The good news for Maryland started before the Terps opened play in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament on Thursday as power forward Charles Mitchell of Marietta, Ga., announced on his Twitter feed that he has accepted a scholarship offer to play for Maryland.
Mitchell, who is 6 feet 8 and 250 pounds, is the second post player to commit to the Terps in recent weeks, joining Eastern Shore forward Damonte Dodd. Maryland also has signed Houston forward Shaquille Cleare, giving the Terps some significant frontcourt additions next season, though it is possible that Dodd could either redshirt or attend prep school for a year.
“I think he’s a real big part of the depth they’re going to build inside,” ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep said. “Obviously he’s going to come in and play behind Shaquille Cleare. Mitchell gives them a guy capable of establishing an identity in the paint, being a finisher and rebounding his area.
“You have to remember that Mark Turgeon has a history with his bigs, which is a really good sign. I don’t think Charles Mitchell is a starter, he’s a backup to Cleare. And Dodd is moldable clay, whether he redshirts or plays next year, no one knows what you’re getting. Of course, none of this matters unless you have a guy who knows what he’s doing and Mark Turgeon has a knack for doing it.”
Maryland now has a five-player recruiting class that also includes Massachusetts forward Jake Layman and Fredericksburg guard Seth Allen.
“Obviously it’s a big group of guys,” Telep said. “I think it is a foundation type of class, where it gets the ball rolling and you’re able to start packing groups on top of it. The guy who has the chance to make an early impact is Cleare. I don’t know how many guys like him are in the ACC. He and Layman give the group some early pop.
“I think they are doing pretty well. I also think Mark Turgeon would be the first guy to tell you it’s not about one group. It’s about building groups on top of each other – unless you’re Kentucky.”