Tue May 17 02:25pm EDT
Even though Maryland may lose all three members of its 2011 class as a result of its recent coaching change, there's reason to believe recruiting may actually improve longterm under newly hired Mark Turgeon.
That's because Turgeon has landed an ideal coach to serve as his lead assistant.
Kansas State assistant Dalonte Hill will join Turgeon's staff at Maryland, sources told the Washington Post on Tuesday. Hill, one of the nation's highest paid assistants at Kansas State, is a Washington D.C. native and the former head coach of D.C. Assault, the AAU program that produced such stars as Michael Beasley, Josh Hairston, and Quinn Cook.
Whereas former Maryland coach Gary Williams had a notoriously tepid relationship with local AAU programs and won despite not landing many of the top D.C.-area prospects, Hill could help Turgeon open those doors.
If Hill could help Frank Martin persuade the likes of Wally Judge, Dominique Sutton, Jamar Samuels and Rodney McGruder to come to remote Kansas State, it's reasonable to think he could do even better at nearby Maryland. Furthermore Turgeon desperately needed a top assistant with D.C.-area ties considering the biggest criticism of his hiring was that he lacked those connections.
The obvious loser in this story is Kansas State, which can attribute some of its recent surge to prominence to Hill's presence. The combination of Hill's departure and Judge's transfer could result in the termination of the pipeline from the D.C. area to Manhattan, Kansas that has existed since Beasley.
Don't expect any sympathy from Maryland. If Turgeon retains assistant Bino Ranson and adds Hill, the Terps could have the foundation for a staff that can finally prevent the top players from one of the nation's most fertile recruiting areas from heading elsewhere.