Conservative by nature when it comes to scholarships, Mark Turgeon wasted no time in offering one to sophomore Kaleb Joseph of Cushing Academy (Mass.). And while Joseph wasn’t a nationally touted blue-chipper at the time, it appears Maryland’s early evaluation of him may have been spot on.
Joseph has earned glowing reports early this AAU season, most recently leading Mass Rivals to the championship at the Providence Jam fest last weekend. Joseph hit a buzzer-beater in the semifinals and scored the first 10 points in the title game, drawing rave reviews.
“There were lots of recruiting services out there. They all talked to me after they saw me play. It’s cool to play in front of those guys, plus the coaches. ... It was fun,” said Joseph, a 6-foot-3 point guard who could establish himself as a top lead guard in his class this summer.
“I’m a competitor and I want to be the best, but I’m just trying to work on my game and get better. The rankings will take care of themselves.”
Among the observers in Providence was Terps assistant Scott Spinelli, the lead man in Maryland’s recruitment of the Nashua, N.H., native. The Terps have established themselves as a contender for Joseph.
“No top choices yet, but I do like Maryland for sure. I’m looking forward to watching them next year and how they handle these new recruits likeSam [CassellJr.]. I’ve never played against him but I saw him play a few times. He had a game at my school since his is down the street and I talked to him. He’s smooth on the court.”
Joseph also has offers from Providence, Boston College, Tennessee and others; UConn and Pitt are among those keeping close tabs on him. That list is sure to grow this spring and summer, though his coaches are doing their best to keep him focused on hoops and academics.
“My coaches aren’t letting me know about the recruitment. I’m a sophomore so they can’t call me. They can only get in touch with me through my coaches. I wish I could, though, because I know they’re calling,” he said. “They only want what’s best for me, so I can’t complain.”
Joseph may take some unofficial visits this summer, but has nothing planned yet.
“I’ll probably see the local school and if I happen to be out that way I’ll stop by and see some others,” he said.