With the Big Ten ground to a standstill in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s unknown when exactly college sports will return. But for Maryland men’s basketball, there is still work to be done — particularly on the recruiting trail.
On Wednesday, the Terps received a boost. 2021 Four-star James Graham committed to coach Mark Turgeon’s program, he announced on Twitter.
Thank you to all the schools who have recruited me !!!! Let’s get to work terp nation 🐢 pic.twitter.com/oKUsAzUWzY
— James Graham III (@JamesGrahamIII2) August 19, 2020
The No. 9 small forward in the country, per 247Sports, Graham received offers from Auburn, Memphis and Wisconsin, among others. Graham adds further reinforcement to a solid recruiting cycle, joining consensus four-stars Ike Cornish and Julian Reese in Turgeon’s 2021 class — which ranks as the eighth-best in the country, per 247Sports.
It’s a welcome sign for Turgeon, whose program has been wracked by departures in the past few months. Anthony Cowan graduated, Jalen Smith declared for the NBA draft and the Terps have had to recover from a wave of transfers.
There are still concerns, of course. The loss of Smith leaves a gaping hole at center — one Maryland plans to fill with a combination of the relatively unproven pairing of oft-injured Chol Marial and inexperienced Alabama transfer Galin Smith.
Meanwhile, without Cowan, the brunt of the team’s creativity and shot-making ability will be left to guards Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins — undeniably talented players who have yet to shoulder the scoring load.
But, with Graham’s commitment, there’s excitement brewing in College Park.
And while it remains to be seen just when Turgeon’s squad will take the court, when it does it’ll be buoyed by news of yet another high-profile commitment.