Maryland news wrap: Terps host Antonio Barton for weekend visit

Maryland forged ahead in its all-out recruitment of graduate transfer Antonio Barton, hosting the former Memphis guard on campus Friday night for an overnight stay, two individuals with knowledge of Barton’s visit confirmed.

Barton met with the men’s basketball staff and other officials, including Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, and stayed overnight in a nearby hotel.

The Terrapins pitched Barton on future playing time, hoping the experienced guard could serve as a one-year rental and back-court bridge, easing the transition to college point guard for incoming freshman Roddy Peters and allowing rising sophomore Seth Allen to play more shooting guard, his natural position. Nick Faust, a close friend of Barton’s, has played a key role in the recruitment process too.

The Baltimore Sun, citing text messages from Barton, reported the visit “went tremendous.” Both individuals similarly said Barton’s visit went well for both sides. However, he left Maryland without a stated timetable, concerning both future visits to other schools and a date of commitment. He has already visited Texas A&M, and reportedly had planned other trips before deciding.

Other programs associated with Barton’s recruitment include Syracuse, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Kansas State, all of whom are gunning for a point guard’s services this offseason. The Orange lost Michael Carter-Williams to the NBA draft, while Tennessee (Trae Golden) and Kansas State (Angel Rodriguez) both had their incumbent starters transfer.

The Sun called Maryland and Syracuse “frontrunners” for Barton, but one of the individuals speculated the Orange had actually taken a back seat. Barton’s camp has been fairly tight-lipped throughout the process, at least regarding favorites.

Adding Barton would give the Terps 10 scholarship regulars, like they had last season, fully replacing seniors James Padgett and Logan Aronhalt, and departures Pe’Shon Howard (transfer) and Alex Len (NBA), at least on paper. Barton averaged just 17 minutes per game for the Tigers last season, but has appeared on three NCAA tournament teams and impressed the Maryland staff with his maturity on the visit.

>> The Terps haven’t yet reached out to Florida International guard Malik Smith, an individual said, but remain interested. Since breaking out the full-court press for Barton, they’ve held back on recruiting Smith and other transfer options, out of respect for Barton’s decision. Basically, Smith’s on the radar, but nothing more at this point.

>> Big day for lacrosse in College Park on Sunday, for better or worse. Behind seven points from stalwart Rob Pannell, Cornell routed the No. 6 men’s lacrosse team, writes colleague Christian Swezey.

Here’s the women’s lacrosse gamer from No. 1 Maryland’s grinder win over Stony Brook.

>> Team Takeover remained undefeated with four wins this weekend in Dallas, paced by a bevy of Terps targets. Class of 2014 guard Dion Wiley averaged 10.8 points per game and shot 42.4 percent (14 for 33) from the field. Local big man Martin Geben averaged 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, and guard Phil Booth chipped in 9.0 points for Team Takeover, which moved to 13-0 on the summer circuit.

>> Bronx guard Terry Larrier, who holds offers from Maryland, Minnesota, VCU and Connecticut, among others, scored 31 points in four games, though he played just three minutes in Team Scan’s Dallas finale against Mokan Elite. Larrier dropped a game-high 17 points against BABC on Saturday, hitting 8 of 12 shots. Team Scan went 3-1 on the weekend.

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt | May 12, 2013