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June 16, 2011

Shaquille Cleare: Terps are 'No. 1 on my list'

After a weekend trip to Maryland, Shaquille Cleare headed south this week to take part in the NBPA Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Va.

The second day of camp was going “pretty smooth” for Cleare, who reflected on his visit to College Park in a phone interview Thursday.

“It was nice,” said Cleare, a 6-foot-9, 285-pound center from The Village School in Houston. “I met the coaches, spent time with the players. They showed me around a little bit. … I just liked spending time with some of the players. They’re pretty good guys.”

Cleare said he enjoyed bonding with the Maryland players, and chatting with Mark Turgeon. The first-year Terps coach – who recruited Cleare when he was at Texas A&M – had a clearly stated vision for the four-star prospect.

“He just wants me to come in and play hard,” Cleare said. “He knows I’m going to bring energy and fill in Jordan Williams’ spot. [Turgeon said if I], ‘Come in and work hard, you’ve got a spot playing right away.’”

Cleare said he’s also considering offers from Arizona, Baylor, Florida, Texas and Texas A&M. But after visiting College Park, Maryland stands out to Cleare above the rest.

“There’s a good chance I’m going to be there,” Cleare said. “They’re No. 1 on my list right now.”

Cleare said he plans to make his decision by “the end of July or the first [week] of August.” He doesn’t know if he’ll be able to visit any other schools before then.

“My schedule is pretty tight right now,” Cleare said. “I don’t know if I’ve got time.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 5:21 PM | | Comments (16)


Would be great to add Shaquille to the '12 class!

This is the kind of low-post presence we can build around. Howard and Stoglin as experienced Junior guards by the time Cleare would come in to fill up the lane. Would be great if Mitch McGary commits to fill in at F, with DeMatha G James Robinson completing the class. Any other big men that are high on MD in 2012? Updates on Harrison twins in 2013?

Hope Shaq joins us soon so we can focus on McGary. This would be some class if all of the pieces come together. I heard somewhere that there has been more highly regarded b-ball recruits on campus just the last two weeks then there has been in the last 10 years combined. Turge is a man of his word when he said at his introductory press conference that, "They were going to recruit, recruit, and recruit so more. "

2011-12 will be a tough season. But the hope of what follows should get us all through. Land this big fish. Go Turge! Go Terps!

I was a loyal Gary fan but after the shock wore off ( a couple hours or so ) i realized this might just work out. Gary obviously was very stubborn - a huge strength at times and a huge weakness at others.
We'll find out soon enough if MD is the recruiting hotbed most of us assume it could be

Getting McGary and Shaq would elevate this program into the Top 10. It would be a MONSTER class!!!

gary was stubborn with good reason. he was also a great coach and a good recruiter.

that said-- turgeon's era seems to have taken off with a boom. glad that he's here. the program has plenty of front court holes to fill and the kids who pass on that are missing a tremendous opportunity at maryland. 2011 may be difficult but nothing short of thrilling. would be great to have shaquille in the 2012 class.

shaq would be monster in comcast center. all the young terps will go wild for the big man. pull the trigger and the rest of the dominoes should follow: cleare, mcgary, moto, harrison twins. WOW. justin anderson can have fun playing at uva where the students suck and the sports are worse.

hey dook and ta'heels .... buckel up boys, the terps are back

I'm excited as anyone about Maryland's recruiting possibilities. It's been quite a while since we've heard Maryland in the mix for so many top recruits. BUT, let's not go overboard with the comments. Let's see Coach Turgeon actually land some of these recruits and do that on a consistent basis.

Let's not forget that most of these recruits (Cleare, McGary, Harrison twins) already had MD at the top of their lists thanks to Bino and GW. But if Turge can land them he gets full credit. Playing Time and exposure is what 1 and 2 year players are looking for and MD now without old school GW has a abundance of both. Hopefully Turge will get us the rigth mix of elite and 4 year players so that we do not lack continuaty like Texas.

"Let's not forget that most of these recruits (Cleare, McGary, Harrison twins) already had MD at the top of their lists thanks to Bino and GW." exactly terp81. gary ot the ball rolling and now people are treating him like a loser.

I always enjoyed the sweat and excitement, Gary injected into every minute of play. I lived many years in Houston - Shaqiille will really be loved at the "court" and a BMOC! GO TERPS--BEAT DUKE!!!
Let's all join G.W. in supporting Mark Turgeon and keep all coaches and athletics in our prayers.


Hate to burst your bubble but Cleare ONLY is considering MD because of Turgeon. Please stop giving credit to the stubborn ex coach for something he did not actually and FACTually do. Thx.

Gary won a title here, about 10 years ago, it's time to stop praising the guy for constantly MISSING the boat on top talent, you can't make any excuses for his arrogance. Turgeon just got here and already has done much better at recruiting, he should get all the credit!

Truth - Hate to disappoint you but it has been widely reported that Cleare was going to commit to Maryland the weekend after Gary retired but that obviously put his plans on hold. Fortunately, Turgeon already had a relationship with Cleare, with A&M his likely second choice, so all signs point to him still coming to Maryland.

Don't let your animosity towards Williams cloud your view of reality.

Yes not to pile on "truth" but if GW hadn't retired Cleare would already be on board. And what has Turgeon recruited so far? Not knocking him, we need him to do well but people that trash GW just didn't pay attention.

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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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