 2009, averaged a team-best 15.3 points to go along with seven rebounds per game for the Tigers (4-26) this season. The centerpiece of Pat Kennedy’s 2009 recruiting class was living up to his pre-college hype, but ultimately decided against staying on for the beginning of the Pat Skerry era.

Duane Coverdale -- the director of Delaware Team Takeover and Philmore’s former AAU coach -- said the 6-foot-7 forward is focused on five schools as potential transfer destinations: Dayton, Delaware State, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Xavier.

“He wanted to look at the lows, the mids and the highs, see where he's needed more than wanted, see where he fits in, and then make a decision,” Coverdale said Wednesday. “There are no favorites or anything like that. He just has five schools he's looking at, looking at different variables and making a decision.”

With a first-year coach in Archie Miller, Dayton may be targeting Philmore for a role similar to what he did at Towson.

“They have shown a lot of interest and followed Isaiah,” Coverdale said. “Dayton has kind of a full-scale retooling project after Chris [Wright] graduated. It's looking more like a full-scale retooling thing.”

Delaware State is the one low-major on Philmore’s list. Coverdale said the situation in Dover is “similar to Towson” in some ways.

“It was a rebuilding year for them,” Coverdale said. “But they beat Morgan [State], who was favored to win the MEAC all year. They beat them this year. They've kind of done some rebuilding and they want a centerpiece guy. They've got some good players, four very good players sitting out, including two of Isaiah's AAU teammates. And that's pretty much what piques his interest in that.”

Missouri’s interest in Philmore was “a little surprising” to Coverdale. Former Miami coach Frank Haith took over in Columbia earlier this month and reached out to Coverdale after Philmore got his release from Towson.

“Basically, they're another high-major looking at him because they've got guys ready to leave,” Coverdale said. “Missouri is basically looking at replacing another Baltimore guy in Kimmie English, a senior next year. That's kind of what they're looking for.”

Philmore already has some familiarity with the next school on his list. Oklahoma State offered him in high school, and the Cowboys were in his final group of schools back then.

“They feel that they need the kid to come in and kind of potentially be a starter after his sit-out year,” Coverdale said.

Xavier assistant coach Rasheen Davis is the Musketeers’ point man in the recruitment of Philmore. Coverdale said Davis coached Philmore at a Hoop Group Elite camp early in Philmore’s high school career.

“He always followed him, liked him and wanted to see how he was doing,” Coverdale said.

Coverdale said Philmore is finishing up the semester at Towson, noting that his professors, Skerry and athletic director Mike Waddell have all been “very cooperative throughout the whole process.” Coverdale is currently formulating a schedule of visits, and trips could start as soon as next week. Philmore is tentatively eyeing a mid-May decision.

“He has to be very careful,” Coverdale said. “He's got two years. He really has to be sure of what he wants to do. That's why we're going to be a little deliberate. The advice I've given him is to take his time and go to the school where you're needed even more than you're wanted. And try to get some success that you didn't get at Towson.”

Baltimore Sun photo of Isaiah Philmore by Kenneth K. Lam / Nov. 16, 2010

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:53 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Ex-Towson Catholic PG Kareem Storey to Pac-12

After a high school career best characterized by uncertainty and instability, Kareem Storey sought a college experience filled with promise and the opportunity to build something new.

On Saturday, the West Baltimore native and former Towson Catholic point guard found just what he was looking for. During an official visit to Utah, Storey offered his commitment to first-year coach Larry Krystkowiak, who will guide the Utes as they transition from the Mountain West to Pac-12 conference play.

“It’s exciting,” said Storey, who also considered Iona, Nebraska and South Florida. “My mother, she started crying. It was great. Everybody was happy for me. … [I’m looking forward to] new surroundings, getting involved in a new environment, adapting to a new environment and getting to know new people.”

Storey has spent the past year at Princeton Day Academy in Lanham. But the 5-foot-11, 185-pound prospect’s seemingly unlikely journey to high-major basketball began at Towson Catholic in the fall of 2006. He spent three years with the Owls before the Archdiocese of Baltimore closed the school’s doors in the summer of 2009.

“It was really tough because when [Towson Catholic] shut down, I didn’t know what I was going to do the next year,” Storey said. “I really didn’t want to stay in the city because of the violence. My mother really wanted me to get away from the city.”

After briefly considering City and Lake Clifton, Storey decided on spending his senior year at the Kamit Institute for Magnificent Achievers – a public charter school in Washington. At KIMA, Storey said he took his game up a notch.

“That basically started my recruitment,” he said. “I think going to D.C. and having a fresh start and having the opportunity made all the difference in the world.”

Last June, the D.C. Public Charter School Board pegged KIMA as an “under-performing” school and revoked its charter. Storey, however, was unaffected by the closing of his second high school in as many years. Needing an additional English core credit and a better SAT score, he headed to Princeton Day Academy for a post-graduate year.

It didn’t take long for Storey to flourish on the prep school basketball scene. Storm coach Chris Chaney hadn’t seen Storey play before last fall, but in less than a year, he saw plenty of growth in his game.

“Everybody talked about his quickness and his toughness and stuff like that,” Chaney said. “A lot of time he just played the game at one speed. Now I think he learned a lot by playing the game at different speeds, when to do things, when not to do things [and] being more of a leader at the point guard position. I think he did a really good job of that. People that saw him play before and saw him play this year, everybody talked about how different of a player he looked like.”

As Chaney’s starting point guard, Storey averaged 12.5 points and 8.4 assists, leading PDA (26-7) to a fifth-place finish in the National Prep Championship standings.

“I just think getting in the right environment,” was beneficial for Storey, Chaney said. “Things happen for a reason and you play at a couple different schools, sometimes play for a new coach and different coaches and different styles. It really mixes [things] up. I think me and him really bonded and were good for each other.”

Several mid- and high-major programs took notice of Storey’s play. Colorado State assistant DeMarlo Slocum was one of the more interested college coaches. On April 10, Krystkowiak lured Slocum away from Fort Collins to Salt Lake City. Soon after, Storey got the good news from Utah's newest assistant.

“[Slocum] called me and told me about Utah,” Storey said. “He said he wanted me to come out and check it out. It was a great opportunity. I went down and played with the guys on the team. It felt like home. Players on the team accepted me. They were friendly and showed me around campus. It was great.”

Storey said the Utah coaches liked his unselfishness and enthusiasm for playing defense. He’s hoping to be a big part of the Utes’ building efforts in the Pac-12.

“They want me to come in and not only be a contributor, but contribute and step right in,” Storey said. “They’re looking for me to get on the floor and make changes to help get this program to where it’s supposed to be.”

While his path to high-major basketball was anything but direct, Storey never gave up hope in realizing his dream.

