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Recruiting impact of UMD to the Big Ten

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Recruiting impact of UMD to the Big Ten

Now that Maryland moving to the Big Ten is official, fans want to know the athletic impact of conference realignment. And if there is one area fans always focus on, it’s recruiting.

CSN spoke with two recruiting power brokers: Curtis Malone of the famed AAU basketball program DC Assault and head coach Biff Poggi of the Gilman School in Baltimore.

Both men gave positive responses to Maryland’s shift to the Big Ten, but based on the reactions it seems the move may do more for football recruiting than it does for basketball.

“It certainly opens up more of a possibility if you’re a football guy,” Poggi said. “Now you could go to school at home and play in the Big Ten, which is amazing.”

Poggi explained that in the past some schools have recruited talent out of Maryland by selling the opportunity to play traditional Big Ten powers. Now, that is no longer the case.

“In the past you’d have to go to PenState. Now you can go 35 minutes and be playing against OhioState and Michigan,” Poggi said. “It’s probably going to wind up, when I think about it, really helping them recruiting-wise with the local kids.”

Winners of two straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship games, and with 11 titles since 1995, Gilman is a dominant player in the Baltimore prep football world. Current Gilman quarterback Shane Cockerille is heading to Maryland this fall.

Asked if the move to the Big Ten would impact Gilman’s relationship with Maryland, Poggi dismissed the notion.

“That relationship has really improved because we’re big Randy Edsall fans. He’s been magnificent,” the Gilman coach said. “This won’t affect it one way or the other. I’m really happy for Randy, as far as football goes.”

While Poggi admitted Maryland’s move to the Big Ten move came as a big surprise, his response was overwhelmingly positive from a football position. He called the new league “a big stage that’s good to recruit for.”

Improvements will need to be made to the football practice facilities and Byrd Stadium, but Poggi pointed out that with increased revenue from the Big Ten Network the Maryland athletic department should be able to afford the work.

“I would think they’ll have to do something with the facilities to match the rest of that league. The stadiums in that league are monstrous,” Poggi said. “It’s a different world than the ACC.”

In basketball, the shift to the Big Ten will be more complicated.

Malone’s DC Assault team routinely produces some of the country’s best basketball talent. Two players on the current Assault squad will be attending Maryland next fall, big man Damonte Dodd and guard Roddy Peters.

Malone said he spoke with Peters and that the move to the Big Ten will not impact his commitment to the Terps. The same is expected with Dodd, Malone said.

But in the future, recruiting players to the Big Ten will not be the same as ACC.

“Of course I think it’s kind of a shock for everybody in Maryland basketball,” Malone said of the move. “Kids dream of playing against Duke and Carolina.

Now that Maryland will compete against a schedule full of Midwestern teams, Malone said that other ACC schools may use the conference affiliation against the Terps in recruiting.

“The way it’s going down with all these teams changing conferences, it’s going to be an adjustment,” Malone said. “The leagues evolve.”

Young players now hardly remember the old ACC, a league with elite basketball up and down the East Coast where every team played each other twice, the Assualt coach explained.

“The people who like Maryland are going to like Maryland,” Malone said. “I’m not sure kids growing up are that familiar with the history. Once they get the program rolling, I don’t think it will have that much of an effect.”

Once Maryland actually begins play in Big Ten, Malone said many kids will not think much of the difference. Plus, the Big Ten has its own set of high-quality basketball teams.

“Basketball is going into a good conference. Ohio State, Indiana, MichiganState. It’s right there with the ACC at the end of the day,” he said. “In basketball, Maryland goes out to be one of the better teams in that conference.”

Despite a spotty history between the DC Assault program and Maryland basketball – former Terps coach Gary Williams did not interact with Malone – the two teams enjoy a good relationship now.

Former Assault coach Dalonte Hill is now an assistant at Maryland, and Malone said the Terps move to the Big Ten will not impact the goodwill.

“Everyone knows Dalonte Hill is my guy,” Malone said. “He’s family.”

