Maryland coach Mark Turgeon has handed out scholarship offers to a select group of 2014 prospects, and one of them – Cape Henry (Va.) sophomore Devon Hall – was on campus Friday for the first time. Hall got to meet with several staff and faculty members and spent some time mingling with Maryland's players.
"If I had to grade the visit," said Hall's father and coach, Mark Hall, "it was a home run.
"We met with the athletic director, some academic staff and the strength and conditioning coach, who was an unreal, fabulous guy."
Turgeon wasn't able to play host to the Halls because of a prior engagement, but that was hardly a deal-breaker, Mark Hall said.
Devon Hall "loves the university. The biggest thing was the academic piece," his father said. "Overall, we were really impressed with what we saw. We talked a great deal about it afterward. It was well-represented, even without Coach Turgeon there. We weren't able to have full access to Comcast Center because of graduation, but we got to look in. It's a great atmosphere.
"Turge was a little bit worried because he couldn't be there and he knew we were going to Georgetown and meeting with [coach John Thompson III] the next day, but we made a commitment to come back and visit again in August."
Hall's primary recruiter is assistant Bino Ranson, though his father said Turgeon's made it clear he's 100 percent sold on Hall as a prospect. And as a high school coach who understands a recruit's fate ultimately comes down to the head coach's opinion, that's important to Mark Hall.
"They offered him. They want him here. Turgeon personally said Devon is his guy. They love him," he said.
The Halls were especially impressed by the attitude of the players, specifically the newly arrived freshmen; the Terps were in the middle of a workout session when they arrived.
"There didn't seem to be any of the big ego type of thing. And sometimes you can fake that, but when you're working out, getting tested, that's hard to do. I know Devon already knew Seth [Allen]. They all talked a little bit like kids that age do. I stayed out of that because that's for him, that's not my role, so I don't know what they talked about. But he enjoyed it," Hall said.
Hall, who won Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II player of the year honors as a sophomore, has grown to a hair over 6 feet 5 and 205 pounds. He considers himself a point guard and has drawn some comparisons to NBA-bound UNC guard Kendall Marshall. Mark Hall, a Baltimore native who moved to Virginia around the time Devon was born, grew up watching Maryland basketball and compared his son to a few Terps greats.
"I remember they had Walt Williams. He was a big guy who could handle the ball. Keith Gatlin was a big point guard. So he could play point guard in college," he said.
Just a rising junior, Hall's not quite ready to make a decision. But he and his father are doing their homework now and are unlikely to wait it out until his senior year. Along with the Georgetown visit, they're planning trips to Florida and Florida State. Texas is also showing increased interest and Virginia, where Devon's brother Mark will be a freshman linebacker this fall, has been chasing hard for some time.
While the elder Hall admitted it would make things easier for him travel-wise to have both sons at the same school, he said he's not pushing Devon in any direction and simply wants him to make the best decision for himself. He also said he's not fazed by competition.
"We know they're recruiting the Harrison twins. That's not a secret," he said. "The truth is on the court. He does want to play as a freshman, but you're going to have to go in and compete wherever you go."