Terps pitching AAU teammates Dion Wiley, Phil Booth on playing together


The Terps want Dion Wiley, above, and AAU teammate Phil Booth together in College Park. (Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post)

Dion Wiley and Phil Booth don’t consider themselves a package deal. The two combo guards, backcourt mates on the nation’s top-ranked EYBL AAU team, are good friends, often hanging out outside their summer days with Team Takeover. Six colleges have offered scholarships to both, but each boasts double-digit offers on his own. Their decisions will be separate, though Wiley and Booth have at times discussed the opportunity.

Such casual mentioning directly opposes Maryland’s approach to recruiting them. The Terrapins are selling a class of 2014 backcourt loaded with local talent. Romelo Trimble (Bishop O’Connell) is already onboard, and clearly steadfast in his commitment. Add Wiley (Potomac) and Booth (Mount St. Joseph’s), and Maryland would have three four-star prospects, all ranked in the top five in their respective states, yet all hot-shooting combo guards.

“We definitely have talked about that,” Booth said Friday by phone. “We’re probably both one or two guards, so going to the same school wouldn’t effect either one of us. We do it now, so why would it affect us at the next level? [Maryland’s] plan is to get both of us, that’s the plan they have been pitching us.”

Though some postulated Booth’s recruitment by the Terps would fade after Trimble committed and contact intensified with Wiley, Booth says he speaks with either Coach Mark Turgeon or assistant coach Bino Ranson almost every day. Booth, whose father Phil Booth Sr. played at Coppin State, has known Ranson since he was young.

Citing constant communication from Georgetown, Indiana and Villanova, Booth said Ohio State and Temple have also come on strong in recent weeks. For Team Takeover, which earned the top seed in July’s Peach Jam, Booth is averaging 12.2 points per game, second on the team to Wiley. Both are shooting a blistering 48 percent from three-point range.

Of course, there’s still the hometown Terps, the second school to offer him after Rutgers. Turgeon had seen him several times before coming to practice and offering, forever pitching the same opportunity to play with Wiley for four more years.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Booth said. “We’ve proved we can play well together. I don’t see a conflict coming at all.”

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 31, 2013