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Posted at 12:15 AM ET, 05/10/2011

New Maryland coach Mark Turgeon already has relationships with some local players

While Mark Turgeon will be introduced as Maryland’s new coach on Wednesday, he will not be able to hit the recruiting trail until the summer evaluation period.

However, DeMatha Coach Mike Jones said that Turgeon and his staff were in early on top junior prospects Jerami Grant and James Robinson, trying to lure them to Texas A&M – the same path that forward Naji Hibbert took from DeMatha two years ago.

“It was a surprise [when Hibbert first said he was interested i
DeMatha Coach Mike Jones says that Mark Turgeon “has a very good relationship from his Kansas days and Big 12 days with the Grant family. They showed interest in Jerami (shown dunking) at an early age.” (Toni L. Sandys - WASHINGTON POST)
n Texas A&M] just because you don’t hear their name much,” Jones said. “I think they did a great job recruiting him. They really showed a sincere interest in him early on and that meant a lot to Naji.”

It remains to be seen how Turgeon fills out his coaching staff, though it seems likely he hires an assistant coach who knows the local landscape well. His associate head coach at Texas A&M, Scott Spinelli, is a Boston native whose coaching resume includes two seasons (1997-98 and 1998-99) as associate head coach at American. Spinelli was the lead recruiter in landing Hibbert, Jones said.

One of Turgeon’s first jobs will be to re-recruit Baltimore forward Nick Faust and New Jersey point guard Sterling Gibbs, who have signed binding National Letters-of-Intent to play for the Terrapins. Turgeon is scheduled to talk with Gibbs on Tuesday, according to his club team coach, Gary Charles of the New York Panthers.

Faust played for the same club team as Hibbert, which might make him more likely to follow through on his NLI and end up in College Park. As for Gibbs, Turgeon’s key selling point figures to be that he was a fellow point guard in his playing days and knows how to develop the players at that position.

By  |  12:15 AM ET, 05/10/2011

 
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