“I knew that I had it inside of me,” Storey said. “I just needed an opportunity.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:27 AM | | Comments (1)
        

April 20, 2011

Forest Park's Quentin Judd has options

For his first two years of high school, Quentin Judd relied on pickup games and AAU competition to satisfy his basketball fix.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound shooting guard started his high school career in western Baltimore County at Florence Bertell Academy, which didn’t have a basketball program. A chance meeting with Greate White -- who was then coaching at Walbrook -- changed Judd’s basketball fortunes.

“Actually, I was looking at Anton Waters,” White recalled. “I went to see Anton Waters, they played on the same AAU team (Team Melo). I went up to him and wound up landing him. Quentin Judd came in second.”

Judd and Waters headed to Walbrook for their junior and sophomore seasons, respectively. Then White got the coaching job at Forest Park, and both players were on the move again.

For Judd, transferring to Forest Park for his senior year was an easy decision.

“I felt as though it was a way for me to start off something new,” Judd said. “They talk about Dunbar. I felt as though I could start something on the west side with Forest Park.”

At Walbrook, Judd was the second-leading scorer. With the Foresters, he took his game to another level, scoring a team-best 20 points per game and earning a reputation as one of the city’s most athletic prospects.

“His role for my team was he was my go-to guy,” White said. “He was my focal point. He did everything for the team. It was a pleasure coaching him at times. At times, it was frustrating because you see how much talent he had [and he doesn’t always realize] how much talent he has. Sometimes, he’s on cruise control. There are ups and downs -- but more ups than downs.”

Judd keyed a 13-game turnaround for Forest Park (17-6), which fell to Northwestern in the Baltimore City Division II title game.

“I feel as though I did alright -- could have been better in big games,” Judd said. “We practiced hard, worked hard, played defense. And we had good coaching. That’s it.”

Judd started receiving Division I interest late in his junior year at Walbrook, and garnered more attention from schools based on his play with Team Melo last summer. White said that several programs are interested in Judd.

“Iona University is fully committed to [offering] him, but he hasn’t committed to Iona,” White said. “They offered him at the Milford Mill game. University of Washington is very interested. George Mason has made an offer. Virginia Tech is very interested. UNC-Wilmington is very interested. Florida Gulf Coast is very interested.”

Judd’s recruitment probably won’t end anytime soon. After playing this summer for Cecil Kirk’s 17-and-under team, Judd will head to prep school for a post-grad year. He said he’s considering Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla., IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and MACK Academy in Charlotte, N.C.

“I think it’s going to be beneficial for me down the road,” Judd said of doing a fifth year.

White called Judd “a gym rat” who plays ball and works out seven days a week for three or four hours at a time. How far basketball takes Judd ultimately depends on him, but White is optimistic that his star player is up to the challenge.

“The ceiling for him is he can go as far as he wants – just don’t let any hurdles get in his way,” White said. “He will be his biggest hurdle to get over. That’s just doing the right things, continuing to do the right things. If he continues to do the right things, he could be making money in the next couple of years playing basketball.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 1:46 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 19, 2011

Kameron Williams starring on AAU circuit

Coming off a breakout sophomore season for Mount St. Joseph, Kameron Williams had reasonable expectations heading into the first weekend of Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League earlier this month.

“I wanted to play well because Boo Williams [in Hampton, Va.] is a pretty prestigious arena,” said Williams, who plays for Nike Baltimore Elite's 16-and-under team. “And if you have a good showing there, people are going to talk about it. I just wanted to put my name in the mix by having a good weekend.”

kameron-williams.jpg

Williams accomplished that goal in a hurry. In NBE’s opening-round game against the Iowa Attackers on April 8, the 6-foot-2, 165-pound shooting guard scored 33 points. He followed that up with a 47-point outburst against the Atlanta Knicks the next morning, and 33 later that day in a matchup with the Alabama Challenge. His 47-point game tied Memphis swingman Will Barton’s single-game scoring record for Nike Baltimore Elite.

“I was really excited,” Williams said. “I didn’t expect it to happen so fast. I didn’t expect to be doing that well at this particular time.”

Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey received a couple of text messages shortly after Williams' 47-point game on April 9. The Gaels coach wasn't even a little bit surprised to hear so many favorable reviews. After a season in which Williams emerged as one of the best sophomores in the state, Clatchey would have believed almost anything positive about his young guard.

“He can put it in the basket, do it in a variety of ways,” Clatchey said. “I did his post-season player evaluation, and one thing I told him is that to become an elite-level player, he really needs to address his ability on the defensive end of the floor. He’s working on his ball handling and his passing. He takes all that stuff to heart. He not only takes it to heart, he’s willing to do something about it.”

Williams played for Mount St. Joseph’s JV team as a freshman and earned MVP honors. During the post-season meeting with Clatchey, Williams received some indication that he was ticketed for the varsity as a sophomore – provided he put in enough offseason work. Williams’ role, however, was undefined at that point in time.

“I thought I was just going to come off the bench, score about six or eight points, and that would be it,” Williams said. “But that wasn’t the case. At the middle of the year, he moved me to the starting role and I just kept producing and producing.”

Williams thrived in the Gaels’ starting lineup, scoring more than 500 points on the season. Clatchey said Williams, who scored nearly 19 points per game, had multiple 30-point games. His game was marked by high-quality, high-percentage shots taken “within the flow of the game.”

“He has an old-school mentality,” Clatchey said. “He has the work ethic, the approach and the attitude to do what’s necessary to reach his potential as a player. He goes above and beyond in terms of putting time and effort into improving himself as a player.”

For Williams’ efforts, he was the lone sophomore selected to the Baltimore Catholic League’s first team. Clatchey said that from an offensive standpoint, Williams – who “may have a little Juan Dixon in him” – might be the most talented player he’s coached at Mount St. Joseph.

“I think he’s a very good player now, but I don’t think he is satisfied by any stretch of the imagination,” Clatchey said. “I see how hard he works in the weight room, how hard he works in the gym. There’s no clowning around, no playing around. That guy is just strictly business. As a coach, it’s just a pleasure to see someone that talented. When you couple that talent with the kind of desire to get better, I think tremendous things are on the horizon for him. He’s a coach’s dream to me.”

Clatchey said Williams’ no-nonsense approach to basketball carries over to the classroom, where the 10th-grader carries better than a 3.2 grade-point average. Needless to say there will be no concerns about Williams meeting NCAA qualifying standards.

“You can be the best basketball player in the world, but if you don’t have the grades, you can’t play,” Williams said.

In the days after the Boo Williams tournament, Williams said he heard from Maryland, George Mason and Holy Cross. He has also received interest from Richmond, South Florida, VCU and Virginia.

“He’s on the radar,” Clatchey said, “but he should be on the radar a lot more than he is.”

Last weekend, Williams traveled with NBE to the Pitt Jam Fest, where he averaged around 20 points and helped lead his squad to the quarterfinals of the 72-team tournament. His plan for the rest of the spring and summer is already set.

