Freshmen duo Derik Queen, Malachi Palmer arrive at Maryland

While Maryland’s work in the transfer portal headlines the roster overhaul for head coach Kevin Willard heading into the 2024-25 season, the long-awaited arrival of five-star Derik Queen and three-star guard Malachi Palmer has ended as the duo move into College Park on Wednesday.

Queen’s arrival gives Maryland its next and arguably most important building block as he reunites with his former high school teammate, Julian Reese, in the frontcourt. The Baltimore native became the prize of the 2024 cycle as Willard spent two years making the 6-foot-10 big one of his top overall recruiting priorities. After taking an official in October of 2023 with Maryland battling Indiana, Queen extended his recruitment into his senior season as Kansas and Houston joined the fray with fall official visits. With buzz throughout that the chance to return home loomed large in his recruitment, Queen officially made the call for Maryland back in late February before signing in mid-April.

With Jordan Geronimo, Tafara Gapare and Braden Pierce rounding out the frontcourt, Queen will look to become the impact freshman that fans have hoped for after dominating through his high school career. Queen led a star-studded Montverde Academy squad with 16.4 points per game and 7.5 rebounds as a senior before being named the co-MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game, finishing with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. Queen became the first Terp since Adrian Branch to earn MVP honors and is the program’s highest-rated high school signee since Diamond Stone.

“We are excited to have Derik coming home to be a Terp,” head coach Kevin Willard said via release. “Derik has a tremendous skillset on both sides of the floor. He is a player that wants to make an impact on our program and we think he can do that early in his career.”

Palmer, meanwhile, became the first commit of the cycle to help Willard break a nearly year-long commitment drought from the high school ranks. After beginning his career at Central Dauphin (PA), Palmer made a name for himself at Mt. Zion where he became a first team All-Elite Prep League selection as a junior.

“We’re excited to welcome Malachi to the program,” head coach Kevin Willard said via release. “He adds good size and versatility, has the ability to get to the rim, and is a physical guard.” Palmer has been selected to play in both the Capital Classic and the Iverson Classic Showcase this summer.

Maryland has already announced the transfer portal signings of Ja’Kobi Gillespie (Belmont), Rodney Rice (Virginia Tech), Selton Miguel (USF) and Tafara Gapare (Georgia Tech).

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