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Headliners, sleepers in local Div. 1 hoops classes

Nine interviews down, none to go.

Throughout the summer, I caught up with one assistant coach and eight head coaches of the state's nine Division I men's basketball programs, starting with Towson's Pat Kennedy in June and ending Wednesday with Mount St. Mary's Robert Burke. Each coach discussed his school's incoming recruiting class at length.

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With the interviews complete and classes back in session, here are my picks for headliner and sleeper for each team's group of newcomers.Maryland

Headliner

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Point guard Pe'Shon Howard may see the most time of any freshman, but Mychal Parker comes to College Park with the highest expectations. The 6-foot-6 wing is a versatile scorer, who Terps assistant coach Rob Ehsan said has an "enormous amount of talent and really has some physical tools and gifts that you can't really teach."

Sleeper

The Terps' 2010 class features three recruits with sleeper potential: Haukur Palsson, Ashton Pankey and Berend Weijs. The nod here goes to Weijs, the lanky center from the Netherlands who spent the past two years at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. How much stronger Weijs gets will determine how much time he sees this season, but the Terps have a need for a shot-blocking presence off the bench.

Headliner

A standout performer at Cape Fear (N.C.) Community College, Cephas Oglesby should step into the Tigers' rotation as a scoring guard off the bench behind RaShawn Polk. Oglesby is an athletic shooting guard who Tigers coach Pat Kennedy said "explodes to the rim." Former Terps center Braxton Dupree is also primed for a big role after sitting out last year following his transfer.

Sleeper

A lean center who can block shots, Jamel Flash comes to Towson from West Hempstead, N.Y., and the vaunted New York Panthers AAU program. The 6-foot-11 freshman needs to add strength, but he "runs like a deer [and] loves the game," Kennedy said.

Headliner

A Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro selection, Dylon Cormier decided to stay in Baltimore for college after a standout career at Cardinal Gibbons. The 6-foot-2 freshman impressed at the Baltimore Summer League and will have every opportunity to win the starting point guard job for the Greyhounds.

Sleeper

Pierson Williams comes to Loyola after a solid career at Taft High, a renowned basketball powerhouse in Los Angeles. The 6-foot-5 forward has a reputation as a prolific outside shooter, and Greyhounds coach Jimmy Patsos said Williams reminds him of Celtics guard Delonte West.

Headliner

Travis King, a fifth-year senior guard, will have one year to play for the Retrievers after using three years of eligibility at George Washington. The New Haven, Conn., native should bring leadership and toughness to a UMBC squad fresh off a 4-26 season.

Sleeper

Chase Plummer was rarely the focal point on a St. Patrick (N.J.) High team that featured Duke point guard Kyrie Irving and Kentucky commitment Mike Gilchrist, but the 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward is a rugged rebounder with high basketball IQ.

Headliner

J.J. Avila had a monster senior season at McAllen High in Texas, averaging 21.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.6 steals. Mids coach Billy Lange called the 6-foot-7, 240-pound forward a "phenomenal outlet passer, a physical kid who just has a high IQ for the game." He was the 34th-ranked player in Texas by TexasHoops.com.

Sleeper

Thurgood Wynn was a steadying presence in Georgetown Prep's backcourt with Hoyas freshman Markel Starks. While Starks drew most of the attention, Wynn "just continues to get better and better" in Lange's opinion.

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Headliner

The Bears received big news last week when former Towson Catholic point guard Larry Bastfield was ruled eligible to play immediately after transferring from Toledo last spring. Bastfield, who started two years for the Rockets, is the favorite to take over at the 1 for the Bears. Aric Brooks, a former St. Frances star who transferred from Jacksonville in 2009, will also be a featured player in his first season at Morgan.

Sleeper

Morgan won't run into many opponents with someone bigger than Ian Chiles. The 7-foot-1, 265-pound freshman is a massive yet raw center who sat out last season as a non-qualifier. It'll take some time for Chiles to develop, but his ceiling is high.

Headliner

A first-team junior college All-American at Herkimer (N.Y.) Community College, Akeem Ellis has the on-court resume and off-court demeanor Fang Mitchell desires. The longtime Eagles coach is counting on Ellis, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward, to bring scoring and leadership to his squad.

Sleeper

At 6-7, 230 pounds, Merced (Calif.) College forward Logan Wiens is a shooter with size who can stretch the floor for the Eagles. With just four returners to Coppin's roster, Wiens – along with several of his fellow newcomers – should be ready for early action.

It's been more than four years since Dishawn Bradshaw starred for St. Frances, but now the 6-foot-2, 170-pound shooting guard is ready to make his local college hoops debut. Bradshaw, who played junior college ball at ASA College in New York City, should provide immediate scoring punch for the Hawks.

Sleeper

There's nothing flashy about Mike Spence's game, but his no-nonsense approach could fill a need for Hawks coach Frankie Allen right off the bat. Spence, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound center from Newark, N.J., could provide valuable minutes for the Hawks as a rebounder and defender.

Headliner

Julian Norfleet was mulling a post-grad season at prep school until newly hired Mount coach Robert Burke came calling. Norfleet, a 6-foot-2 combo guard who also received interest from UAB, East Carolina and Old Dominion, is known for his long-range shooting.

Sleeper

Josh Castellanos' senior statistics – 10 points and five assists per game – were modest, but the 6-foot-1 point guard possesses just about every intangible a coach could want. Castellanos led Orlando Christian Prep to three straight state titles, and Burke said his "energy and enthusiasm" is already infectious around the Mount locker room.

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