“I want to become a better ball handler, a better decision-maker, and a better on-ball defender,” Williams said. “And [I want to] keep creating the buzz and keep getting interest from colleges. [I’ll] get right to work, no days off.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:44 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Aquille Carr, Daquan Cook headed to Italy

cook-carr.jpg Two of Baltimore's top high school basketball players are headed overseas this week for the Junior International Tournament.

Patterson sophomore Aquille Carr and Digital Harbor junior Daquan Cook were picked for the U.S. Elite Select Basketball under-19 team, which will play in the JIT Invitational in Milan, Italy.

“Daquan and Aquille have great ability and I think they are valuable assets to our team," U.S. Elite Select coach Chris Chaney said in a news release. "We will play hard and they will have a platform to display their skills in Europe and win the JIT championship trophy."

The team is scheduled to leave for Milan on Thursday. Tournament play begins Friday and runs through Monday.

Carr was The Baltimore Sun All-Metro Player of the Year this winter. He led the Clippers to the Class 4A state championship game, where they fell to North Point.

Cook was a second-team All-Metro selection. In his first season at Digital Harbor, the combo guard guided the Rams to the Class 2A state title.

Baltimore Sun photos of Cook and Carr / 2011

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:30 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 18, 2011

Ex-Poly star Montray Clemons headed to Big East

While his high school rivals landed scholarship offers and became nationally known prospects, Montray Clemons toiled in relative anonymity, wondering when – if ever – his day in the spotlight might come.

As a high school player, Clemons was an overlooked standout for a middling Poly program. In the spring and summer on the AAU circuit with Cecil Kirk, he was overshadowed by those same highly regarded city players.

“When I was in high school, it was all about [Josh] Selby, Will [Barton] and Roscoe [Smith],” Clemons said. “If you wasn't them, you were under the radar. I wanted that. It came so easy to them. So I just worked harder and it added to the fire.”

After a year of prep school at Mack Academy in Charlotte, N.C., Clemons’ hard work on the court has finally paid off. The 6-foot-7½, 222-pound power forward committed to DePaul on Sunday, picking the Blue Demons over Auburn, Illinois, Tennessee and Texas Tech, among others.

“It feels good to finally know where I'm going,” said Clemons, who will join Baltimore natives Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young on DePaul’s roster. “There’s a lot of opportunity there. When I was [in Chicago for my visit], some of the recruiting class was there. I like the style they can bring to the team. We're the face of rebuilding. We can come in and turn it around and win those games.”

In high school, Clemons was a double-double threat every night for the Engineers. While Poly’s program was “shaky” at the time, Clemons developed his back-to-the-basket game playing the 4 and 5 against the toughest competition Baltimore City had to offer.

The course of Clemons’ basketball path changed for the better when he joined Cecil Kirk at age 16. At the renowned East Baltimore recreation center, Clemons played behind Melvin – his future DePaul teammate – in practice, while continuing to grow that proverbial chip on his shoulder.

“I had a lot of people telling me, ‘You wouldn't be able to play Division I ball' or 'the highest you could go is [to a] Colonial [Athletic Association school] or Morgan [State],' something like that. I used to believe it because we weren't winning,” Clemons said. … “I got around Cecil, and [coach Anthony Lewis] said, ‘If you play hard, you can get a scholarship strictly off of rebounding. You can be a defensive player.’ When I started rebounding, my stock went up. Then [college coaches] found out I could score, and my stock really went up.”

Lewis said Clemons became “a workaholic” obsessed with improving his game. After graduating from Poly last year, Clemons headed to Mack Academy to improve his SAT score and become a more well-rounded player. Both goals were accomplished.

“He’s got athleticism,” Lewis said. “He can put it on the deck and attack the bucket. He's got a good mid-range [jumper, can hit the] 22-footer. He's got size. He's a load inside and he can step outside.”

Once Clemons met NCAA qualifying standards this spring, the recruiting process became “harder and harder” to navigate. DePaul, however, was one of the first high-major schools to express interest in him. With Melvin – the reigning Big East Rookie of the Year – already on board, there was a definite level of comfort with the Blue Demons.

“We grew up together playing ball,” Clemons said. “Of course he wanted me on his team. Cleveland, that's my man. … But at first I was skeptical [playing on the team with him] because me and Cleve play almost the same position. I know [he’s not] going to be sitting down. Once I talked to the coaching staff, they explained everything to me. [They said], ‘You're a ball player. As long as you can play, you'll be on the floor.’"

Lewis said Clemons is a face-up 4 while Melvin is transitioning to the 3. The Cecil Kirk coach thinks Clemons will be “a great addition to DePaul.”

“I think he's a quality kid and when the lights turn on he'll be ready to go,” Lewis said. “I think he's going to be a major impact payer for a DePaul program that will be an impact [program] in the Big East.”

Clemons said he fell in love with DePaul’s campus during his trip to Chicago over the weekend. He’s excited to reunite with Melvin, and finally reap the benefits of his hard work. It wasn’t an easy road to Division I ball, but Clemons said he “wouldn’t change” a thing about his path.

“Growing up, I wanted to be a Top 100 kid and have all that attention,” Clemons said. “But going the road I did made me more humble and more hard working. I like being under the radar. Nobody expected me to be here, and now I'm going to shock the world.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 1:26 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 15, 2011

Weekly recruiting roundup

Maryland's options for the 2011 basketball recruiting class dwindled a little bit more Thursday when Desmond Hubert committed to North Carolina.

The pickings appear slim for other available post players. Two prospects who have reportedly drawn interest from the Terps are former Bladensburg star Wally Judge -- a Kansas State transfer -- and Charis Prep (N.C.) forward Jared Guest.

Judge, who starred for D.C. Assault on the AAU circuit, is set to visit Rutgers this weekend.

As a sophomore at Kansas State, the 6-9 Judge played in 17 games and started in 11, averaging 5.5 points per game and 3.8 rebounds per game. He missed five games earlier in the season for what head coach Frank Martin described as a personal issue.

GoVolsXtra.com reported that Guest is also on Tennessee's radar. Guest was tentatively scheduled to visit College Park this weekend, according to reports.

• Rivals.com's Jerry Meyer listed Terps small forward commitment Justin Anderson as a player who raised his stock last weekend during the first session of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.

Speaking of high level athletes, there might not be a prospect in the 2012 class as athletic as Anderson. Now it looks like his skill level and feel for the game are beginning to catch up to his athleticism. Still certainly a work in progress, Anderson had periods of play when he was dominant on both ends of the court.

Football recruiting

• Boys' Latin offensive tackle Greg Pyke spoke to Rivals.com his week about his recent visit to Maryland.

“I went down when Coach Friedgen was there and now with Coach Edsall they are definitely turning the program around,” he said. “They are definitely doing a lot of changes and I’m getting a good vibe.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:52 AM | | Comments (26)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

April 14, 2011

Lake Clifton grad Josh Selby to declare for draft

The college career of former Lake Clifton star Josh Selby has come to an end.

