Sterling Gibbs, Martin Breunig Ask Out of LOIs, Keith Booth Gone

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Two 2011 commits down, one left.

Maryland 2011 basketball commitments Sterling Gibbs and Martin Breunig have both reportedly asked for releases from their letters of intent, re-opening their recruitment and leaving Mark Turgeon and the Terps with only one commit left in that class – Nick Faust.

We talked a little about the possibility of Gibbs asking out of his letter of intent and the uncertainty around it earlier, but now it seems official, due to a few of his tweets, most importantly this one:

"Shout out to all of the Maryland fans and#terpnation for being very classy and supporting me through it all. Thanks yall I appreciate it!!"

According to Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports, Louisville, Colorado, Miami, Providence, Florida, Seton Hall, and Texas have all reached out to Gibbs. On that list, Louisville, Florida, Seton Hall (it’s local), and Texas all concern me.

Gibbs has often been talked about as a guy underrated by many recruiting agencies – he’s a point guard with a high basketball IQ, has a basketball pedigree, and reportedly impressed on the AAU Circuit. With Pe’Shon Howard and Terrell Stoglin entrenched at the guard spots (not to mention Sean Mosley and Faust), there is a bit of a jam at the guard spot for the Terps, but Gibbs certainly has the talent to find the playing time if he decides to stick with his original commitment.

Also asking out of his LOI is German swingman Martin Breunig, which hurts the Terps more than Gibbs, in my opinion. Breunig is 6’9″, and Maryland desperately needs that kind of height. Gibbs is probably a better talent, but the German suits Maryland’s needs better.

Starting out as sort of an unheralded prospect, Breunig committed to the Terps soon after Maryland became the first major program to offer him a scholarship. After showing off his skills as a swingman, and even some moves in the post, he has shot up the rankings, however, ending up at #137 in Rivals newest Top150. When the Terps gave him a scholly he was only holding offers from Maine, San Francisco, and Wisconsin-Green Bay, but was being recruited by USC, Oregon State, Cincinnati and Marquette.

More after the jump.

In terms of where to go from here, that question is more pertinent for Breunig’s possible departure than for Gibbs’, because the Terps obviously have the depth to make up for a young guard leaving the program. As it stands now, Maryland has four players over 6’6″ – Berend Weijs, 6’10”, who is woefully skinny and needs some serious work on his offensive game but is reportedly trying to bulk up with a 5,000 calorie-a-day diet; Ashton Pankey, 6’9″, who has played about ten minutes of competitive basketball over the past two years thanks to recurring injuries; James Padgett, 6’8″, who seems to possess some talent but has yet to put it together in College Park; and Ersin Levent, 6’7″, the walk-on who needs no introduction.

A talented 6’9″ player would do wonders for Maryland’s front-court, and unless a 7-foot tall Czechian who can shoot falls out of the sky, Breunig is Maryland’s only option in their quest to field anything resembling a Division-1 frontcourt.

Obviously, the Terps are still in contention for the two of them, and the kids just want to open up their options again. It’s hard to blame them – this is a different program than the one they committed to. And hey, we’ve still got Nick Faust. That counts for something.

Chick Hernandez, proud alumnus of my alma mater, Montgomery Blair High School, is reporting that Keith Booth will not be a part of Mark Turgeon’s staff. This isn’t shocking – Turgeon wants to bring in his old pal Scott Spinelli and Booth was the guy among Maryland’s three assistant coaches with the least to offer, especially recruiting-wise. We wish Booth the best of luck, and he deserves a head coaching gig at a smaller school.

A rumor going around, however, is that Rob Ehsan may be joining Booth on the outside of the Maryland program. Ehsan was the lead recruiter of both Gibbs and Breunig (Bino Ranson, who is reportedly staying with the program, was the lead recruiter of Nick Faust, who hasn’t said anything about a decommitment). I love Ehsan as much as anyone, and there’s only one situation in which I would find his departure acceptable (besides him accepting a head coaching job):

Turgeon is reportedly pursuing Dalonte Hill, an assistant at Kansas State and the highest paid assistant coach in the country at a whopping $420,000 per year. Hill was the head coach of the DC Assault, one of the best AAU teams in the country, for two years, and helped bring Michael Beasley, Bill Walker, and Wally Judge (pre-transfer) to Kansas State. The Assault produced players like Beasley, Jeff Green, Nolan Smith, Andris Biedrins, and Deron Washington. Hill is one of the best assistants in the country, and locking him down would go a long way towards turning Maryland into a top-10 program.