Some might look at Roddy Peters as a consolation prize for Maryland after the Terps finished second to Kentucky in their pursuit of the Harrison twins.
Peters, the 6-4 Suitland point guard who announced Tuesday that he was headed to College Park next season, is not as talented as Andrew Harrison.
But I think he might be a better fit for what Mark Turgeon is trying to build – or rebuild – than either of the Harrisons.
He is this year’s Jake Layman, a kid who not many upper-echelon programs wanted after his sophomore year in high school and was highly sought by the time he was a senior.
Like Layman, Peters was outside the top 100 ranked players in the country when he began his junior year at Suitland. He is now as high as No. 39, according to Rivals.com.
That’s nowhere near the stratosphere of Andrew Harrison (No. 2) or Aaron Harrison Jr. (No. 4), but Peters is more important to Maryland than either for another reason – his connection to one of the top local AAU teams.
That can be viewed in a couple of ways.
There are more than a few Terps fans – many with close ties to former coach Gary Williams - who think Turgeon is making a deal with the devil just getting involved with D.C. Assault. It was the reason Turgeon brought Dalonte Hill with him to Maryland in the first place, and Peters was Hill’s first Terps recruit.
But for those who want to see Comcast Center filled for nearly every game – this is Maryland after all, not Kentucky, and some games simply don’t sell out – landing a player that Georgetown wanted and Kansas was also recruiting was a start to getting that accomplished.
Peters is also much better for the Terps next season in terms of chemistry than the Harrisons would have been. Just their presence would have likely pushed others, including Seth Allen and Nick Faust and maybe even Layman, to the side if not out of the program altogether.
And then – poof – they would have been gone, off to the NBA. Turgeon would have been forced to massage a few egos and reconfigure his playing rotation for the 2014-15 season. Though he might wind up starting as a freshman, Peters is probably not going to be at Maryland for only one season.
Not to say that the Harrisons were a pipe dream for Maryland, since Turgeon came awfully close to signing them. I believe that Aaron Harrison Sr. wanted his sons to play for a man he called “the most upright person” he had met in the recruiting business.
But Peters is not a consolation prize, nor a symbol that Turgeon is now doing business with college basketball’s dark underbelly. For those who think the latter, remember back to what you were doing the previous two years in March – the first when Williams was still Maryland’s coach.
Likely rooting for some other team to beat Duke or North Carolina.
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