Washington

4-star recruit James Graham graduates early to join Terps basketball

Washington

One of the biggest question marks surrounding Maryland basketball this season was a lack of star power in the frontcourt, but the Terps announced huge news Friday that might change that.

James Graham, a consensus four-star recruit out of Wisconsin, is graduating high school early and joining the Maryland roster for the 2020-21 season.

Graham is a highly-skilled forward who is considered one of the most talented offensive players Mark Turgeon has recruited in his decade at Maryland. He was a late bloomer who blew up last season, ultimately ranking 52nd overall in the 2021 class. He was part of an excellent 2021 class headed to College Park, alongside Ike Cornish and Julian Reese, but now he'll get a head start over his teammates.

"I can't wait to get to College Park and experience a new team, new coaches and new challenges," Graham said in a statement released by the team. "I wanted to start early so I could maximize my abilities and get into the Maryland system. It's all about competition for me."

One interesting wrinkle to Graham's addition is the fact that the NCAA announced the 2020-21 will not count towards a player's eligibility, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. So Graham doesn't need to worry about redshirting next semester or losing half of his freshman season - he'll be considered a freshman in 2021 regardless.

This makes any contribution he can bring this season essentially a free bonus, something Turgeon and Graham are both happy to take advantage of.

 

Graham expects to enroll in December and quarantine at the end of the month, with the hopes of joining the roster in early January.