Selby, the 2010 Baltimore Sun Male Athlete of the Year, has left Kansas and will declare for the NBA draft, according to TheShiver.com.

Selby averaged 7.9 points and 2.2 assists for the Jayhawks. The former Laker sat out the first nine games of his freshman season while the NCAA sorted through his eligibility issues. Later in the season Selby labored through a foot injury. He has reportedly been working out in Las Vegas in preparation for the draft.

At The Sun's Athlete of the Year banquet last June, Selby said that he hoped to spend just one season in Lawrence, Kan., before turning pro.

“When I get there, I just hope that I get one and done – I ain’t gonna lie," Selby said. "I hope that they mature me on and off the court, make me a better man and make me a better player.”

 

Posted by Matt Bracken at 5:46 PM | | Comments (5)
        

Desmond Hubert picks Tar Heels over Terps

Maryland's pursuit of Desmond Hubert finally came to an end today.

The 6-foot-9 senior center from New Egypt (N.J.) High, who the Terps had heavily recruited for at least the past two years, has committed to North Carolina.

"I had a feeling [when I was down there] but I wanted to give it a few days to let it calm down," said Hubert. "When you're there its their job to make you feel like you belong."

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:48 PM | | Comments (23)
        

Forest Park's Anton Waters 'owns the court'

When Forest Park coach Greate White first met Anton Waters, the Calverton Middle School student was just "a tall but skinny kid with an afro."

It wasn’t long before White – who was then coaching at Walbrook – got a chance to see that skinny kid in action on the basketball court. Waters immediately put on a show for his future coach.

“He can rebound and be the best rebounder in the state -- that was my first impression of this kid,” White said. “After awhile, knowing the kid and seeing him work, other things with him besides rebounding were that this kid is very athletic and he has a big heart. He don’t back down from nothing. He wants every challenge.”

Waters -- one of Baltimore's top prospects in the 2013 class -- came off the bench in his first game as a freshman on Walbrook’s varsity last year. In the Warriors’ next game, Waters was added to the starting lineup and never relinquished that spot. He finished his freshman year leading Walbrook in double doubles.

When White took the coaching job at Forest Park last summer, Waters put in his transfer papers and joined the Foresters.

“I had my coaches with me, Coach White and Coach [Darrick] ‘Baseline’ [Oliver],” Waters said. “They made it real easy for me.”

With Waters and shooting guard Quentin Judd – another Walbrook transfer – leading the way, Forest Park (17-6) won 13 more games than the previous year. The Foresters fell to Northwestern in the Baltimore City Division II championship game, and later advanced to the region semifinals.

The sophomore success of Waters – who averaged 14.5 points and 12 rebounds – didn’t surprise White.

“It’s his heart and his dedication,” White said. “He refuses to lose. He will not let you do anything to him. If he’s on the court with grown men, he would tell you this is his court. He owns the court. Even with pro players, he believes he can check anyone, and with the ball in his hands, nobody can check him.”

Said Waters: “For my sophomore year, I think everything went fine.”

Waters is playing for Team Melo’s 16-and-under team this spring. His time on the AAU circuit last year, which included a strong showing at the Super Showcase AAU tournament in Orlando, caught the attention of several college programs.

White said Florida Gulf Coast, Iona, Minnesota, Penn State, Tulane, UNC-Wilmington, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech have all shown interest in Waters. The sophomore has a basic piece of criteria for picking a college.

“[I’ll choose] the school that helps me most to achieve my goals,” Waters said.

Waters said college coaches have been impressed with his rebounding and aggressiveness. White hopes Waters uses this summer to add other elements to his game.

“I want to see him work more on ball handling,” White said. “I think that we’ll work on the perimeter game. His jump shot is coming around. He’s working on that consistency with his mid-range jump shot. … We played over in a D.C. tournament [with Team Melo last weekend] and he hit some mid-range pull-ups and knocked down that shot. He’s definitely working on that type of skill.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 3:42 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 13, 2011

Terps receive LOI from Martin Breunig

martin-breunig-terps.jpg The third member of Maryland's 2011 basketball recruiting class is officially on board.

Martin Breunig, a 6-foot-9 forward from St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wis., faxed his letter of intent to the Terps basketball offices today.

“We are very happy to have Martin join our basketball program," Maryland coach Gary Williams said in a news release. "His basketball background is very impressive as he grew up playing in Germany and spent this past season at a great program in St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy. On the court, Martin is a versatile forward who can do a little bit of everything on the offensive end. His work ethic and character are also things that will bring great value to our team and we are excited about his future.”

Breunig, who averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lancers, joins City shooting guard Nick Faust and Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) point guard Sterling Gibbs in Maryland's 2011 class.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 6:06 PM | | Comments (10)
        

Season recap: A'lexus Harrison

alexus-harrison.jpg With Asia Logan graduated and off to Pittsburgh, Digital Harbor girls basketball coach Patrick McDonald knew he would need more substantial contributions from A'lexus Harrison this season.

What McDonald couldn’t be sure of was how Harrison – who committed to Maryland last summer – would respond to an expanded role. It didn’t take long for the Rams coach to get his answer.

“I thought she did very well,” McDonald said. “I think the transition from last year to this year was immaculate in the sense that last year we saw a raw 14-year-old with just crazy athleticism. As a ninth-grader she was grabbing the rim. … I think this year we got a chance to see [the results of] her work ethic.”

Harrison, who averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds as a freshman, upped her statistics across the board this year with 16 points, 16 rebounds, three steals, three assists and three blocks per game. The 6-foot-1 forward had more than a few monster games for the Rams this season.

“I think the Randallstown game for the regional championship exemplified the kind of production she gave us all year – 25 points, 21 rebounds, seven blocked shots, five steals and four or five assists,” McDonald said. “In a big game of that magnitude … that was indicative of her. … I think [another] game that was indicative of her was when we went to play Hillsboro High School out of Tennessee. Their post player was 6-4, committed to Tennessee for the class of 2011. [Harrison] still had 17 points and I think 16 rebounds. We were in the Bragging Rights Classic, and HoopGurlz, the leading scouting report on high school girls basketball, said she’s definitely going to be a player to be reckoned with.”

Harrison, who has played just three years of organized basketball, performed with a target on her back all season long thanks to her status as a future Division I player. The commitment to Maryland only enhanced her already significant reputation. McDonald said Harrison has handled the extra attention exceedingly well.

“With A’lexus, even if I’m completely biased, the entire Maryland coaching staff cannot be wrong,” McDonald said. “They’re the No. 1 Division I program in the state of Maryland. They have a pretty good idea of the talent it takes to play at Maryland. Yet they decided on their own, based on scouting reports, based on seeing her play, based on how they measure the student athletes, that they wanted her in their program. They decided for the first time in I don’t know how long that they’re going to make a verbal offer to a 14-year-old in Baltimore City. I think that speaks volumes for A’lexus Harrison and the potential she has … and the positive things that lie ahead for her.”

