By Jeff Barker and Matt Bracken, The Baltimore Sun
10:52 PM EDT, May 17, 2011
On the day Mark Turgeon finalized his coaching staff, the Maryland men's basketball coach received some additional good news when Nick Faust reaffirmed his commitment to the Terps.
Faust, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from City, had reopened his recruitment Thursday -- just one day after Turgeon was introduced as Gary Williams' successor. But after a meeting with Turgeon in College Park on Tuesday night, the Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro selection offered his pledge to the new coach.
Faust's commitment, which was confirmed by his father in a text message to The Baltimore Sun, came shortly after Turgeon added well-known recruiter Dalonte Hill from Kansas State as an assistant -- a move that analysts say signals the new coach's commitment to keeping top local high school talent close to home.
Hill, who has deep Washington-area roots and is the former coach of the Amateur Athletic Union's D.C. Assault, was recruiting coordinator for a Kansas State team that accumulated some of the nation's highest-rated incoming classes. Among his prized recruits was Michael Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft.
Turgeon is also retaining Bino Ranson (St. Frances), an assistant coach under Williams who once founded and coached an AAU team in Baltimore. Ranson was the lead recruiter for Faust, who averaged 22 points and 6.5 rebounds as a senior at City. Maryland's staff member will be Scott Spinelli, an assistant under Turgeon at Texas A&M and Wichita State.
The hirings were confirmed Tuesday by a source close to the program. Contract terms were not disclosed. The new staff was expected to be announced by Maryland soon.
The staff will be more steeped in summer-league culture than the previous one under Williams that included Ranson, who was hired last year; Keith Booth, hired in 2004; and Rob Ehsan, who arrived as a graduate assistant in 2005.
"If there's one thing we all know, it's that there are completely different ways to get the job done," said Dave Telep, ESPN.com's national basketball recruiting analyst. "I think it's abundantly clear that Mark Turgeon is going to put a premium on relationships with the high school and AAU coaches in the area. Dalonte Hill is probably the biggest departure from Coach Williams that Mark Turgeon could have, and it's a very significant hire for Maryland recruiting because he'll be a catalyst for a bunch of relationships."
Williams announced his retirement May 5 after 22 seasons and 461 wins at his alma mater. Williams led the Terps to the 2002 national championship but was occasionally criticized by the media and AAU coaches who said he didn't reach out to prospects or summer-league coaches often enough. "My first responsibility was to run a clean program -- I have done that for 20 years," he said in a 2009 interview. "I work hard at recruiting."
Evan Daniels, national basketball recruiting analyst for Scout.com, said Maryland was doing "a smart thing" by examining how to attract the best players from the Baltimore-Washington region.
"I think the knock on Maryland basketball over the past 10 years has been that they haven't kept all the major talent home," Daniels said. "Dalonte Hill is a guy who's obviously tied in to D.C. Assault. He's a guy who got Mike Beasley to Kansas State, got Rodney McGruder out of that program, Wally Judge out of that program. And they've got Bino Ranson, who is very tied in to the Baltimore area, was the point man on [Maryland recruit] Nick Faust the first time around. I think with this staff, they're going to have recruiting in that area pretty covered."
AAU communities tend to be tightknit. Daniels said Maryland will benefit from hiring Hill because "he's got a lot of connections to the AAU programs and high school programs. The D.C. Assault thing is just what's most publicized."
Faust -- Maryland's lone commitment for the 2011 class -- was always considered the centerpiece of the Terps' recruiting class. Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) point guard Sterling Gibbs asked out of his letter of intent to Maryland on the same day as Faust. He committed to Texas on Monday. Forward Martin Breunig also received his release from his letter of intent after Turgeon's hiring.
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun