Maryland got some good news after learning that assistant coach Chuck Driesell was leaving to take over the head coaching job at The Citadel when New Jersey point guard Sterling Gibbs decided to commit to Maryland. The 6’1” guard comes from Seton Hall Prep and right now is rated a 3-star recruit by most services. I expect he will climb to a 4-star ranking by the end of the year and likely crack the top 100 players in the nation. Gibbs played on the U16 USA national team that won a gold medal and will play on the U17 team that will play for the FIBA gold medal this July in Germany. On the U17 team he will play with a who’s who of the elite high school players for the 2011 class including Michael Gilchrist (Kentucky), Marquis Teague (Kentucky), James McAdoo (UNC), Adonis Thomas and Brad Beal (Florida). It should give him some great experience practicing against some of the best players in the world for his age group.
Gibbs has an older brother, Ashton, who just finished a breakout sophomore year with Pittsburg. Sterling is more of a pure point guard who can distribute the ball, drive the lane and defend. He has good quickness and doesn’t seem to have a problem getting by defenders off the bounce. His long arms help him defend and grab steals. He’ll need to add some bulk like most high school players coming to college. Gibbs’ jump shot has a low release point and is flat but it is similar to his older brother’s shot and Ashton is a very good shooter (~40% from 3-point range and 80% from the foul line) so that may not be a major concern. Maryland will be losing Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker after 2010 so Gibbs is a nice addition and the fourth guard on the roster for 2011 to go with Terrell Stoglin, Pe’Shon Howard and Sean Mosley. They also will have wings Mychal Parker and Haukur Palsson. Gibbs has a great reputation as a hard worker and a very coachable player much like current Terp Sean Mosley. I think this will make him a great fit for Gary Williams and Gibbs is likely to be a significant factor as a freshman reserve.
Overall Gibbs’ commitment is a very good start to an important 2011 recruiting class. Maryland has a good young core and you could persuasively argue that the young players on the team the next few years are an upgrade over the talent that Maryland has pulled in over the previous three or four seasons. There doesn’t seem to be a Greivis Vasquez level player in the bunch but the overall level of talent has improved significantly. Along with Jordan Williams and James Padgett and then continuing to a very solid 2010 class the addition of Gibbs is a sign that the staff realized they needed to upgrade the recruiting to stay competitive in the ACC. You can see some highlight videos below.