Digital Harbor’s season ended with a 66-35 loss to Calvert in a Class 2A state semifinal at UMBC. It was a devastating defeat for Harrison, who led the Rams with 15 points and 14 rebounds. As Digital Harbor’s “young leader,” Harrison took the loss hard.

“Had she not been teary eyed and broken down in the locker room, I would have been taken aback,” McDonald said. “She felt that she didn’t play up to the level she’s capable of. She felt we didn’t perform up to the level we’re capable of. Those are the types of players coaches want to have in the locker room – players with that passion, who hate when they lose. … When we had our first team meeting a couple days later … [we said] ‘now let’s go get back to UMBC.’ Then we talked about how we would get back there again. She took it hard, the same way our entire team took it hard.”

McDonald expects Harrison to come back next season as one of the state’s best players. The Rams coach said Harrison’s “unparalleled” work ethic will be put to the test this summer with plenty of individual skill development.

“From ninth grade to 10th grade, her handle got better, her ability to take it to the cup got better, her basketball decision-making improved, and she was able to step away from the basket and knock down the deep ball,” McDonald said. “She’s the last one to leave the gym and the first one to get in the gym.”

Handout photo of A'Lexus Harrison.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 1:45 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Season recaps
        

April 12, 2011

Isaiah Miles living up to expectations

isaiah-miles.jpg Even before playing in his first varsity game as a freshman at Glenelg Country School, Isaiah Miles had received an inordinate amount of hype.

The scouting report on the now 6-foot-7, 210-pound prospect described an athletic small forward who could put the ball on the floor, block shots and shoot from beyond the arc. Throughout his first two seasons on the Dragons’ varsity, Miles showed flashes of the player that coaches and scouts thought he come become.

This winter, Miles put all those pieces of potential together for one of the best individual seasons in the Baltimore-Washington area.

“I thought he lived up to [the expectations] and I thought he kind of eased into his reputation,” said Kevin Quinlan, Glenelg Country’s first-year coach. “I thought across the season he got better and better. He’s a quiet leader, but I thought he got more comfortable with his role as a leader. I also thought he played really tough down the home stretch, just attacking the glass for us, really lighting it up and scoring. He got better and better as a defender. I think the sky is the limit for Isaiah.”

Any questions about whether or not Miles had taken his game to another level this season were answered Feb. 16 in the Dragons’ MIAA B Conference semifinal against Pallotti. Miles erupted for 31 points, 22 rebounds, and eight blocks, propelling Glenelg Country to a 74-53 win over the Panthers.

“Shots were just falling for me,” Miles said. “I was just rebounding very well, blocking shots on the help side.”

One week later, Miles scored 18 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, and blocked four shots in Glenelg Country’s 75-62 win over Annapolis Area Christian for the B Conference championship.

“It was very important. It was my first high school championship. I’m very happy about that,” Miles said. “I’ve been double-teamed a number of times [this season]. In the low post, I’ve been trapped. I noticed that. I just play my game. I do what I can do to get open. If I don’t score, we don’t win. I keep that in my mind.”

On the season, Miles averaged 18.8 points, 13.4 rebounds, 2.75 blocks and one steal, earning Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro honors. He was also named to the B Conference’s first team and the All-Howard County team.

Quinlan noted that Miles’ dedication in the weight room paved the way for his standout junior season. While Miles – who has gained 35 pounds since his freshman year – is more comfortable on the perimeter than in the post, Quinlan was impressed with his versatility.

“Ultimately, he’ll probably play the 3 at the next level,” Quinlan said. “And he basically played that way for us. He was big offensively on the fast break. We tried to push the ball and [have him] trail the action. He does the pick-and-pop off the screens. He’s really comfortable. He’s got range out in the NBA area. He’s got some good dribble moves, too. He’s working on his post moves, working on getting his shot off the dribble. He’s really going to try and develop his left hand.”

Quinlan said Miles already has verbal scholarship offers from James Madison, South Florida and St. Joseph’s, while Elon, George Mason, Kansas, LSU, UNC-Greensboro and Xavier have expressed varying degrees of interest. West Virginia assistant coach Billy Hahn came down this winter to see Miles play. Miles has also played in several open gyms at Maryland.

“Honestly, I thought I would have had more interest,” Miles said. “But that’s just my motivation to come out and play my hardest in every game. I would like to have more college offers.”

More scholarships for Miles should come soon enough – provided he keeps playing so well on the AAU circuit with Nike Baltimore Elite. At the Boo Williams tournament in Hampton, Va., last weekend, Miles averaged 13.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, leading NBE to a 3-2 mark.

“I think this summer is going to be really telling when he gets on the AAU circuit,” Quinlan said. “The way he’s been working, getting in the gym and getting a lot of shots up, and getting in the weight room and adding some weight, I really feel he’s got a lot of untapped potential. I think he can write his own ticket.”

Miles said location is “not really a big deal” to him when it comes to recruiting. He’s looking for a coach who will push him to his “limit.” And he’s hoping to have more high-major offers to choose from. In the meantime, Miles looks forward to earning those scholarships on the circuit, and getting ready for his senior season when the Dragons move up to the A Conference.

“We’re going to play better competition every single night -- no easy games like in the B Conference,” Miles said. “Every game is going to be a hard game. I have to bring my A game every single game.”

Baltimore Sun photo of Isaiah Miles by Karl Merton Ferron / March 17, 2011

Posted by Matt Bracken at 2:26 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 11, 2011

Weekend wrap – Rave reviews for Anderson

During one of the most high-profile AAU weekends of the spring, Justin Anderson didn't disappoint.

The Maryland-bound small forward from Montrose Christian was a top performer for Boo Williams on Saturday in Hampton, Va., at Nike's first Elite Youth Basketball League tournament of the spring. Rivals.com's Jerry Meyer wrote that Anderson "has the physique and athleticism of an NBA player."

The question has been will he develop the skill set and feel for the game to realize this potential. On Saturday Anderson took a big step in that direction. He looked comfortable shooting the ball from well beyond the three-point line. He finished with creativity around the rim. And he made shots in the midrange. The proper focus and intensity was there on the defensive end.

Rivals.com's Eric Bossi concurred with his colleague's assessment of the future Terp.

The powerful lefty wing was pretty dang good on Saturday. Sure he's a little left hand dominant and might be a little too demonstrative with his emotions at times, but there's no question about whether or not he's going to give big effort. The Maryland commitment looked good draining long threes, attacking the rim and using his energy to impact the game on both ends of the floor.

