Editor’s Note: This is an article by TerrapinStationMD staff writer Chris Bengel, you can follow Chris on Twitter @DurtyPuckHead where you will find plenty of Maryland Terrapins basketball information.
Mark Turgeon got an early start on his 2014 recruiting class on Thursday when Bishop O’Connell star guard Romelo Trimble committed to the University of Maryland. Trimble will join Suitland combo guard Roddy Peters in College Park beginning in the 2014 season.
Trimble is a top 60 guy that fits the mold of a Turgeon guard. The head man at Maryland likes his guards to be big and very crafty. He likes guards that have no problem handling the basketball and we’ve seen that in freshman guard Seth Allen thus far this season. The newest Terrapin fits such a mold. Trimble has good size (6-3, 180 lbs) and can handle the basketball with relative ease. The junior guard made the transition to being the full-time point guard at Bishop O’Connell this past season so he clearly can handle being the facilitator on the offensive end. Trimble also has the athleticism to be a scoring threat and he showed that during his sophomore campaign. The Knights guard averaged 21 ppg a season ago and was a third team All-Met selection. Trimble is a quick player and is a very good shooter. He is a four-star recruit that has all the tools to be a special player at Maryland.
As a whole, Trimble is yet another supremely talented guard that right away will bring depth to the Terrapins. By the time the DC Assault product arrives in College Park, Pe’Shon Howard will have graduated and Seth Allen will be a junior and should be having a good career. Roddy Peters will have a year under his belt. Trimble won’t need to be a savior-type player since the Terrapins should have very good production from both Allen and Peters. I could see the Arlington, Va. product filling a role similar to that of Allen in his freshman season. Trimble will be the first guard off the bench and should be able to contribute 6-8 ppg.
After kicking off the 2014 recruiting class with a strong addition like Trimble, it allows Turgeon to focus on some of the bigger recruits around the country. For Maryland, a vast majority of those recruits hail from the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia) area. The big fish that the Terrapins are after is St. Frances Academy small forward Dwayne Morgan. Morgan is the 18th best player in the country according to rivals. The St. Frances Academy swingman can shoot the basketball very well and can drive to the rim as well. Morgan has tremendous length and is a very good rebounder. He can also alter his fair share of shots. After cutting his list back in October, the Bmore’s Finest forward is currently considering Indiana, UNLV, Seton Hall, Missouri, and South Florida in addition to Maryland. It’s a very odd list for the Baltimore native but that could play into the Terrapins’ hands. The only real threat to Maryland landing Morgan is Indiana. Tom Crean has shown he is a tremendous recruiter and was in town last weekend for the sixth annual National High School Hoops Festival at Dematha High School. Missouri is strong but I don’t see them as a threat. The only other team that could land Morgan is Seton Hall. Baltimore native Aquille Carr is committed to Seton Hall for the 2013 season and is good friends with Morgan. Morgan will be arguably Turgeon’s most important priority until the St. Frances Academy star commits.
Morgan will no doubt be one of Turgeon’s most important priorities but shooting guard Rashad Vaughn (#12 overall on Rivals) is the highest rated player that is considering Maryland. Vaughn is an extraordinary athlete that has tremendous hops. The Minnesota has an incredible knack for getting to the rim and can throw the basketball down with authority. He also has very good size (6-5, 180 lbs) and is a pretty strong shooter. Vaughn was believed to be a pipe dream for the Terrapins with them being an ACC squad. Now with Maryland set to begin play in the Big Ten beginning in 2014, Vaughn is a real possibility with him being a midwest guy living in prime Big Ten territory. The Net Gain Sports guard is likely to cut down his list in the coming weeks. Vaughn currently has offers from just about every major school you can imagine. Once he trims his list, we’ll find out where Maryland stands with this five-star recruit.
With local talent like Peters, Damonte Dodd, and now Trimble in the fold, the local movement could get even bigger if the Terrapins land any of the trio of Potomac’s Dion Wiley, St. James’ Obi Enechionyia, and Mount St. Joseph’s Phil Booth. Wiley is the highest rated of the three and is close with Peters so he has a strong connection with Maryland. The Potomac guard is the highest rated (#58) of the trio and sits exactly one spot ahead of Trimble in the Rivals rankings. Wiley’s recruitment seems to be a three-team race between Virginia, Georgetown, and Maryland. From what Wiley has said in interviews, it sounds like Virginia impressed him a lot and he liked their campus. The Team Takeover guard is reportedly still hoping for an offer from his “dream school” which is Syracuse. However, Maryland is definitely capable of landing Wiley due to his relationship with future Terrapins Peters and Trimble.
Enechionyia is another strong local talent and is one of the few bigs Maryland is pursuing in 2014. The Saint James power forward would provide instant depth alongside guys like Shaq Cleare and Charles Mitchell who will likely still be in College Park. Once again, it looks like the Terrapins’ main competition for Enechionyia’s services is Indiana. The Hoosiers have recently expressed high interest to the power forward. Crean is heavily patrolling one of the most stacked areas of the country and be even more competitive with Maryland since the teams will be rivals once the Terrapins move to the Big Ten. Enechionyia currently has offers from Indiana, Miami (FL), Massachusetts, VCU, Xavier, and Maryland.
Last but not least is Mount St. Joseph shooting guard Phil Booth. Booth is the lowest ranked of the trio (#84 on Rivals) but could be one that Maryland could try to lock up early. The shooting guard plays on the same high school team as 2013 Ohio State commit Kameron Williams. Williams is the primary option for the Gaels so Booth’s opportunities to stuff the stat sheet are limited. I can see Booth blowing up during his senior season and racked up offers from some of the top schools in the country. If Turgeon could lock him up early, it would give him four supremely talented guards. Booth is currently boasting offers from Georgetown, Indiana, Iowa, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Florida, SMU, St. Joseph’s, Temple, Villanova, Virginia Tech, Xavier, and the Terrapins.
The New England area wasn’t really a prime recruiting area before Turgeon arrived at Maryland. That looks like it may change. After landing Massachusetts native Jake Layman, the Terrapins are focusing their efforts in 2014 on Kimball Union Academy power forward Abdul-Malik Abu. Abu had a very impressive summer playing for Expressions Elite, his New-England based AAU team. I actually had a chance to check him out at the 2012 Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest in King of Prussia, Pa. in July. Abu is an absolute force inside but has a quick step to the basket. The Kimball Union Academy power forward can crash the boards and alter shots with ease. Abu is still early on in his recruitment but is listing offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Iowa State, Miami (FL), Michigan State, Providence, Rhode Island, Rutgers, Temple, Wisconsin, and the Terrapins. Abu visted the Maryland campus along with fellow 2014 prospects Alec Brennan and Jared Terrell back in the summer. Abu should be shaving down his list very soon and it’s been made clear by Abu that he is extremely high on the Terrapins.