Three burning questions heading into the July hoops evaluation period

Scott Greene, Publisher
Terrapin Sports Report

With the first of three July live periods getting underway Wednesday evening, TSR takes a look at three burning questions

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Will the Terps be playing with a full deck come November?

Heading into the July live period, the Terps still have two scholarships available for the upcoming season. Quite possibly the most pressing question of all for the Terps is what to do with them.

While the Terps will return starting point guard Anthony Cowan for his sophomore season, Melo Trimble has moved on to the professional ranks leaving a void in the back court. While Trimble had the ability to play on the ball as well as off, none of the Terps' current guards besides Cowan are really experienced at the point.

Kevin Huerter and incoming freshman Darryl Morsell have both shown the ability to be a primary ball handler in a pinch, but neither is a true point guard.

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Kelly Kline/Under Armour

The answer for the Terps could be four-star combo guard Eric Ayala, a Delaware native who spent the past school year at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut.

Ayala has a skill set similar to that of Melo Trimble in that he's a combo guard capable of playing either on or off the ball. He is a good three-point shooter and works well in pick-and-roll situations.

The Rivals150 prospect is also used to sharing a back court with high profile teammates such as Duke's Trevon Duval and Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo.

As of now, Ayala remains unsure as to whether or not he will remain 2018 or reclassify back to 2017. His most recent offer came from Ohio State and was for the upcoming season.

Syracuse at one time appeared to be the frontrunner to land Ayala should he decide to reclassify, but the Terps seem to be in excellent shape should they decide to push for the Delaware sharp shooter this summer.

Will the Terps add another five-star prospect to the 2018 class?

The Terps got off to a hot start for 2018, first landing fast-rising four-star wing Aaron Wiggins, followed by local five-star forward Jalen Smith.

The next question, naturally, is: Who's next?

It's a good bet that Maryland coaches will be front and center Wednesday evening at the Under Armour Finals in Atlanta where five-star big man prospects Silvio De Sousa and Moses Brown are set to square off.

De Sousa is coming off of a dominant performance at the U19 World Cup in which he led the event in rebounding (13.1 rpg) and finished third in scoring (17.1 ppg).

Brown averaged 9.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game on the Under Armour circuit during the spring. The 7-footer will test De Sousa, who led the Under Armour circuit in scoring (21.6 ppg) during that same time.

Both the winner and loser of this matchup will be heavily pursued by the Terps throughout the month of July. But this matchup could also be a hindrance in trying to land both five-stars.

Beyond the two five-star big men, the Terps will continue to turn up the heat on Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy five-star wing Keldon Johnson, who just added back a fifth star after an MVP performance at NBPA Top 100. The Terps remain in contention and appear to remain a frontrunner along with Texas and should receive an official visit.

Another five-star wing to keep an eye on is Louis King. The 6-foot-7, 195-pounder helped Team USA to a bronze medal finish in Cairo, Egypt and earned a fifth star for his play on the EYBL circuit this past spring with Team Final. King and his mother remain in contact with Terps assistant Bino Ranson and he plans on visiting Maryland in August.

Will the Terps land one of their remaining point guard targets for 2018?

Maryland has managed to position themselves well with a number of elite point guard targets for 2018.

The Terps remain in contention for five-star Immanuel Quickley, as well as four-stars Elijah Weaver and Devon Dotson.

Quickley will be an extremely tough pull after playing for John Calipari on the bronze medal-winning USA U19 team in Cairo.

Weaver had an excellent showing in Charlottesville, Va. at the NBPA Top 100 camp, but there hasn't been much, if any, Terps buzz.

Dotson had an excellent visit to Maryland ahead of Top 100 camp, but the Terps still appear to be trailing both Florida and Kansas.

Given that the Terps don't appear to lead for any, it certainly seems possible the Maryland staff will continue to evaluate other point guard options and possibly dole out a handful of offers in July. One such possibility is Canadian import Jaelin Llewelyn, who visited Maryland in May.

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