• The Daily Press' David Teel went to Boo Williams to check out Team Takeover's Jerami Grant, but came away especially impressed with the DeMatha prospect's AAU teammate Arnaud Adala-Moto, a 2012 Maryland target.

[Grant] seemed fluid enough before exiting the game after a nasty spill, but Takeover’s eye-opener was small forward Arnaud Adala-Moto from the Episcopal School in Alexandria.

First this 6-foot-7 junior drove the right baseline and elevated for a nasty tomahawk dunk. Then he pulled up for a left-wing 3-pointer. Pure. Then he handled smoothly in transition and penetrated for a layup.

• For more on the weekend's AAU events, check out Testudo Times' recap of the action.

• UM center target Desmond Hubert visited North Carolina over the weekend and will decide between the Terps and Tar Heels this week, according to the Recruit Scoop.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:19 AM | | Comments (2)
        

April 8, 2011

Weekly recruiting roundup

The Maryland men's basketball program might not be done identifying prospects for its 2011 recruiting class.

Joe Davis of ScoutsFocus.com tweeted Thursday that Jared Guest, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Charis Prep in Wilson, N.C., plans to visit Maryland "early next week." According to Davis, Maryland coach Gary Williams has already been in to see the post-grad prospect play.

A Columbia, S.C., native, Guest is also being recruited by Georgia, Xavier, Western Kentucky, East Carolina and Clemson, according to ESPN.com.

Check out video of Guest, playing for Richland Northeast two years ago, below. Guest is No. 23 in white.

Adam Zagoria reports that UM center target Desmond Hubert is scheduled to visit North Carolina this weekend.

“I’m still Maryland or North Carolina,” Hubert said Sunday in Houston after posting nine points and five boards for the East in the All-American Championship. “Im just trying to get an official done to North Carolina. They get up and down. They play the way I like to play.”

• The Mars Reel on Thursday posted a new highlight package of Terps junior small forward commitment Justin Anderson. Check out the video below.

• Terps women's commitment Tierney Pfirman was honored for her junior season Wednesday.

The standout junior played through the pain and the various physical, junk defenses she encountered every game, ignored the verbal abuse spewed from classless fans and dominated each time. The rest of the state took notice too. Pfirman was named to the Associated Press Class AA's all-state first team Wednesday, earning all-state honors for a third straight time.

Football recruiting

• Maryland linebacker signee Cole Farrand has turned heads on Pope John (N.J.) High's 4x100 relay team.

On Saturday, he led off the Lions' 4x100, which finished second to Union Catholic by a hundredth of a second at the Summit Relays.

"Not many people think I can run the 100 because of how big I am," said Farrand, who also had the best discus throw (157 feet, 2 inches) as Pope John placed second.

• Rivals.com this week provided an update on Georgetown Prep running back Dominic Bryan.

“I’ve got two offers still from Boston College and Maryland,” he said. “I’m keeping in contact with their coaches. They are telling me to get up to their spring games and they want me to come to their camps this summer.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:07 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        

April 7, 2011

Warren Powers 'really improved' this year

warren-powers.jpg In one midseason stretch for the Glenelg Country School boys basketball team, Kevin Quinlan learned everything he needed to know about forward Warren Powers.

On Jan. 21, the Dragons trailed Pallotti by one with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter when Quinlan – Glenelg Country’s first-year coach – called timeout. He drew up a play off the inbound pass for Powers, but the 6-foot-5, 210-pound sophomore missed the shot as time expired.

Thankfully for Powers, redemption came soon after defeat.

“We got in a similar situation at the end of the Gilman game at our place, the same scenario,” Quinlan said. “We won that game. He’s that kind of kid. He kept his chin up and executed the play a little bit better. He made the right play. He got the shot off and scored. I was real proud of him for that.”

The missed shot against Pallotti “hurt so bad. That shot really stuck with me and I prayed I’d get another chance or opportunity to do it,” Powers said. “Sure enough … I got the same exact shot [against Gillman], the same floater, and it went right through the hoop. I was so thankful for that opportunity and so happy it happened.”

Sophomore year came with lofty expectations for Powers, but time and time again, he delivered. A first-team all-conference selection, Powers teamed with highly touted junior Isaiah Miles to lead the Dragons to the MIAA B Conference championship.

On the year, Powers averaged 16.2 points and 6.8 rebounds. He saved one of his best performances of the year for the conference title game against Annapolis Area Christian, scoring 18 points, grabbing six rebounds and blocking three shots.

“Warren really, really improved a lot,” Quinlan said. “I think defensively he got a lot better. He’s incredibly athletic. Offensively, he really ran the floor well for us in transition. Warren’s big enough where we push the ball and get it inside. We really benefited from that. I was very pleased with his performance this season. I thought he got better fundamentally and also in some team concepts, especially man-to-man defense.”

Powers made Quinlan’s transition to Glenelg Country (27-4, 21-1 MIAA B) an easy one, demonstrating a “great attitude all the time” and proving to be a “good leader and a good role model” for his teammates.

Because of his height and strength, Powers played a power-forward type position for the perimeter-oriented Dragons. On the AAU circuit with Team Melo this spring and summer, the goal will be sharpening his guard skills for the next level. Quinlan thinks Powers will be a 2 or a 3 in college. Powers, meanwhile, hopes to raise his recruiting profile – starting this weekend at the Big Shots tournament in Chantilly, Va.

“My ultimate goal by senior season is to have some serious looks by schools and maybe even have an offer,” Powers said. “That’s my main goal this offseason, just working hard in the weight room and training hard. I have the opportunity to get out on the circuit and maybe get some serious looks.”

While his recruitment is in its infancy, Powers – the son of the former Terps football player of the same name – has a clear favorite.

“My main school that I’m really interested in is Maryland,” Powers said. “I worked out a few times there this summer. They seemed really interested. My dad talked to [Terps assistant coach] Keith Booth, they had me get back down there. They want to see me develop more.”

George Mason has been in contact with Quinlan about Powers, while Bucknell has expressed serious interest recently. Powers said he has also received interest from Arkansas, Virginia Tech and Xavier, among others.

“I think this summer’s going to be really important for him,” Quinlan said. “When he gets out on the circuit with Team Melo, I think he’s a much better defender after the past year. Hopefully that will turn some heads on the circuit. He’s just an impressive athlete.”

While he’s focused on AAU right now, Powers can’t help but look forward to his junior season, when Glenelg Country moves up to the A Conference. The tougher competition will be a welcome challenge for Powers and his teammates.

“I’m just excited to move up and test our talent against some of the best schools in the area,” Powers said. “I’m really excited about that. Hopefully we’ll have the same results as [we had this year] and keep building as a team.”

Photo of Warren Powers courtesy of Glenelg Country School.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:48 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 6, 2011

Impressions of Faust, Breunig at all-star game

At the inaugural NeXt All-American Classic last weekend, one future Maryland basketball player excelled against some of the country's top players, while another received an eye-opening introduction to high-major-caliber competition.

