It's quite astounding how a general feeling of optimism surrounding Maryland basketball recruiting could transform into such a pessimistic feeling in just a few weeks, but that transformation has most certainly occurred.
On October 4th, top-five prospects and twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison headed into their commitment decision considering three schools--Maryland, Kentucky and SMU. Maryland and Kentucky were believed to be the two frontrunners in the Harrison twin sweepstakes.
The Travis High School guards ultimately elected to play for John Calipari at Kentucky, eradicating Maryland's hopes of compiling a top-tier 2013 recruiting class.
But, that wasn't the only negative news released throughout the past two weeks.
Philadelphia's Rysheed Jordan, an athletic point guard from Vaux Roberts High School, had always remained a high Maryland priority throughout the intensive recruitment of the Harrison twins.
Last week, Jordan cut his list of potential schools down to seven. He named Temple, St. Johns, Syracuse, Rutgers, Xavier, Alabama and UCLA, evidently excluding Maryland.
Maryland's 2013 recruiting landscape clearly was focused on guards, and now three out of its top four targets are no longer considering College Park as a destination.
The last remaining guard target for Maryland is Suitland High point guard Roddy Peters.
Many had feared that Maryland's recruitment of Peters had slowed down due to the intense focus on nabbing the Harrison twins, but the twins and Peters were being recruited by two different assistant coaches.
The Harrison twins were being sought after mainly by longtime Maryland assistant Bino Ranson, who doesn't have too much of an input on the Roddy Peters situation.
Peters is from the Baltimore-D.C. area. No one has a better reputation of locking down the DC-Maryland-Virginia, or DMV area, then Maryland assistant Dalonte Hill.
Hill, a former Kansas State assistant, has such strong ties to the area that he lured former McDonald's All-American Wally Judge, a Washington D.C. native, all the way out to Kansas State.
Inevitably, Hill is in charge of Peters' recruitment, and has never lost contact with Peters.
Unfortunately for Maryland, the Terps now have stiff competition to land Peters.
Kansas has emerged as a serious player in the Peters' recruitment, but the Jayhawks landed 2013 point guard Frank Mason this month. Kansas also has 2013 point guard Conner Frankamp committed, which lowers Kansas' need for another point guard.
UCLA, Georgetown and Rutgers are also involved with Peters, who has taken visits to all three of those schools. Peters was originally going to attend Rutgers' Midnight Madness, before deciding he needed to stay local for the weekend.
Peters was the only 2013 recruit present at Maryland's Midnight Madness, which signifies that Maryland may be in for a thin 2013 class.
So far, Mark Turgeon has reeled in Maryland-area center Damonte Dodd, a raw, physical specimen who was once a piece of Maryland's 2012 class. Dodd opted to attend prep school for a season to prepare himself for ACC competition.
After Dodd and Peters, Maryland isn't very high on the lists any other 2013 recruits. 5-star Noah Vonleh is basically a pipe dream at this point, while lower-ranked prospects Junior Etou, RJ Curington and Detrick Mostella haven't been connected to Maryland since the spring.
Aside from high school recruits, Maryland hauled in ex-Michigan power forward Evan Smotrycz for the 2013-14 season. If ex-Xavier guard Dez Wells is not eligible this season, he too will be a newcomer for the 2013-14 season.
At this point, Roddy Peters is Maryland's highest priority. If Mark Turgeon can walk away with those two transfers, Peters and Dodd, I believe he should be satisfied with his 2013 class.
A small 2013 class would lead to more flexibility in the 2014 class.
Some of Maryland's top targets include 5-stars Dwayne Morgan, Joel Berry and Rashad Vaughn, 4-stars Romelo Trimble, Dion Wiley, Phil Booth, Kaleb Joseph, Abdul-Malik Abu and Isaiah Manderson, and 3-star Obi Echenionyia.
Morgan was slated to be at Maryland's Midnight Madness, but his mother was unable to attend so he stayed home. Trimble, Wiley, Booth and Echenionyia were all present at the Comcast Center for the Midnight Madness festivities.
For 2013, Maryland may have to settle with a thin recruiting class, but that may not be such a terrible thing. With the high potential of Maryland's 2014 class, it may be a good idea for Turgeon and Co. to start looking ahead.
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