Maryland men's basketball pursuing 7-foot-2 prospect Chol Marial for 2019 class

Though technically out of scholarships to offer, Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon continues to pursue a player who could become the tallest ever to sign with the Terps.

According to Pete Kaffey, the coach at Compass Prep in Chandler, Ariz., 7-foot-2, 220-pound center Chol Marial will visit the College Park campus beginning Thursday.


Marial’s trip to Maryland follows visits by Turgeon on Tuesday and by assistant coach Kevin Broadus last week. Kaffey said both came away impressed.

“Yesterday during the workout, the kid hit almost 10 3s in a row. It wasn’t one of those stationary 3s, it was a pick-and-pop situation,” Kaffey said.


Marial, who is from South Sudan, has been in the United States since middle school in Orlando, Fla.

He initially went to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., but didn’t play there last year because of a recurring issue with shin splints.

“He wasn’t even considering going to college because he was so good, but the injuries brought his ranking down because people hadn’t seen him play in so long,” Kaffey said.

Marial, a three-star recruit, is ranked No. 131 in the 2019 class, according to the 247 Sports Composite rankings.

Kaffey said that Marial was able to recover from his injuries and play in “seven or eight” games this past season, averaging better than 24 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks a game.

“He’s an NBA player when healthy,” Kaffey said.

“I told Coach Turgeon and Coach Broadus, he’s a generational-type defender. He has an 8-foot wing span. When he played this year, we told our guards, ‘If you get beat, it’s OK.’ And it worked for us. When he was on the floor, we felt like we were invincible.”

Kaffey has familiarity with the Terps, having coached former Maryland standout Justin Jackson when he was in high school at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas. He also coached another player recruited by assistant coach Bino Ranson.


Marial has visited New Mexico, and other schools such as Florida State and Georgetown have reportedly offered him a scholarship.

Hakim Hart Jr., a 6-foot-7, 190-pound shooting guard from Philadelphia, became the fourth player to commit to Maryland last week as part of its 2019 class. Once he signs his National Letter of Intent, he will take the last scholarship available on the Terps roster.

But Maryland sophomore center Bruno Fernando and junior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. plan to make themselves eligible for the 2019 NBA draft. Both players plan to sign with agents, but under new league guidelines, they have until May 29 to either renounce their college eligibility or return to school. first reported that Marial will be visiting Maryland.