Since Mark Turgeon took over at Maryland in 2011, it’s been quite a renaissance in College Park. Despite nearly a decade of irrelevance in the landscape of college basketball, the Terps have roared back into the national picture.
Perhaps nothing has been more important to that revival than recruiting.
Maryland has never been terrible on the recruiting trail, but the program struggled to put together classes that were impressive from top to bottom in the years before Turgeon’s arrival. And even more importantly, Maryland had major trouble holding onto those classes once prospects arrived, with some key players transferring before getting the Terps to the Promised Land.
However, that picture has been much different recently.
Turgeon managed to land a top-15 class nationally in 2014, a five-star in the 2015 class, and another top-15 class in 2016. Not only has Maryland’s recruiting been right up there with many of the national powers, but it’s arguably been the best in the Big Ten over the last five years.
That’s one way to get things going.
And that momentum continued into 2017 over the weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, Terp fans got some exciting news as 2017 prospect Bruno Fernando opted to commit to the program. Fernando committed to Maryland over offers from several other Power 5 schools, including Alabama, LSU and UCF.
Fernando brings the scout ratings enjoyed by many of Maryland’s recent commits. He’s listed as a four-star prospect by ESPN and rated as the No. 7 player in Florida, and the No. 10 center in the country. The site also has Fernando listed at 6-foot-9 and 217 pounds. He also received a four-star ratings from Scout and Rivals as well.
Once he joins Maryland’s roster, Fernando should bring an exciting boost to the frontcourt’s energy and defensive presence. He’s an athletic big that has the ability to play above the rim on offense and can protect the rim on the defensive side of the ball. He still needs to polish his handle and his shot, but with that raw skill set and some post moves, he should be able to make a decent impact early on.
An early impact could be necessarily as well, considering that Maryland is set to lose two seniors in Damonte Dodd and L.G. Gill in its frontcourt after this season. The Terps should return upperclassmen Ivan Bender, Michal Cekovsky and Joshua Tomaic, but none have shown enough to lock up a starting spot before Fernando arrives.
Fernando should also fit in really well with what Maryland has been adding to its roster over the last few recruiting cycles. The team continues to not only add young talent, but it adds athletic players who can play and defend multiple spots. It opens up a plethora of opportunities for the Terps. If the players develop, it should create a really scary and athletic defense.
There’s still a lot of work left to be done for Maryland on the court and the recruiting trail, but as Maryland adds the first commitment to its 2017 recruiting class, the program continues to add to its revival on the recruiting trail.