The North Carolina Tar Heels are raking in the recruits for the class of 2014.
At 12:15 today the #10 player in the 2014 class, G/F Theo Pinson, announced that he was committing to UNC, surprising quite a bit of people along the way.
Earlier in the day, most analysts had Pinson pegged to attend Indiana, as Tom Crean and Co. had recruited him harder and longer than anyone else. But UNC pressed late in the game, and by 10 AM most had it at 50/50, with a slight edge to UNC. That turned out to be true, and the High Point, North Carolina guard decided to remain in his home state and compete in the ACC.
So what does that mean for the Terrapins, intangibly? Well, Pinson was a big target for Indiana, and their failure to get a commitment from him means that they are going to get much more aggressive in their pursuit of replacement targets. One of those happens to be a target of the Terrapins as well: shooting guard Dion Wiley.
Wiley, from nearby Oxon Hill, Maryland, has been courted by the Maryland Terrapins for a long time, and he remains their top target for the 2014 class. For the Terps, he is the primary objective, the one that ties the whole class together and helps bring in other potential big name recruits. But given how Wiley has repeatedly stated that his recruitment is still wide open, he is far from a sure thing for the Terps
As of late, Indiana has started talking Wiley a lot more despite already having a shooting guard commitment from James Blackmon Jr. in 2014. They offered Wiley this summer, and should they choose to press harder on him, it could have serious implications for Maryland. Indiana is a powerhouse with tons of tradition, and anytime they start to work on a recruit, you have to be concerned about the appeal they have for certain players.
When you toss Florida into the mix as well, since Billy Donovan just attended one of his AAU games, that means Dion is likely to be hearing a lot of very strong pitches from some very good teams, and that is something Maryland should be concerned about. Florida is a tournament team with a championship winning coach, and Indiana is close with even more tradition.
Wiley is a Maryland kid, and has stated how much he loves the Terps in the past, so they still have that going for them. The fact that Mark Turgeon has placed so much time and effort into recruiting him (visits, watching his basketball games, going to games with him) shows how committed the Terps are to, well, getting his commitment. As it stands, Maryland has to be considered the favorite, but it’s far from being a stone-cold lock.
I’m not sure that Indiana is going to take on another commitment at the guard position, as that would create a logjam and probably piss off some recruits. All this is mere speculation as to what could happen. In the coming weeks, we’ll find out just how committed they are in their pursuit of Wiley. Theo Pinson committing to UNC over Indiana definitely hasn’t ruined the Terps chances of landing Wiley, but you have to figure it made things tougher.