It was obvious that Maryland needed an additional guard in their recruiting efforts to complete the 2012 recruiting class. Coach Mark Turgeon did a good job, all things considered, during his first year on campus, and Terrapins’ fans are awaiting to see what fresh talent will be added to the roster going forward. With a recruiting class that amounts to six new players, with Sunday’s addition of combo guard Sam Cassell Jr., it’s safe to say Turgeon has passed the test in year one.
Four frontcourt players, posts Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare, and forwards Jake Layman and Damonte Dodd were already on board to build up the team’s interior, but Seth Allen was expected to be the only backcourt newcomer, leaving an obvious hole for another addition. Only a minimal amount of guards that can be reasonably expected to contribute minutes off the bat in the ACC were still on the board, and Cassell was one of them.
Basketball fans recall that Cassell’s father was a former star at Florida State, before a long NBA career following being a first round draft pick. Cassell Jr. took a prep year this season at Notre Dame Prep (MA), and became a sought after recruit for several Big East and ACC schools, before deciding on committing to Maryland. Last year, Cassell Jr. was part of the loaded Baltimore Elite grassroots basketball team.
On Sunday, Cassell Jr. put out a brief message on Twitter referring to his commitment,”It’s a done deal”. In adding Cassell Jr. and Mitchell late, Maryland has a done a good job given the available talent. They also get bonus points in the fact that Cassell can play either guard slot, which is important for Maryland’s depth going forward. In fact, Cassell Jr. could be one of Maryland’s first guard options off the bench next year, and provide scoring pop when needed.