When Maryland won the national championship in 2002, Dwayne Morgan was 7 years old. So while Morgan was aware the program has been successful, it hit home during his unofficial visit to College Park last weekend.
“I learned about the history of the school and saw the Final Four floor and articles and things like that. That was really good. They have a lot of history there. That was real impressive,” said Morgan, a 6-foot-7 forward from St. Frances who is ranked No. 16 in the Class of 2014 composite rankings.
It was the first visit to Maryland for Morgan, who will take a trip to North Carolina this weekend and was joined by his mother.
“She liked it. It was a good experience for her. She said it brought her back to her old days [as a student] at Clemson,” Morgan said.
The visit also gave Terps coach Mark Turgeon a chance to express his interest in Morgan firsthand.
“He said he likes me and he wants me to come to the school. I’m a priority and he likes me a lot,” Morgan said.
Morgan didn’t get to meet any players during his visit, but he’s long looked up to Terps sophomore Nick Faust – a fellow Baltimorian – and has been playing in pick-up games with him recently. He said he’s taken notice of the extra adoration Faust receives from the home-state fans.
“My boy Nick Faust was a hometown kid last year and the crowd went crazy for him just because. That’s something every player would like, just because it makes it feel like you’re at home,” he said.
Morgan said he also discussed academics with the staff.
“Academics are going to be a big part. The books are going to have to be straight for me to get on that court,” he said. “The [athletic] facilities were also really good. The campus is pretty big. The people are friendly, they treat you really good.
“I also toured the school, talked about Maryland, how I feel about them, their playing style and things like that.”
So how does the fast-rising junior feel about Maryland now that he’s had an up-close look?
“It was a really good visit. I like the school. I’m keeping my options open, but I really like Maryland. I still have a lot of time to make a decision, but it did make me look more at Maryland,” he said. “I’ll be back for a football game and a couple of times during basketball.”