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Ryan Cook

Aki Thomas hopes emphasis on in-state recruiting keys turnaround for UMBC

Aki Thomas hopes emphasis on in-state recruiting keys turnaround for UMBC

When UMBC men's basketball coach Randy Monroe resigned less than a month before the start of the season, he left behind a roster almost devoid of in-state players. Aki Thomas didn't understand. The then-acting head coach said it was a “weird thing” to have a roster with so many out-of-state players. With Baltimore and its surrounding areas such a fertile recruiting ground, how was it possible that 10 of the Retrievers' 14 team members were from Pennsylvania or New Jersey? UMBC has just two Maryland natives on the roster — both walk-ons — and neither was recruited by the Retrievers. Senior guard Ryan Cook joined the team last season after...

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