Posted: 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013
By Dave Tucker
With their 2014 class all but set, Mark Turgeon and his staff have continued to focus their efforts on 2015. But before we get to that, we have some updated rankings for 2014. ESPN updated their 2014 Top 100 and three Maryland commits made the cut: Guard Romelo Trimble checks in at #37; Dion Wiley is #48; and Trayvon Reed is now #69. Jared Nickens isn't currently listed in their Top 100. Additionally, 247 updated their 2014 class rankings, with Maryland continuing to hold down the #3 spot nationally with their four, four-star commits. Even with some of the big 2014 recruits still undecided on their school for next year, Maryland's class should continue to remain ranked among the top 10 nationally.
As Pete noted earlier today in his recruiting roundup, Maryland is continuing their aggressive pursuit of 2015 targets, recently extending two more offers to four-star power forward Tyler Lydon and three-star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. Lets take a look at what each brings to the table for the Terps.
Lydon is a power forward who has a great outside game and can stretch opposing defenses, but as you can see in the highlights below, he really needs to bulk up. He's working on that, but right he checks in around 180 lbs on a 6'8" frame, so continuing to put on muscle will be a focus for him moving forward. But when you go back and look at Jake Layman before he got to Maryland, he looks comparable in size, so I don't think that will be too much of a concern (As an aside, short hair Jake Layman looks so strange). His shot seems pretty smooth but his release isn't the quickest in the world. He definitely has a presence around the basket, really elevates well around the rim, and can throw down some monster dunks (see below). He has over 20 offers from schools, with Maryland, Syracuse and Virginia being the biggest schools to get involved in his recruitment thus far. Here are some highlights:
Mark Turgeon also made a scholarship offer to shooting guard Donovan Mitchell from New York city. Mitchell is a 6'3" guard who currently thrives by creating his own shot off the dribble and finishing around the rim. In watching him, his game right now really reminds me of former Maryland guard John Gilchrist, especially when he's dribble driving to the rim. He also seems to have a good view of the court when he has the ball in the halfcourt and while leading fast breaks, frequently finding an open teammate if he draws over a defender to contest his shot. He's currently listed by most as a three star player, but definitely has the potential to shoot up the rankings in the coming months if he can further develop his jump shot and show that he can maintain his success as his competition catches up to his size and strength.
Maryland has now made 15 scholarship offers in the class of 2015 to date, for what currently would be three available scholarships. But I doubt things will play out with there just being three scholarships in 2015, between players leaving early and other unforeseen circumstances (transfers, etc.), there could very well be more than three scholarship available.
Those 15 offers broken down by position are: one point guard; three shooting guards, one small forward, eight power forwards, and two centers. In addition to the local talent available in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, Turgeon is also pursuing players in eight additional states, including future B1G territory in Wisconsin and as far west as Nevada. It will be very interesting to see where and who they're able to land for this class, especially since these players will be just the second group to spend their entire careers playing as members of the Big Ten. This class is loaded and Maryland is going after a lot of the top tier players in the class, so hopefully they can continue the momentum they're currently building and land some of these upper echelon players.
If you could take one player in 2015, who would it be?