InsideMDSports: Abdul-Malik Abu a top Terps target for 2014

Special to The Baltimore Sun

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Abdul-Malik Abu entered the spring as a lesser-known commodity. Six months later, after consistently showcasing his non-stop motor and athleticism, the 6-foot-7 power forward from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H., has a list of scholarship offers he estimates to be roughly 30 schools long.

“It’s beautiful. I’m proud of myself and I’m grateful to be where I am,” said Abu, who counts Maryland among the programs most seriously pursuing him. “Maryland’s been recruiting me pretty hard. They came up to watch me play, I think two times. ... I think they’re highly interested.”

Wisconsin last week became the latest to offer Abu, who also holds offers from Maryland, Michigan State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Iowa State, Kansas State, Penn State, Providence, Rutgers and West Virginia, among others. Abu hasn’t taken many visits yet, but he did make the trip down to College Park earlier this fall and holds the Terps’ program in high esteem.

“It was a great feeling. Nice environment, good people out there, made us feel like home. I think it would be a very good place to be at,” said Abu, who’s one of several New England underclassmen being recruited by Terps assistant Scott Spinelli.

“Coach Turgeon met with us. He’s a very down-to-earth guy, very cool. He’s very confident they’re going to do the things he expects and he’s got a great understanding of what he believes in,” he said. Abu, the No. 78 prospect and 17th-ranked power forward in 247sports’ 2014 rankings, remains open to all suitors and said he doesn’t plan to make a decision until next summer, most likely.

“Academics are always important to me. Basketball is second,” he said. “We met with the guidance counselor for the basketball team [at Maryland] and she was telling us some of the things they do to keep you on track on and off the court.”

Abu’s not letting his emergence go to his head, though. He’s been spending much of his time in the gym working on his game. As an undersized big man, he wants to continue developing his ballhandling skills and shooting ability.

“I’m just trying to be more versatile,” he said. ”You always have to keep doing what got you there, but I can do a lot more.”

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