Just a year ago, at the onset of what would be a breakout junior season, Suitland point guard Roddy Peters found himself unranked by every major recruiting service.
At that same time, the University of Maryland and head coach Mark Turgeon were heading full-force into the complicated recruitment of now-Kentucky signees Andrew and Aaron Harrison.
Today, the situation for both sides couldn't be more different.
Peters is now listed as the 45th-best player in the 2013 class, and the eighth-best point guard, according to ESPN. His rapid rise can be attributed to him joining the AAU squad DC Assault last fall, on which he impressed numerous evaluators.
Maryland lost out on the Harrison twins, and quickly was forced to re-focus their recruiting outlook, while still managing to make sure lesser-priority players such as Peters did not feel like consolation prizes.
In October, Peters committed to Maryland, making him the Terps' second 2013 signee following prep-schooler Damonte Dodd.
While nabbing a high-end 4-star prospect is outstanding in its own right, especially for a program currently in a downward spiral following two consecutive postseason-less seasons, Peters' commitment holds more value than one may think.
First and foremost, this signing indicates that Mark Turgeon is capable of executing what Gary Williams continually chose to avoid.
Williams, Maryland's national champion coach who led a 22-year tenure before retiring two years ago, never recruited the local AAU scene.
Throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. lie some of the top AAU programs in the land, including PG Jaguars (Kevin Durant), Team Takeover (Michael Gbinije), Boo Williams (Vernon Macklin), and DC Assault (Michael Beasley).
For Maryland to be able to step right in to the AAU recruiting circuit and be successful after being absent for decades is impressive, and it also highlights another important part of Maryland's near future as a recruiting force.
The signing of Peters is the first major commitment primarily locked down by new Maryland assistant coach, and former Kansas State assistant coach, Dalonte Hill.
Hill, who formerly coached DC Assault and recruited DC Assault standouts Michael Beasley, Wally Judge, Dominique Sutton and Rodney McGruder to Kansas State, is now on the Maryland sidelines.
Hill has unique connections with the local AAU teams. For him to ink his first of hopefully many homegrown AAU products in Peters is a promising sign for the future.
Aside from how Peters' commitment positively impacts Maryland's recruiting outlook, the signing also provides a major refreshment on the depth chart.
Ever since Maryland's point guard tandem of Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez departed in 2010, the team has struggled to find a true 1-guard.
Terrell Stoglin, who is no longer on the team, was more of a 2-guard (or a chucker, ball-hog, etc.). Nick Faust, a current sophomore, never successfully made the transition from the wing to point guard.
Junior Pe'Shon Howard, the current starter at point guard, only has one more year left after this season. In the past, he has failed to remain healthy, and has been inconsistent when he's been on the floor.
With Peters coming in, all of these point guard troubles should be resolved. Howard will be able to split time with a younger, more agile point guard. Seth Allen will be able to move back to his more comfortable position at shooting guard.
The addition of Peters certainly relieves a large amount of stress and confusion surrounding Maryland's future depth chart.
Factor in the promising recruiting outlook that his signing delivers, and you've got more than just a 4-star commitment—you've got a serious building-block for the rejuvenation of Maryland's basketball program.
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