It would seem this is a great time to mention some of the news on recruits that will be coming to College Park next year. For the class of 2006 there are a number of encouraging signs in the play of the cornerstones of the class.
Point guard Eric Hayes is probably the most critical recruit in the class, especially for next season. His development as a point guard would allow the Terps to have much better depth and move DJ Strawberry to the SG or SF slot where he is much better suited. For Potomac high school he is averaging 22 points per game and shooting 86% from the free throw line. He has a young team around him and has taken on a scoring role this season. Last week in a game against Woodbridge Hayes scored 34 points, dished 8 assists and had 7 rebounds. That is a pretty sweet line for any high school player but when you consider it was a 66-61 overtime victory for Potomac it is even more amazing. With freshman you should never get your hopes up too high but I think Hayes will be the best immediate contributor out of this class.
Versatile swing man Greivis Vasquez is averaging 13 points per game for Montrose Christian and putting in 80% from the free throw line. For now Vasquez is more a complimentary player but could develop into more with the proper coaching. He'll be a nice asset off the bench, probably better than any bench player Maryland has right now.
Landon Milbourne is playing well with some elite teammates at Oak Hill. He is averaging 10.4 points per game on 18 minutes of playing time. He's also grabbing 4.6 rebounds and is shooting 56% from the floor and an impressive 48% from 3-point range. This year at Oak Hill will prepare Milbourne for ACC play as he has three teammates who will also be attending ACC programs: Nolan Smith (Duke), Tywon Lawson (UNC) and Jeff Allen (VT).
Forward Jerome Burney has helped lead his Westlake team to a Region 5-AAA championship and will compete for the state title. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has called Burney the best defensive center in the entire state. Recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons has ranked Burney number 107 in the class of 2006 when he started out as an unranked 3-star prospect that wasn't on anyone's radar. He is averaging a triple double this year(14 ppg, 12 reb, 11 blks), admittedly in a low level league.
Gary Williams was at Good Counsel high school last week to scout John Flowers who was in town with St. Mary's Ryken to play the Falcons. The 6'7" junior forward scored 17 points in an overtime win. He was invited to the Duke vs Maryland game the next day in College Park. He's a tweener kind of player so I'm not sure he'll be a high level prospect. Recruiting insiders seem to be skeptical of his true potential. He is garnering interest from West Virginia mostly along with George Washington, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Interesting article in the Washington Post about the sham "prep schools" that have sprung up to get athletes eligible for the NCAA clearinghouse standards.
Perhaps you've heard some of the nasty rumors circulating about why Maryland alum and former CBS sideline report Bonnie Burnstein quit her job with three years remaining on her contract. According to Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated the real reason for her leaving her CBS job had to do with the death of a longtime friend due to cancer. She has started up a consulting company for aspiring broadcasters with the unfortunate name of Velvet Hammer Media. I wish Bonnie the best of luck and hope to see her back in sports journalism in the near future.