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May 17, 2011

Analysts weigh in on Terps hiring Dalonte Hill

In his first week as the Maryland men's basketball coach, Mark Turgeon reached out to local high school and AAU coaches, met with a noted Baltimore politician and landed his first recruit.

While the first seven days were busy enough, Turgeon started his second week with arguably his biggest move yet by hiring Kansas State assistant Dalonte Hill.

Hill – who will be joined by Bino Ranson and former Texas A&M assistant Scott Spinelli on Maryland’s staff – is a former D.C. Assault coach credited with recruiting Michael Beasley to Kansas State. That recruiting coup, in conjunction with Hill’s reported $400,000+ salary at KSU, drew the ire of former Maryland coach Gary Williams in an exhaustive 2009 interview with The Washington Post about his recruiting practices. The irony of Maryland hiring Hill less than two weeks after Williams retired wasn’t lost on some basketball followers.

“If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that there are completely different ways to get the job done,” said Dave Telep,’s national recruiting analyst. “I think it’s abundantly clear that Mark Turgeon is going to put a premium on relationships with the high school and AAU coaches in the area. Dalonte Hill is probably the biggest departure from Coach Williams that Mark Turgeon could have, and it’s a very significant hire for Maryland recruiting because he’ll be a catalyst for a bunch of relationships.”

A Washington native who played three seasons at Charlotte and one at Bowie State, Hill was the point man in the Wildcats landing Beasley, Rodney McGruder, Wally Judge, Dominique Sutton and Jamar Samuels -- all D.C. Assault players. Evan Daniels,’s national recruiting analyst, noted that Rutgers assistant David Cox is another former D.C. Assault coach who has been able to leverage those AAU relationships in his current role.

“D.C. Assault is a program that clearly takes care of their own,” Daniels said. “It’s not going to be a surprise to anyone when, over the next couple years, Dalonte’s able to reel in players to Maryland from D.C. Assault’s program. It’s not just about his connection to D.C. Assault. Dalonte’s very well respected around the coaching community. He’s got a lot of connections to the AAU programs and high school programs. The D.C. Assault thing is just what’s most publicized. He’s very well liked in the basketball community.”

Telep said he expects Hill’s hiring to expand “Maryland’s presence in its own backyard.” Hill’s status as an original member of D.C. Assault gives Maryland “major-league street cred.”

“I think the only surprise that catches you off guard is because it’s such a departure from what Coach Williams did,” Telep said. “From a strategic and a staff point of view, it’s that call that you make where you go, ‘Oh well, we’ll never get this guy, but let’s make the call anyway.’ To land him is significant.”

Daniels noted that Hill’s not the only ace recruiter on Turgeon’s staff. Ranson is “very tied in to the Baltimore area,” and Spinelli also has “a lot of good connections in the area,” having landed Baltimore native and DeMatha graduate Naji Hibbert a couple years ago. Improving its recruiting in-state can only raise Maryland’s ceiling.

“I think if you keep the best players in Baltimore and D.C. home, you can compete with just about anyone in the country,” Daniels said. “Year in and year out, they’re putting out a number of Division I prospects. … They’ve already locked up Seth Allen. There are a number of others you can get. Let’s say Maryland locks in on the top one and two guys every year. That’s a great foundation for each and every recruiting class. … I think with this staff, they’re going to have recruiting in that area pretty covered.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 5:25 PM | | Comments (13)


Any thoughts on how S. Allen compares to S. Gibbs (realize Allen is 2012 vs 2011 recruit)i.e. Allen an upgrade over Gibbs or vice-versa??

Also, how many openings do we have for 2011 & 2012 (assuming
Faust & Bruenig stay uncomitted)??

Don I: Hard to say on Allen vs. Gibbs. Allen was a bit of an unknown because he plays for an off-the-radar AAU team, but he's certainly an athletic guy with good size and strength. Right now the Terps have eight returning scholarship players for the 2011-12 season. So they could, theoretically, add five players to their roster. For the following year, just subtract Mosley and Weijs from your scholarship count. -- Matt

Based on recruiting reports, Gibbs and Allen are close enough in talent that it didn't matter who is better. What matters most is the fact the Allen wanted to be at Maryland more than Gibbs. Turgeon kept saying that he only wanted kids that want to be at Maryland. He was not going to 'beg' them to stay. Now, Faust is supposed to be very good. I think Turgeon might be a little bit more persuasive on him. Also, it helps that coach Bino was retained. I believe he was the primary recruiter on Faust.

A lot of the DC players that Hill recruited to K State probably would not have qualified at MD due to their academic requirements from the post-Bias fall out. Was this taken into consideration at all?Secondly, this looks like this is really going to hurt Georgetwon since they got a lot of DC/MD suburb players and appear to have no strong AAU connections. Do you agree?

I hope Coach Turgeon can keep this program clean. Coach Williams may not have gotten the best recruits but I am extermely proud that he got players the right way and kept the Terps away from any NCAA sanctions. It is great that Coach Turgeon has attempted to make in roads with local recruits. I just hope he keeps an eye on things and makes sure everything is above board!

Great that Faust is back on Board!

headline for 2015 "Terps recieve death penalty for recruiting violations". Sad part is Maryland might have been the last clean program in NCAA. Wonder how much of the KSU 400,000 salary went to Beasley family? This is why people stop following teams. Bad move Terps

So who do you think are the Players A, B, and C that are named off the record in the Gary Williams interview you referenced with the Washington post? And will Maryland basketball be dealing with the same scandals that plagued it before Gary with an former(maybe current?) $500,000 assistant coach in order to get those kind of recruits?

