Peach Jam Updates: Maryland Targets Performing Well


Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Esa Ahmad, All Ohio Red:

The combo forward and heavy Terps target has shown off why he’s such a coveted target by Maryland and Ohio State through the first three games at Peach Jam. Ahmad’s first game was against local Team Final — featuring fellow Terps targets Chris Clarke and Justin Robinson — and he didn’t disappoint. 12 points, 7 rebounds, two steals and one block showed off a pretty well-rounded game. He followed that up with a 12 point, 12 rebound, 8 assist performance against BABC in the second game, displaying a great open court game.

But Ahmad had his best game of the tournament Friday afternoon as he led All Ohio Red to a come-from-behind victory with 20 points (unofficially) and a lot of rebounds. Ahmad has a smooth game and plays very hard. He’s also aggressive at getting to the basket and eliciting contact close to the rim. He’s made a living at the free throw line so far, and that’s likely to continue.

Prince Ali, Southern Stampede

Ali had the hot hand in a loss to Arkansas Wings with 20 points and 8 rebounds, connecting on three of four from deep. Ali drew quite a few fouls to score those points, and even though he’s only 6’4, has a really good wingspan that allows him to snare down boards.

Unfortunately, Ali’s weekend will be cut short as he’s nursing an injured ankle. Ali did say, however, that Maryland was not one of the schools pursuing him the hardest, but he had not cut down his list to five yet.

Chris Clarke, Boo Williams

Clarke (Cape Henry) started Peach Jam off nicely. The highly anticipated matchup with Robinson against Ahmad’s team was a little boring, but it went very well for Clarke as he finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals and a block. Today, he had an equally impressive game in which he was all over the court in the first half, but fouled out in the second as he was asked to play the low post a bit more.

Clarke is a lengthy defender, makes very good decisions on the break, and obviously relishes the role of stopper. When he played in the low post, however, he struggled a bit more. Still, as a whole Clarke has done nothing but continue to be impressive. Maryland is so on and off about Clarke, however, that it doesn’t look like they’re in it for him. He has not been the Terps priority, and that’s kind of taken them out of the running for now.

Justin Robinson, Boo Williams

Robinson has been an interesting case this tournament as he is now coming off the bench for Boo Williams, as sophomore Matt Coleman continues to play a bigger role on that team. Robinson finished with 11 points over 17 minutes of play against All Ohio Red, doing most of his scoring from the charity stripe, where he was six-of-six. In the 9 o’clock games on Friday, he was taken out of the game late down the stretch in a loss to BABC, but still managed to dish out a few good passes. One that sticks out was when he caught Clarke on the break with a quick toss following a steal.

Robinson is clearly Maryland’s top priority right now, and while they still have to contend with the likes of Virginia Tech and Creighton, you have to like their chances. Assistant coach Dustin Clark has been on hand for his games, and clearly the Terps want to bring him into the fold sooner rather than later to get that pure point guard they so clearly need.

Others notes:

  • Bryant Crawford (Team Takeover) had 29 points against Allonzo Trier (Athletes First), who had 26 points and 8 rebounds, yesterday. Crawford remains a target for Maryland, but Louisville is in the lead for his services and it seems unlikely Maryland can land him at this point. Trier is even less likely, however. Arizona is in the lead for the local guard’s services right now, but he does list Maryland as an interest.