By Jeff Ermann
Special to The Baltimore Sun
7:00 AM EST, February 29, 2012
Maryland joins Miami, West Virginia, Florida, Memphis and a few others in strong pursuit of junior power forward Junior Etou, said Rex Morgan, his coach at Arlington Country Day (Fla.). Which schools have offered?
“I think everybody, really,” Morgan said. “They’re all just waiting for him to make a decision.”
Maryland saw Etou several times last summer and was set to scout him in Florida this season before he suffered several torn ankle ligaments five weeks ago.
“They were going to come out [before the injury]. I think that’ll be one of the schools he visits this summer,” Morgan said of Etou, who was averaging 13.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 5.8 blocks prior to the injury.
Terps assistant Dalonte Hill has a relationship with Etou, who plays with D.C. Assault on the travel circuit.
“With [Hill] there, Maryland will always have a shot at any of our kids,” Morgan said.
Etou, a 6-8 power forward, is a high-energy rebounder and shot-blocker who’s been working on polishing his offensive game. Though not a massive big man, he’s got a sturdy frame and pursues the ball relentlessly.
“He’s 6-8, 225 pounds. I don’t think he’s undersized. I’m looking at a lot of these guys who are 6-8 … Is Thomas Robinson undersized? I think it’s what you do with it,” Morgan said. “I think what he’s doing right now is working on his offense 16 or 17 feet from the basket, and his defense away from the basket.”
Morgan, who has a long-standing professional relationship with Hill, said he’s been impressed by Maryland’s first-year staff.
“They’re in a tough conference. They’ve got great tradition, great facilities, they’re in D.C. I think they’ve got everything to offer. I’m sure they’ll get it done. Not thatGary [Williams] didn’t get it done, but I think some people might think they need better talent,” he said.
Etou is the only member of ACD’s junior class to attract significant high-major attention. But Morgan said his team, which was ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation earlier this season before being hit by injuries and dismissals, has several promising youngsters. It’s safe to assume the Maryland staff will be keeping tabs.
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