In case you’re wondering, today is the first of July. Most college basketball teams are already recruiting for their 2009, if not 2010, classes.
Maryland, on the other hand, who have endured one of the most bizarre recruiting seasons in Gary Williams’ tenure, just received a commitment from Chicago center Steve Goins for this fall, according to Jeff Ermann of TurtleSportsReport.com.
Yes, the Terrapins are still looking for players for the upcoming season.
Let’s not be too hard on the Terps, though. No one could’ve predicted the absurdness that was recruiting in College Park this year.
The Comcast Center essentially turned into a revolving door of players who either failed to academically qualify (Terrence Jennings, Bobby Maze), backed out of their commitments (Tyree Evans), transferred to another school (Gus Gilchrist), or are still waiting to pass the NCAA Clearinghouse (Sean Mosley).
The most perplexing story was heralded local Gus Gilchrist, who signed a Letter of Intent with Maryland after asking for a release from Virginia Tech last year, but abruptly decided to transfer to South Florida, of all places, last month. Gilchrist was forced to sit out a year with the Terps due to transferring to another ACC school and would’ve been eligible to play for Maryland on December 22, 2008.
Instead, he and his trainer decided it was best to transfer (again) to an out-of-conference school so he could retain all four years of eligibility, compared to the two-and-a-half he would’ve had at Maryland.
After the departures of senior big men James Gist and Bambale Osby, Gilchrist was essentially guaranteed a starting spot on the roster—so why leave an ACC program that continuously sends players to the NBA (with Gist being the latest) and go to a Big East bottom feeder with barely any television exposure?
While the Terps have a strong backcourt with Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, Adrian Bowie, and Cliff Tucker, the departure of Gilchrist (as well as the transfer of forward Shane Walker) has left Maryland lacking some serious depth up-front.
Enter Steve Goins. Rated by Scout as the 27th-best center in the nation, Goins has been flying under the recruiting radar and fits the Gary Williams mold of a developing player. Weighing 250 pounds and standing 6”10”, Goins adds a sorely-needed big body to the Terrapins roster.
While some fans may grumble about the fact that Maryland shouldn’t be recruiting players a few months before the start of the season (can’t argue there), no one could’ve predicted the amount of craziness that was this recruiting season.