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May 11, 2011

Ask the experts: Turgeon changes jobs

MORE EXPERTS: May 5 | April 21 | April 5 | March 30

Rivals.com basketball recruiting analysts Jerry Meyer and Eric Bossi weigh in on four current topics.

New Maryland coach Mark Turgeon has had plenty of success at Wichita State and Texas A&M. But will he be able to recruit to Maryland?

Bossi: There's so much talent within close proximity of Turgeon's new basketball office that the Terps are always going to get some good local players, even if by default. Now, can he turn it up a notch and make Maryland the place that local talent wants to play? I know this, I've seen Turgeon and his staff operate at previous stops and I can definitely vouch for the work ethic. I know more about Turgeon than I do the Maryland program, but I'm pretty sure he will get the job done.

Meyer: He will be able to recruit at Maryland. Turgeon is a hard worker and a good evaluator, and will put together a quality staff. He already has experience recruiting that area when he landed [d]Naji Hibbert[/db] out of DeMatha. He is right in the middle of fertile territory for quality prospects and the community is ready for a Maryland coach to get after it on the local recruiting trail.

In terms of recruiting, how good of a job is Maryland?

Bossi: There's no doubt regional talent exists. But this notion that it was only Gary Williams' ineffective recruiting that kept talent from going there has been a bit overblown. Could Williams' staff recruited better? Absolutely. However, the Terps still would have lost plenty of guys because there are so many other good programs within near proximity. At worst, it's a good to very good job in terms of recruiting simply because of talent base. If the new staff makes Maryland the place to be for locals, then it could be a great recruiting job.

Meyer: It's a great job for recruiting. Gary Williams is a great coach, but it is no secret that he had a distaste for recruiting. Nonetheless, he still had quality players and had overall success. The region is one of the top, if not the top, producers of talent right now. Maryland is a great university, in a great city and a great conference.

And how about Texas A&M, Turgeon's former school now searching for a coach?

Bossi: Like Maryland, Texas A&M is in a pretty fertile recruiting area. Aggies fans also support the program much better than most realize. However, it is not what should be considered an easy place to recruit. It is still considered a football school and, while the state of Texas has loads of talent, College Station geographically doesn't share the same easy access to major talent as Texas and Baylor. At the end of the day, though, it's still a pretty good job and somebody with Texas ties could succeed there.

Meyer: Texas A&M isn't bad for recruiting either, but it doesn't have the allure that Maryland has. Texas is full of talent, the Big 12 is an up and coming basketball conference and the Texas A&M basketball program has been on the rise the last several years.

You'll be revealing the 2012 and 2013 rankings next week. Who do you anticipate being the most difficult to rank in the 2013 class?

Bossi: Looking strictly at how things stand, our No. 1 guy, Andrew Harrison, and his five-star twin brother, Aaron Harrison, will be tough calls. Not because of their talent, but unlike the other top players we just haven't had a chance to watch them play since last summer. In a more general scope, the class of 2013 looks to be outstanding up top, but it isn't yet looking deep in terms of high-level talent. Spots in the rankings for that class are really going to be up for grabs.

Meyer: I don't know that there is any one prospect who stands out as tough to rank. The rankings in general, however, are tough because these prospects are young and we are still working with partial knowledge because of limited evaluations. You start at the top during the ranking process, and it certainly isn't cut and dried on who should be No. 1. So a lot of work will go into deciding who should have that top spot.



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