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Mike Locksley reportedly makes big addition to Terps staff with former Tennessee head coach

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Mike Locksley reportedly makes big addition to Terps staff with former Tennessee head coach

When Mike Locksley was hired to become the University of Maryland's newest head football coach earlier this month, it was expected that his biggest impact would come on the recruiting trail. Locksley has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best recruiters of talent in the DMV, and his hometown connections were a major draw for the university and its boosters.

His recruiting acumen doesn’t just apply to players, it seems. He’s begun putting together a coaching staff at Maryland, and many of the rumored candidates would represent major “gets” for a school of Maryland’s stature and reputation.

Former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones has accepted a position as tight ends coach and associate head coach for the Terps, Jeff Ermann of InsideMdSports reported on Tuesday.

Jones was a head coach for a decade prior to spending 2018 as an offensive analyst for Alabama, an off-field position. In the years prior, he spent time at Central Michigan, Cincinnati, and most recently Tennessee. He holds a career record of 84-54, and is 4-2 all-time in bowl games. He had a winning record at each school.

The title of associate head coach is a nice addition for Jones, but a former SEC head coach who experienced some success would seem to be somewhat overqualified for a position coach. Jones, similarly to Locksley, was attempting to rehabilitate his reputation under Nick Saban at Alabama, and is likely aiming to return to head coaching one day.

There are some conflicting reports. Rivals is reporting that while an agreement could be coming soon, it is not yet a done deal.

It would be a nice coup for Maryland, as Jones would come to College Park with a reputation as a good offensive mind and a stellar recruiter. Jones signed multiple top-10 recruiting classes at Tennessee, and while coaching in the SEC has certain advantages, his recruiting acumen fits in well with Locksley.

It remains unclear how much of an overhaul Maryland’s coaching staff will undergo under Locksley, though it stands to reason there will be some turnover. 24/7 Sports is also reporting that Locksley will be bringing on John Papuchis to coach special teams and linebackers, and Cory Robinson, a former director of player personnel at Maryland under Randy Edsall. Robinson’s role is not yet specified, though based on his experience it is assumed he’ll be working with defensive backs.

Elijah Brooks, longtime head coach at local powerhouse DeMatha, has also been rumored to be joining the Maryland staff, though it has not been reported at this time.

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Anthony Cowan highlights an ugly Terps start, hits historic milestone against Loyola Chicago

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Anthony Cowan highlights an ugly Terps start, hits historic milestone against Loyola Chicago

BALTIMORE -- Anthony Cowan scored 17 points and No. 23 Maryland overcame a sluggish start to beat Loyola of Chicago 55-41 on Saturday.

Cowan became the 55th player in Maryland history to score 1,000 career points, hitting the milestone with a free throw in the first half. He has 1,010 for his career. Aaron Wiggins added 10 points for the Terrapins (8-2).

Cameron Krutwig scored 12 points for the short-handed Ramblers (5-5), who have lost four of five.

Maryland won despite getting modest contributions from its imposing frontcourt. Sophomore Bruno Fernando and freshman Jalen Smith each picked up two fouls in the first half, and the pair combined for two points and two rebounds in 10 minutes as the Terps carried a 24-20 lead into halftime.

The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Fernando, who was averaging 14.7 points and 10.3 rebounds coming into the game, finished with eight points and five rebounds. The 6-10 Smith had one point and three rebounds in his first college game in his hometown.

Cowan and Fernando scored on Maryland's first two possessions of the second half, and Cowan added a 3-pointer to make it 31-22 with 17:03 to go. Loyola never got closer than six points the rest of the way.

The game was the second half of a doubleheader in the Charm City Classic. Morgan State defeated Towson 74-69 in the opener.

BIG PICTURE

Loyola of Chicago: The Ramblers dressed only eight scholarship players because guards Bruno Skokna and Lucas Williamson remain out with injuries. Loyola has lost both of its games against power conference teams this season (Boston College and Maryland).

Maryland: Two days after sputtering down the stretch in a loss at Purdue, the Terps needed time for their offense to emerge from the doldrums. Maryland improved to 3-0 under coach Mark Turgeon in games played in Baltimore.

UP NEXT

Loyola of Chicago enters a week-long exam break and won't play until Dec. 16, when it entertains Norfolk State.

Maryland hosts Loyola (Md.) on Tuesday in the teams' first meeting since 2003.

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