Maryland Basketball: Strengths and Weakness of Terps' 2013 Recruiting Class

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Maryland Basketball: Strengths and Weakness of Terps' 2013 Recruiting Class
USA TODAY Sports

Preceded by a recruiting class destined to bring the Terrapins back to national prominence, Maryland's 2013 class seems like a major disappointment.

But while the two signees, Roddy Peters and Damonte Dodd, aren't the kind of players Maryland fans have enjoyed in the past, these two local products fill major needs.

Peters, the Terps' most heralded recruit, is ranked the 52nd best player in the class and the 12th best point guard, according to ESPN. He resides in-state and played for Suitland High School and the AAU D.C. Assault before undergoing a season-ending shoulder surgery this winter.

Dodd, who was originally in Maryland's 2012 class, opted to attend prep school at Massanutten Military School this season to better prepare himself for collegiate ball. Because he is a post-graduation prospect, Dodd did not receive a ranking by ESPN.

So, what exactly does coach Mark Turgeon's sophomore class bring to Maryland?

 

Strengths: Fills needs, Brings more size

This college season, it's evident that Maryland is a point guard away from being an ACC contender.

Pe'Shon Howard has been wildly inconsistent and a non-factor as of late. Seth Allen unintentionally showed that he is better suited playing off the ball, exemplified by his near-double-digit turnover total against Duke when Howard was suspended.

Continuing to force Dez Wells or Nick Faust to run the point guard position would only prolong this issue.

Finally, for the first time since the Greivis Vasquez era, Maryland will have a true point guard.

Peters, 6'4'', is still in the process of converting from a combo guard into a full-fledged point guard. That process has been postponed because of Peters' shoulder injury.

After joining D.C. Assault at the beginning of his junior season, Peters soared into top 100 lists after showcasing his ability to attack the lane and facilitate in the paint.

His size is an added bonus. ACC point guards who are 6'4'' or taller have prospered in recent years, including Lorenzo Brown, Austin Rivers and Vasquez.

Peters isn't Maryland's only prospect who fills a need. Dodd will aid a modest exodus of post-players this offseason.

Senior forward James Padgett will graduate and sophomore center Alex Len will likely enter the NBA draft (and get selected in the lottery, but we'll save that for another day).

Dodd is a 6'9'' center with a massive 7'2'' wingspan. His skills are very raw, but Maryland will benefit from his large-bodied presence down on the block.

 

Weaknesses: Lack of prior accomplishment, little depth

While Peters and Dodd have caught the attention of national recruiting gurus, neither have actually proved much.

Peters was relatively unknown before he joined an AAU squad in his junior year. After a spectacular junior campaign, his shoulder injury prevented him from building off that success.

Dodd was actually completely unheard of before Maryland surprisingly offered him a scholarship late in his senior season.

Dave Telep wrote a story (ESPN Insider account required) about him coming from nowhere to receiving a high-level scholarship. Here are some quotes:

When Maryland accepted a commitment from 2012 center Damonte Dodd (Centerville, Md./Queen Anne’s), we at RecruitingNation collectively went, “Who?”

Watching this former “unknown” was exciting from the standpoint that you can see the direction he’s heading. My guess is he gets there and turns into an ACC player.

If I had a scholarship to spare, he’d get it. Taking it a step further, if our 2012 ESPN 100 wasn’t finished, Dodd would be in it.

Those plaudits are nice, but it's also evident that he's relatively new to the AAU scene, and he hasn't proved much yet. The article also states he has played against some weaker competition.

So, while Peters and Dodd are nice grabs, they haven't accomplished too much.

Lastly, the most glaring weakness with this recruiting class is its depth.

Maryland only signed two players after narrowly missing out on the highly-touted Harrison twins.

Schools like Indiana, Kentucky, Marquette, Kansas and Memphis have signed at least five recruits, so two is a relatively small amount.

As long as Turgeon uses that extra space to compile a strong 2014 class, the Terps will be in good shape.

Note: Maryland will also receive Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz.

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