Feb 10, 2014; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Maryland Terrapins head coach Mark Turgeon gestures from the bench against the Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
A big blow to the 2015 class, Esa Ahmad announced this afternoon that he has committed to West Virginia over Maryland, Ohio State, Oregon and Wisconsin.
It’s hard not to consider this a loss, but Esa, his father and coach all raved about the official visit to Maryland. Pulling out the red carpet, he fit in with the players and seemed to enjoy everything on the visit. That’s the case with Maryland. Turgeon undoubtedly made Ahmad his top target, watched every game and built a great relationship with those around Esa. His high school coach rated Maryland’s visit a “9.5 out of 10” and said the visit was great. “If you weren’t paying attention, you’d think he was one of the players,” Ahmad’s father told TSMD. To put a positive spin on things, Turgeon now has built a relationship with a high school coach that may have another premier recruit in the future.
As for the head-scratching 2015 class, the attention turns to their next biggest target, St. James point guard Justin Robinson. Robinson told TSMD yesterday that Coach Turgeon and Dustin Clark were there to watch him play. But if Robinson does indeed commit, that fills the point guard position; the wing is still wide open. So where does Maryland go next?
3-star Texas forward Jordan Murphy is the biggest name that Maryland fans should remember. An athletic 6’7″ wing, Murphy told TSMD that he was unsure if Maryland would see him this week. A 3-star small forward from Texas, expect Maryland to recruit Murphy harder with Ahmad off the board. Currently, there are three Crystal Ball predictions to Maryland for Murphy, but his recruitment has been quiet lately. With the recruiting period in full swing this week, expect to learn more about his recruitment moving forward.
3-star wing Markis McDuffie is another player Maryland has recruited. Former Maryland and current Boston College assistant Scott Spinelli is one of many recruiting McDuffie, who will not take a visit to Boston College this weekend according to Zach Spears. The small forward from St. Anthony currently has official visits set to VCU (September 19) and Wichita State (September 26), according to his 247 page. Kipper Nichols is another player that may be under consideration, but it remains to be seen how hard Maryland is recruiting him.
For now there’s no need to overreact on Ahmad’s commitment to another school. As talented as Ahmad was, he and others will be able to fit Maryland’s void moving forward. So breathe, because Maryland and this staff has done a good job identifying talent and hauling them in. Just look at the 2014 class if you need reassurance.