InsideMDSports: Hill scouting local prospects
Editor's note: Each week, InsideMdSports.com provides this blog with a Maryland recruiting feature that previously appeared as premium content on its site.
During a decade-plus as the head coach at National Christian Academy, Trevor Brown has had his share of Division I basketball prospects. The small private school in Fort Washington was the original home of Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley, and the place where Dante Taylor (Pitt) went from little-known prospect to McDonald’s all-American.
Maryland’s previous basketball staff, though, didn’t spend much time recruiting there, the lone exception being Taylor, whom the staff didn’t begin to pursue seriously until he’d already received offers from a bevy of high-major programs.
“They never recruited the kids. Until you start to do that, local kids are going to continue to leave the area,” Brown said.
But that appears to be changing; assistant Dalonte Hill has been to the school twice this fall to see sophomore point guard John Davis.
Davis is a 6-foot-2 combo who’s beginning to emerge as a high-major prospect entering his first year as the Eagles’ starting point guard. He’s been somewhat under the radar because the AAU team he plays for, Team Disciple, isn’t a well-known outfit. He also didn’t play a starter’s role as a freshman last year on a senior-laden team, though he did play quality minutes, scoring 31 points off the bench in one game.
“He could have started, trust me," Brown said. "He’s pretty good. He’s more of a combo right now but he has the IQ and the skill to be a point. For the next three years I’m just going to play him at the 1. He can really score, that’s his thing."
The 14-year-old Davis, who’s also attracting attention from Georgetown, Seton Hall and others, attended Maryland Madness at Hill’s invitation. Though he’s just beginning to think about recruiting and doesn’t have any favorites, Hill has made sure Maryland is an early mainstay in his recruitment.
“Dalonte has been in the gym a couple of times," Brown said. "Dalonte and I have a long relationship."
Barring attrition and a redshirt this season for Pe’Shon Howard, the Terps will have two guards leaving the program in 2014. While the staff continues to pursue guard prospects in the current junior class, Davis looks poised to be among the top local guards in the following group.
“He’s just a scorer," Brown said. "He’s athletic, he can shoot it, he gets into the paint at will and he can pass. That kid’s pretty good."
Hill will also likely be keeping tabs on Eagles junior Zaccary Douglas. Brown, not one to over-hype his players, believes the 6-foot-8 forward could end up being a prized national recruit. Seton Hall has already offered, while Towson, George Washington and East Carolina are showing serious interest.
“He’s only 16 and I think he may end up being 6-9, 6-10," Brown said. "He can put it on the floor, play inside. If this kid ends up being 6-9 or 6-10, he’s going to be pretty good. I think one thing that’s kept him [little-known] is he’s too daggone unselfish and we had an upper class-heavy team last year. He started for me for half of his freshman season.
“People notice John because he’s really athletic and with guards, you can see it really early. But to be honest with you, Zaccary Douglas is going to be really good.”
-- Story by Jeff Ermann