Clay Dade, the executive director and founder of the Chicago-based all-star game, closely observed City shooting guard Nick Faust and St. John's Northwestern (Wis.) Military Academy forward Martin Breunig in the days leading up to Sunday’s main event. Dade, a Washington native and former Winthrop and Wake Forest point guard, really liked what he saw out of Faust. For Breunig, the game proved to be more of a learning experience.

Faust scored 19 points, living up to his reputation as a “really bouncy player who can score.” Dade said Faust was “extremely aggressive” offensively and showed an uncanny knack for finding the open man. While Faust had a somewhat up-and-down year with City this winter, he was supremely confident in this all-star setting.

“He’s respectful, coachable, and he’s the typical tough, Baltimore kid,” Dade said. “Kids from Baltimore have great toughness and competitiveness. He’s everything like that. But he’s a big-time shooter. He hit a dagger 3 when they really didn’t need it. He pulls up from about 24 feet out and decides he’s going to pull the 3 just across half court. Everyone was like, ‘What is he doing?’ But that just speaks to his confidence. He’s super confident.

"He’s long, he’s rangy [and] he’s fast. I was surprised by his speed. He’s faster than a lot of 6-6 guys you see. He can get up and down the floor. He was scoring in a variety of ways – run outs, dunks, shooting. He’s great off the bounce. He’s just got a really impressive skill set and talent. He really competes.”

Dade said Faust reminds him of UConn freshman Jeremy Lamb -- a 6-foot-5, 185-pound wing who averaged 11.1 points and 4.5 rebounds for the national-champion Huskies. Dade thinks Faust might have a little more range than Lamb, who shot 36.8 percent from beyond the arc this season. In Dade’s opinion, Faust -- a first-team Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection -- should be able to “play right away in the ACC.’

“With Gary Williams’ style and philosophy, he’ll respond well to that. He’s tough enough mentally to take Gary’s coaching,” Dade said. “Obviously, he’s not as strong in his upper body as he needs to be. But neither was Jeremy and he’s done pretty well. Nick’s actually got a stronger lower body than I thought. He has thick hips, legs and is really sturdy. He’s explosive, much more than I thought he was. He attacks the basket. He’s ready for the ACC. He should get major minutes. He should start. I don’t see why he shouldn’t start. He’s a top 35 kid in the country. He should contribute right away, just like Jeremy Lamb.”

Breunig, however, was a different story. The 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward scored six points, but appeared “a little shell-shocked” against top-level competition. Dade thought Breunig demonstrated why he was a highly sought recruit for Maryland, but conceded that the future Terp seemed overmatched on Sunday.

“You can tell he has talent,” Dade said. “He has a great skill set, can put it on the floor, is very fundamentally sound. I thought he was almost too fundamental. He had some nice moments in our scrimmage. He didn’t do a whole lot in the game. … He’s really strong. He’s got a good, sturdy frame. But he has to work harder at getting his shot. He couldn’t get his shot off. When he’s wide open, he wouldn’t take it directly to the basket. Against elite athletes, you’ve got to shoot it when you’re open.”

Dade wondered later if Breunig just wasn’t used to playing in an all-star setting. An unselfish big man known for his passing, athleticism and shooting, Breunig has been more comfortable playing in a clearly defined system. He’ll get that chance in College Park this fall. Dade thinks he’ll fare better in “a team situation like [he’s excelled at] in Europe.”

“I know he has a nice skill set that fits Maryland’s program,” Dade said. “He has the size and ability to score along the baseline, which Gary Williams likes. And he can face up and stretch the defense. His shot’s a little flat and he’s indecisive a lot when he’s on the perimeter. He needs to catch and shoot. He wants to catch and put the ball down and drive. So I see Faust contributing right away. I don’t know about Breunig.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:13 PM | | Comments (4)
        

April 5, 2011

Old Mill guard Eric Savage makes his choice

There was little doubt in Eric Savage's mind about where he wanted to play college basketball. The only question for the Old Mill combo guard was whether or not he'd get the SAT score he needed to make it happen.

On Thursday, Savage received notification that he got his score. He celebrated by committing to Shepherd (W.Va.) University.

“I was really excited when I found out,” Savage said. “I just knew I had to get the score to get to play ball somewhere. … There were definitely other schools looking at me, but Shepherd was the school I actually wanted to go to. I just really liked everything about it.”

Savage, a 6-foot, 175-pound senior, also considered McDaniel, Mount Olive (N.C.), Stevenson, UMES and West Virginia State.

One of Anne Arundel County’s most decorated players over the past four years, Savage was discovered by the Rams coaches at the West Virginia Jam Fest last summer when he was playing for Baltimore Assault. In the middle of a senior season in which he averaged 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, Savage took a weekend trip to the Division II program’s campus.

“It was a real close-knit kind of college,” Savage said. “I met the mayor of the city. He’s real active in the Shepherd community. And the players are real cool. I chilled with them in the dorms; they told me all about the school. The head coach and the assistant coach, they took me on a tour of the school, the football field and all around the campus.”

Though there were just a handful of Division I programs involved with Savage, the future Ram grew tired of the recruiting process quickly. Within the span of an hour on one night this winter, Savage fielded phone calls from three different college coaches – including a Shepherd representative.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” Savage said, “and you don’t want to let somebody else down.”

Savage, a versatile shooter who can penetrate and defend, said he fits in well to the Rams’ fast-paced system. The next few months will be busy, but he can’t help but look forward to his college future in West Virginia.

“Right now I’m getting ready to graduate,” Savage said. “[I’ll] finish out the school year, keep my grades up and stay in the gym. I’ve actually got an all-star game this weekend … in Pennsylvania. By the time that’s all over, it’s going to be time to go to school.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 4, 2011

Weekend wrap – Faust stars at all-star game

Two future Terps teamed up Sunday at the NeXt All-American Classic in suburban Chicago.

City shooting guard Nick Faust and St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (Wis.) forward Martin Breunig played for the Got Now team, which suffered a 109-100 overtime loss to Got NeXt. Turtle Soup's Jeremy Gold was on hand to break down the performances of Faust and Breunig.

Put simply, Faust did not disappoint. He's a fantastic athlete who is not afraid of contact. He barely missed on an alley-oop (the pass was too high) that would have brought down the house. He nailed two threes and when the game got close down the stretch, he wanted the ball. He did jack up an ill-advised three late in the game, but it went in. He handles the ball quite well for a two guard and also made some dazzling passes.

• Testudo Times' Ben Broman offered his impressions of Maryland center target Desmond Hubert, who played in the inaugural All-American Classic in Houston.

Hubert's a poor man's John Henson, in a good way. He's very long and a legit 6-9 or 6-10. Defensively, he was elite; he altered a few shots and even checked a few guards on the perimeter (seriously). He's way more athletic than I thought; he ran the floor like a gazelle, often beating guards down the floor. There are inklings of progress offensively.

