David Duquette, the director of basketball affairs for the Charlotte Hornets, was on the University of Maryland campus Monday, May 2 asking around about Maryland basketball players, specifically former Maryland center Diamond Stone.
Duquette approached senior criminology and criminal justice major Jonathan Turcotte on Fraternity Row.
“He said he was from the Hornets and was just something like, ‘Do you know of any Maryland basketball players that like to go to fraternity parties and stuff?'” Turcotte said.
Turcotte said Duquette told him he was in town for a few days to find out more information about the players.
Duquette (presumably, unless the Hornets sent multiple people) also went to the UMPD station and asked about Stone. Michael Brice-Saddler, an assistant news editor for The Diamondback, happened to be in the building.
Just overheard a draft scout for the @hornets asking for information on @TerrapinHoops basketball players at the @UMPD station. Interesting.
— Mike Brice-Saddler (@TheArtist_MBS) May 2, 2016
@SJahad815 he asked about Stone specifically — Mike Brice-Saddler (@TheArtist_MBS) May 2, 2016
“A person claiming to be from the Charlotte Hornets organization came into our station seeking information on a person,” police spokeswoman Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas wrote in an email. “That person was instructed by our staff on the procedures on how to obtain information. That person then left, with no information.”
We can safely assume that person 1 is Duquette and person 2 is Stone. Duquette hasn’t responded to requests for comment.
Scouting out a player at his former school isn’t an uncommon practice for teams in any sport. The Los Angeles Rams sent someone to former California quarterback Jared Goff’s high school before selecting him with the first pick of the 2016 NFL draft. Via Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko:
Well before they traded up from No. 15 overall for Tennessee’s top pick in mid-April, the Rams sent team director of security Steve Miller out to Marin Catholic, 10 minutes west of the San Francisco Bay.
“The teams sort of interrogate you, which they should be doing if they’re doing their jobs well,” Moayed said. “The man the Rams sent—you could tell he had an investigative background. He spent two-and-a-half hours on campus talking to people.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers conducted a similar investigation before taking former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with the first pick of the 2015 NFL draft.
It makes sense for the Hornets to be interested in Stone; Charlotte center Al Jefferson is an unrestricted free agent. He battled injuries this past season, and his career seems to be winding down. The Hornets have two other centers on the roster in Cody Zeller and Spencer Hawes, but Stone’s potential to to be a dominant, versatile scorer at the position would be worth the investment.
Charlotte has the 22nd pick in the NBA draft, and Draft Express currently predicts the Hornets to draft international center Ivica Zubac. Stone is a projected second-round pick on the site but was predicted to go as high as the early teens at one point.