Ask most fans of the Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team and they will point to lack of talent as the main reason for a disappointing 2010-’11 season. Certainly Jordan Williams performed at an all-ACC level and Terrell Stoglin showed why many were excited when he committed to play for Maryland, but there were few other bright spots. Clearly the Terps and specifically head coach Gary Williams needs to make it happen on the recruiting trail if the Terps are going to be a force in NCAA Tournament play again. It seems like Coach Williams is doing just that.
The Terps are bringing in a strong 3 player class, headlined by Baltimore shooting guard Nick Faust, for 2011 and just last week picked up a verbal commitment from athletic forward Justin Anderson for the class of 2012. Anderson attends nearby Montrose Christian Academy, which also produced recent Terps Greivis Vasquez and Adrian Bowie. Anderson is a powerfully built 6’7″ lefty, who at one point was the #1 player in his class. At this point his is ranked in the top 50 of the class and would need to improve his handle and mid range shot in order to climb into the top 25. Anderson is known for his hard work and his ability to be a leader. It is huge for Maryland to pick-up a commitment from another big-time local talent. Not only that, but Anderson is well known and liked on the AAU circuit by other players. Anderson’s pledge to the Terps could help build momentum and cause other talents to look more closely at Maryland.
Coming off a frustrating season, it is a shame that Terps’ fans have to look to the future to get excited. But it is hard not to get excited at the athletic talent of the current roster combined with those committed to play for Maryland. Not only that, there have been rumors that former McDonald’s All -American Wally Judge might end up in College Park when he is released from his scholarship at Kansas St. Judge has underperformed at Kansas St., but he has huge upside and the type of athleticism and size that Maryland has not seen since Chris Wilcox.
There are a variety of reasons why Gary Williams has struggled to consistently recruit NBA caliber talent in a an area that is a hot-bed for it. More of that talent is looking Maryland’s way right now. To an extent Billy Packer was right that the Terps should always be a top 25 team. It seems like Williams is putting the effort to get them back there, for his sake let’s hope it pays off.