• Maryland small forward pledge Justin Anderson scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help Montrose Christian beat Oak Hill, 71-64, in the championship game of the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational.

It was Montrose junior guard Justin Anderson who made the play of the game though, hitting a contested 3-point shot with less than five seconds remaining in the first overtime period to send the game into a second overtime.

“That’s the biggest shot of my life,” Anderson said during the postgame press conference. “I give all the credit to my teammates. Everybody played great and it just feels good to get the win.”

• Terps women's commitment Chloe Pavlech earned high marks for her play at the Ganon Baker Skills Select Exposure Event in Columbus, Ohio.

Her decisions are sound and she can create her own looks if necessary. The range and touch are there on the perimeter which requires tight close outs form defenders. Even without the ball she's a constant threat with aggressive and well-read cuts off screens and to the basket. There's always been a confidence and mature aspect to her play that now seems even more advanced.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:36 AM | | Comments (0)
        

April 2, 2011

Calvert Hall grad Damion Lee headed to Drexel

damion-lee-st-thomas-more.jpg When Damion Lee decided to spend a post-graduate year at St. Thomas More in Connecticut, the Calvert Hall alum had two primary goals in mind: become a more college-ready player, and find a Division I program that was an ideal fit for him.

Lee quickly accomplished his first objective by emerging as one of the top prep school players in the country. On Friday, he completed his second goal by committing to Drexel.

“It feels great,” Lee said Friday. “I’m happy with my decision and I’m glad that I can have some stress relieved from my shoulders.”

The 6-foot-6, 195-pound wing chose the Dragons over offers from East Carolina, La Salle, Loyola Marymount, Northeastern, TCU, Tulane and Valparaiso.

Lee, who originally signed with Towson in November 2010, was an integral part of the senior-laden Cardinals team that won the Baltimore Catholic League tournament championship one year ago. After deciding against joining the Tigers, Lee spent the following summer playing with D.C. Assault on the AAU circuit. He then settled on St. Thomas More – a traditional New England Preparatory School Athletic Council powerhouse – as his next destination.

Playing for the Chancellors couldn’t have gone much better.

“I can say this was the best learning basketball year of my life,” Lee said. “My IQ has risen, my game has gotten a lot better. I’m very confident now. When I go on the court, I know who I am, [and] I know what I’m capable of. I’m very cerebral with my game. I play hard. I don’t even care about any rankings or anything. You have to play the game in order to win the game.”

Lee led St. Thomas More to a 30-7 record and the national prep championship. He earned first-team all-conference honors and was named his team’s MVP – an especially noteworthy honor considering center Andre Drummond, the top-ranked player nationally in the 2012 class, was a teammate.

“Every practice and every game was a high-level DI-caliber of play,” Lee said. “I think that Calvert Hall definitely prepared me for this, but I feel like this prepared me even more for college. I learned a lot from Coach [Jere] Quinn and it just helped me a lot playing against high-level competition day in and day out, playing against major Division I players throughout the country.”

Drexel discovered Lee during an open gym early in the fall. The Dragons eventually signed another wing, so Lee wasn’t sure if his chance to play for the Colonial Athletic Association school had passed. But after a brief period of minimal communication, the Dragons ramped up their pursuit of Lee once again.

“It was the school I felt the most comfortable with,” said Lee, who also received interest from Clemson and DePaul. “It was just the decision I arrived at. It’s a homey atmosphere and not that far from my mom. I’m looking to be close to my family. I didn’t want to be too far from there.”

Drexel – located a little more than two hours away in Philadelphia from Lee’s Owings Mills home – went 21-10 this season, falling in the quarterfinals of the CAA tournament on a buzzer beater against VCU.

Lee said he’s excited to join a top-flight mid-major program. He’s confident that his time at St. Thomas More – which he views as his "unofficial freshman year of college" – will serve him well with the Dragons.

“They just say if I come in and play defense, then I have a chance to be on the court,” Lee said. “The coach didn’t promise anything, but I know with my work ethic and attitude that I’m not going to settle for anything less. I’m going to do what it takes to be on the court.”

Baltimore Sun photo of Damion Lee by Gene Sweeney Jr. / Jan. 22, 2010

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:14 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

April 1, 2011

Weekly recruiting roundup

Justin Anderson's quest for a national championship got off to a good start Thursday afternoon.

The Maryland-bound small forward scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Montrose Christian's 64-59 win over John Carroll in the first round of the National High School Invitiational at Georgetown Prep.

Anderson’s best moment came late in the third quarter, when he stole the ball and went in for an uncontested dunk, then grabbed a loose ball in the lane and scored just before the buzzer, giving Montrose Christian a 51-43 lead.

The Mustangs will play Boys & Girls of New York at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

• Terps commitments Nick Faust and Martin Breunig are scheduled to play in the NeXt All-American Classic on Sunday at 3 p.m. in suburban Chicago. National Recruiting Spotlight broke down the top matchups, including Breunig vs. Central Florida commitment Michael Chandler.

Breunig (Maryland) is worth watching since he is an athletic forward who does whatever it takes for his team to win, whether it’s rebounding, passing, or good defense. Both big men run the floor and finish through contact well so it should be fun to watch them in transition. Both are capable shot-blockers as well so everyone in the first few rows should keep an eye out for basketballs in the stands.

• Faust played in the Elite Showcase Basketball Classic at the Verizon Center last weekend. Check out video highlights of the future Terp courtesy of The Mars Reel. Faust's highlights start 46 seconds in.

• UM target Desmond Hubert is set to play in the All-American Championship on Sunday at 3 p.m.

The games, a brainstorm of USA Basketball member, The Gazelle Group of Princeton, will take place Sunday, April 3 at the M.O. Campbell Center in Houston will be carried live on ESPN3.com, beginning at 3 p.m.

The games will then be rebroadcast in prime time on ESPNU at 9 p.m. that same evening.

Football recruiting

• Rivals.com's Mike Farrell fielded a question in his weekly mailbag about the early returns on Randy Edsall as a recruiter at Maryland.

The Terps have generated plenty of interest with recruits and three prospects have committed. Mike Madaras is the gem of the bunch of far. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle from Good Counsel was a huge pickup. He's the kind of in-state kid that could really have a lot of pull with other top Maryland recruits. Defensive end Roman Braglio and Georgia offensive lineman Nick Brigham are less heralded recruits but are tough, blue collar guys that will be contributors.

• Maryland-bound fullback Tyler Cierski was named Outstanding Youth of the Week by DaculaPatch.

“This year in high school I’ve been taking a microbiology class and that was very interesting,” he said. “I’m definitely looking toward some kind of science, I’m not sure what kind yet, if it will biology, microbiology, or kinesiology, but definitely something in that area.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:00 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Weekly recruiting roundup
        
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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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