Much thanks, always enjoy your insights.

Sean T
Thanks, another benefit is that
Allen is 2012 - not sure Gibbs was needed NOW since both Stoglin & Howard can play the point.

Getting kids who grew up around college park to stay and play for the hometown team is so last century. These kids aren't concerned about education and so most likely they'll go where the money and weather is better. They can go ANYWHERE and you really think they want to stay in college park????? Gary's right the whole AAU culture is destroying college basketball. This guy daniels get's beasley to go to Kstate and all the sudden he has a 400K a year job? How is that any better than Cecil Newton asking for 150K for his kid to sign at auburn? If you ask me all aau coaches are mostly scumbags looking to latch on to the one kid who's gonna get them paid!

Gary is a god for what he did for Maryland Basketball. But, for the past few years, I thought the game had passed him by in the recruiting arena. Talk about last century, bringing in kids and expecting them to sit/learn for two years before getting their chance to play significant minutes. The AAU game is where it's at. I also had doubts that GW could manage a top talent's ego. How many here think Carmelo would have gotten starter minutes right from the jump?

Funny about the NCAA cuz I think all they care about is money, too. They won't severely penalize the big dogs because severe punishments lose them money. I know we're the last program that should be getting "dirty" but if the Calhouns and the Caliparis of the world aren't getting severely punished, maybe we can start going a little over the speed limit ourselves. I don't know how long Hill is going to be around but U-MD needs to really use this time to repair relationships and create pipelines should Hill decide to pick up and leave for greener pastures.

I will echo the sentiments that we couldn't get some of the local talent, due to academic standards - so I'll be watching to see how that pans out.

thanks for including the old interview. i know a lot of people forgot about Gary Williams dedication to the program. its a strong reminder for the detractors who overlooked what he did for the school, the kids and the program. he kept it clean and worked hard to do it. and he did recruit well, although he didn't specialize in direct contact. but had the odds against him and got the kids who 'wanted to be in the program'.
its a heck of a coincidence that hill joins the program, and no doubt he will be under a microscope from time to time. but his ability to recruit is unquestioned. with potentially 5 vacancies in 2012, every blue chip big should be drooling at the opportunity to play at maryland. especially with an established backcourt and athletes all around.
i'm looking forward to the new era for the terps.

Let's face it...right or wrong? The AAU programs ( and I use the word program loosely ) are a part of the NCAA culture for Basketball. You can't pay the sudent athlete...but that doesn't stop the student athlete "tutors" from doing what they do.
Why don't we just treat them as NBA minor leaguers.....keep them in school to educate them and promote those who are "prospective employees" based on talent and the next level.
Why all the fuss he ready or is he mature enough. It used to be...well he or she, has graduated after their 4 years served.
That actually meant something, for the student athlete and the respective and prospective employer !
I realize it will never revert back to that way, nor should it prohibit a special "student athlete " from advancing through they SYSTEM more quickly. However not so sadly, yet still sadly.....that way served everyone more efficiently. No one was "swallowed by the cracks" !
Let's educate them and enjoy their athletic gifts....and then let them move forward professionally, if and when they deserve it.

As a famous AAU coach used to always preach use the game of basketball do not let the game use you. In that he meant not everyone is going to get paid to play this game, make the most out of your opportunity and use the school for a free education.

I was initially concerned with Hill's addition to Turge's staff because of some of the shadiness we've all heard about some AAU coaches. His KSU salary also raised a few eyebrows. And needless to say, we've been trained during GWs tenure to generalize negatively about AAU coaches as parasitic handlers. Sure Gary ran a clean program - thats obviously to be commended but GW's weakness was recruiting top level (local) talent. For whatever reasons. Hatred of recruiting and what its become. Lack of good relationships and communications with AAU coaches. Whatever. Academic admission standards? You cant tell me that all the top level talented kids from the area who went elsewhere over the years were all "academically ineligible" and incapable of gaining admission. you have to know that there are "academic exceptions". I believe there are something like 16-18 student-athletes at Maryland who otherwise wouldnt have met admission requirements who were allowed admission.

But the more I think about it, I like what I see in Turge. Successful and respected. Never a hint of inpropriety. I doubt he all of a sudden sells his soul to the devil for a recruiter.

The biggest factor that made me think this is all very positive and good is the fact that KA and the University would never allow MT to hire someone who wasnt repected and worked above board.

So I'm good with all of this and not worried we're on a path to hell.

I had read that Allen is regarded as a shooter. (Rivals sez: Shooting:Outstanding)
Certainly a need from the perimeter. He's listed at 6'2". Gibbs at 6'1". Gibbs also wasnt going anywhere with Stogs and P Howard. That extra year in between for Allen and him wanting to be here all good.

Time will tell about Turge, Hill, Allen and the future of Maryland BB. I think the signs are very positive. 2011-12 is going to be a difficult year with the loss of Jordan and lack of size and experience in the front court. But I think the change will be a refreshing start for some players and all the negative predictions an inspiration to the players and coaching staff. I doubt we'll be outhustled. As far as the future...we wont know for a year or two until we see how recruiting develops.

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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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