ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep said today that Maryland coach Mark Turgeon and his staff had to "work really hard" in the past two weeks to secure a commitment from Suitland guard Roddy Peters, who announced Tuesday that he was coming to College Park next season.
Telep called the commitment from Peters "significant" in the fact that it shows the Terps will be "a local option" for top recruits, many of whom went elsewhere during the last few years of Gary Williams' 22-year career at his alma mater.
"They've turned on the spigot," Telep said. "Don't expect the water to start pouring right away. They're not going to get every local player or every D.C. Assault player. But Mark Turgeon is starting to carve out his own program. Gary Williams had a Hall of Fame career and he did it his way. It's always hard to replace a legend. Turgeon is just establishing his vision for Maryland basketball."
Like many, Telep believes that the Terps risked losing the 6-4 Peters, as they did Philadelphia point guard Rysheed Jordan, while courting Andrew and Aaron Harrison, the Texas twins who are among the top five ranked players in the country and chose Kentucky two weeks ago over Maryland.
Telep said that while Jordan is rated higher than Peters by many national recruiting analysts, "I saw Roddy Peters take it to Rysheed Jordan twice" on the AAU circuit.
As for the Harrison twins, Telep doesn't believe that Turgeon will get a bump on the recruiting trail for finishing second to John Calipari.
"I think it was good for the moment, but every single point they score will be for the University of Kentucky," Telep said. "You receive the momentum when you get a recruit, not by finishing second. Everyone has moved on. It's not a selling point."
I asked Telep if he thought a player like Peters might be a better fit for Maryland than the Harrisons, a player whose arrival won't change the team's chemistry and what Turgeon hopes to put together this season in terms of a rotation.
Telep said that the Harrisons would have "changed the dynamic from top to bottom, but the reward on the back end would have been more significant."