Cleare Analysis

8/28/2011 6:17:23 PM Pardon the pun; but I could not resist.  Last week was just insane for me and I haven't had a minute to put my thoughts together on Shaq Cleare's commitment until now. 

In full disclosure, I just took a new job about a month ago and I've taken on more responsibility and unfortunately, Turtle Soup has been a casualty.  At least it happened during the off season.

I was literally boarding a plane from Chicago to NYC last week when I had the good news texted me. Cleare's commitment is simply massive for Maryland and the new coaching staff.  Not only is he the highest rated big man to commit to Maryland in close to 10 years (maybe Ekene Ibekwe was higher?); he's close with several other of Maryland's targets. 

For 2012, there's the #2 overall rated recruit Mitch McGary.  He and Shaq have openly talked about playing together while sharing the paint at many of this year's summer camps.  While Shaq's commitment doesn't guarantee McGary's, it increases the likelihood if only slightly.

More significantly, there's the Harrison twins (Andrew and Aaron) who are both top 5 2013 prospects.  They are elite talents and they play on Shaq Cleare's AAU team, the Houston Defenders.  Actually, Shaq plays on their team.  After all Aaron Harrison, Sr. is the head coach of the Defenders.  The best part about Aaron Harrison, Sr? He's a Maryland native and friend of Bino Ranson.  This is widely known; but I have a sneaking suspicion that Harrison Sr. would have tried to steer Cleare away from MD if he didn't want his sons to go there.  Cleare's commitment is an endorsement of the program from Harrison Sr.  There is no other way to look at it.  So, the odds of a commitment from the Harrison twins just went up.

As for the rest of 2012, the Terps now have two players locked and loaded.  The aforementioned Shaq Cleare and shooting guard Seth Allen.  Now the Terps have 6 scholarships available and of the four remaining; Mitch McGary and Amile Jefferson likely top the wish list.  If those two sign; the Terps are going to be a powerhouse.

Turgeon has yet to coach a game; but he's already changed the tenor of things in College Park.
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