Top forward prospects Mario Kegler, Jacob Larsen expected to visit Maryland for Madness on Saturday

After losing highly rated forward Wenyen Gabriel to Kentucky recently, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon is busy trying to secure another big man for the 2016 class that already includes point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. and shooting guard Kevin Huerter.

According to a source familiar with the Terps’ recruiting, two are expected to be in College Park on Saturday for Magic Maryland Madness: Mario Kegler, a 6-foot-8, 218-pound power forward from Jackson, Miss., who currently plays at Oak Hill; and Jacob Larsen, a 6-10, 215-pound forward from Denmark.

Kegler is a four-star prospect ranked No. 32 overall by ESPN and seventh at his position, nine spots behind Gabriel overall and only one place below him among power forwards. Larsen is ranked the 19th best international prospects among those born in 1997, according to the NBA Draftnet.com.

Gabriel appeared headed to Maryland before his stock jumped dramatically over the summer and traditional powers such as Kentucky and Duke joined in. Kentucky made its offer after losing another top prospect, Miles Bridges, to Michigan State. Gabriel jumped more than 60 spots and is now a five-star recruit.

Kegler has visited Arizona State and has a visit scheduled to Indiana after Maryland. He also has offers from homestate Mississippi State and Baylor.

Larsen is the younger brother of Rasmus Larsen, who died in his sleep in May at age 20. The older Larsen was playing professionally in Belgium and was considered an NBA prospect for the 2016 draft. He was good enough to be offered a scholarship from Duke as a junior player.

Another Maryland recruit who is expect to attend the event Saturday is Jalen Smith, a 6-8½ 190-pound sophomore forward at Mount St. Joseph.  It will be the fourth unofficial trip to Maryland for Smith, who received an offer from Turgeon a little over a week ago.

Smith, who is ranked the 17th player nationally in the Class of 2018, recently told The Baltimore Sun that he expects to play for the Terps after high school. Charles Smith, the player’s father, said he is a “big Terp fan” but wants this 15-year-old son to “stay hungry.”   

don.markus@baltsun.com

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