As a Maryland fan and native, I have sympathy for both Gary Williams and Brenda Frese.
Yes, there are tons of solid basketball players coming out of the Baltimore/Washington area, but getting them to come to the University of Maryland-College Park may not be as easy as it seems.
In recent years Maryland's academic standards have increased exponentially (granted the athletic department has some pull, but they need a mighty heave in some cases). When my parents went to school at the University of Maryland, they had to sign their names and show a high school diploma...today the standards are much more rigorous.
The admissions requirements for UMD are:
SAT Verbal: 600-700
Sat Math: 570-680
G.P.A.: 97 percent of admitted freshman have higher than a 3.0, 82 percent have higher than a 3.5, and 65 percent have a +3.75.
Only 14 percent of freshman applicants are admitted, as the school is known as one of the leading research Universities in the world.
Ummm...hold on a second! Are we talking about a pre-Ivy here?
No, but we might as well be! Hello, University of Maryland!
With academic standards like these, it makes it increasingly more difficult for coaches to get mediocre-to-poor students onto their basketball teams.
Maryland is, therefore, limited in their recruiting prospects because they are not only looking for basketball prowess, but they are also recruiting for academic excellence.
Another dragon that the coaches at Maryland have to slay is the "I want to get away" mentality.
College is a great chance to break away and to see parts of the country that you may never again have the opportunity to explore. Despite growing up in Maryland, I chose the University of New Hampshire over the University of Maryland during my college search. To be honest, I'm not sure that I would have been accepted at Maryland, even with my 3.9 G.P.A!
No matter how you spin it, there is something to be said for getting out of your hometown.
Last, but definitely not least, Maryland is a monster-sized school, with a pretty campus, in the middle of a horrible area.
Yes, Maryland's actual campus and facilities may compare to that of Duke or UNC, but who would choose grimy and run-down college park over picturesque North Carolina?
Not me, that's for sure!
I'm not saying that Maryland isn't a good school, or that it doesn't have good sports programs...I'm saying that recruiting at College Park may be tougher than you think!