In his first 48 hours on the job, Mark Turgeon has acknowledged he needs to hire at least one, maybe two, assistant coaches with a strong knowledge of the Washington-Baltimore area and with strong relationships with local coaches.
“We can’t just rely on [recruiting] this area,” Turgeon said. “But you want to get the ones you want from this area.” Turgeon said.
Perhaps the biggest criticism of former coach Gary Williams and his staff was its inability to recruit top talent despite being located in a basketball hotbed. Consider that the last All-Met Player of the Year to pick Maryland was Dunbar’s Johnny Rhodes in 1991. In the past 20 years, only nine other All-Met players have gone to Maryland: Adrian Bowie of Montrose Christian in 2007, Eric Hayes of Potomac (Va.) and Grevis Vasquez of Montrose Chrisian in 2006, Dave Neal of O’Connell in 2005, Travis Garrison of DeMatha and Chris McCray of Fairmont Heights in 2002, Exree Hipp of Harker Prep and Duane Simpkins of DeMatha in 1992 and Wayne Bristol of High Point in 1991.
While being All-Met does not necessarily make one a top college prospect, there often is some symmetry between the two lists – especially given the high number of top prospects calling the Washington area home.
Turgeon has made clear recruiting is a top priority right now, saying that he has been on the phone or in meetings nearly nonstop since arriving in Maryland on Tuesday afternoon. His associate head coach from Texas A&M, Scott Spinelli, is regarded as a hard worker who helped recruit much of the Aggies’ current roster. He spent two seasons at American in the late 1990s and figures to be in College Park if he does not succeed Turgeon in College Station. Spinelli also coached at the Winchendon (Mass.) School, where one of his players was Bino Ranson, who just finished his first year as a Maryland assistant.
Given that Spinelli seems likely to be at Maryland and his former player, Ranson, could stick around as could Rob Ehsan , here is a look at some potential other assistants who might makes waves on the recruiting trail:
Todd Bozeman. The 47-year-old Forestville native and McNamara High graduate is well regarded as a recruiter and a coach. In five seasons as the head coach at Morgan State, his teams are 102-65 with two NCAA tournament appearances. Averaging 20-plus wins is no small feat in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, where teams usually get paid to play big-name opponents on the road. Three seasons ago, Morgan State won at Maryland.
He has some baggage, having admitted to paying the family of a player $30,000 when he was the head coach at California in the mid-1990s and being hit with an eight-year “show cause” penalty by the NCAA. Now back in the game, Bozeman has resurrected his image and certainly would be a master recruiter, with ties to travel teams throughtout the region.
The main thing for Bozeman would be figuring out if he wants to go back to being an assistant coach. The key question is which position could lead to a big-name head coaching job sooner, which seems debatable.
Kevin Broadus. The 47-year-old Silver Spring native is known throughout the area as a top recruiter, with stints at UDC, American, George Washington and Georgetown before becoming the head coach at Binghamton. His two-season tenure at Binghamton was stormy, with several players getting into trouble. Ultimately, despite leading the Bearcats to an NCAA tournament appearance, Broadus was reassigned and subsequently agreed to a $1.2 million resignation agreement.
So Broadus, too, has baggage and there is some thought he could wind up back on the staff at Georgetown. But there is little question about his ability to recruit talented players.
Kevin Sutton. He lacks college experience, but more importantly there are rumblings that he could wind up on the coaching staff of one of the other local colleges with a new basketball coach.
Sutton spent the past eight years as the head coach at Montverde Academy outside Orlando, building one of the nation’s top high school teams before leaving the school after this past season. He has international connections and also knows the Washington area well, as a former assistant to Stu Vetter and then as the head coach at Montrose Christian before going to Montverde.
Karl Hobbs. The 49-year-old former high school teammate of Patrick Ewing spent the past 10 seasons as the head coach at George Washington before being fired last month. Before being hired at GW, he was highly regarded as a top recruiter at Connecticut.