Maryland basketball’s 2025 backcourt recruiting beginning to take shape

Maryland basketball ended a month-long wait to finalize the 2024-25 roster after head coach Kevin Willard turned to former UCF and Memphis guard Jahylon Young to round out the squad, giving head coach Kevin Willard and the staff a full roster to work with with summer workouts in full swing. That’s also given Willard and the Terps a chance to begin moving the needle on their 2025 recruiting efforts and with coaches on the road this past weekend across the region, Maryland will work to bring their targets to campus with one already scheduled to visit this week.

One target making his way to campus this week is Mount Zion Prep (MD) four-star Christian Jeffrey, who was slated to visit on Tuesday but tells IBG he will officially visit Maryland beginning Thursday for the first of several official visits expected in his recruitment. Michigan and Tennessee became the latest schools to offer after watching him this past weekend, but the Terps have made themselves a familiar face dating back to his sophomore season. Assistant Greg Manning Jr. has led the way with the 6-foot-3 guard into summer while Willard and assistant Kevin Norris were courtside to watch Jeffrey at DMV Live this past weekend where the four-star averaged just under 26 points in three games while shooting over 52% from the floor.

Maryland isn’t approaching commitment status with Jeffrey yet with a fall timeline on the table and official visits to Tennessee, Butler and Mississippi State in play. In addition to having freshman Malachi Palmer on campus, Willard’s style of play resonates with the physical, efficient guard. “He’s got a lot of good experience dealing with point guards and he just had a point guard last year so I know he can use his guards well and put them in the right positions to succeed. So they’re looking at me for that spot so I feel like it’s a perfect fit,” Jeffrey told IBG. “I’m just trying to learn more about the style of basketball that they play, like the little details of how coach Willard tells them to play and how they work in practice. It feels good to finally get to see the inside of Maryland, see the campus more so I’m excited to do more of that.”

Jeffrey isn’t along as Maryland remains expected to host Overtime Elite four-star Tyler Jackson for an official visit with the Terps entrenched in the top group, even more so since the commitment of five-star and Baltimore native Derik Queen. Auburn and Georgia Tech remain factors for the Baltimore native while Syracuse hosted him for an official visit in late January. But with Queen aboard, Jackson remains a top name to know as Maryland looks for its 2025 points guard.

Maryland also jumped into the mix with local SJC guard Omari Witherspoon and Link Academy (MO) four-star Jerry Easter this week, but one longstanding target now officially out of the mix is St Anne’s-Belfield (VA) four-star Chance Mallory, who excluded the Terps from his final six on Tuesday. Mallory materialized into a steady target for assistant David Cox and head coach Kevin Willard dating back to last summer, but the staff struggled to sustain tangible momentum in his recruitment with Mallory’s focus on other contenders, namely Virginia. Mallory isn’t the only local target Maryland is on the outside looking in for as Bullis (MD) three-star Adrien Stevens, who wrapped up an official visit to Villanova and previously visited Marquette, tells IBG he isn’t planning on taking an official visit to College Park.

Maryland remains in the mix for a pair of local four-star wing targets with official visits on the table: South Lakes (VA) four-star Jordan Scott and Largo (MD) four-star Cam Ward. Willard was front and center to watch Scott in action last weekend as Maryland has increased contact with the legacy target into the summer, battling Michigan State heading into the summer. As for Ward, assistant David Cox has kept the Terps entrenched in Ward’s growing top group while he heads to Marquette for an official visit this upcoming week.

While frontcourt efforts have remained at a standstill as Maryland is not expected to receive an official visit from Gonzaga (DC) three-star Christian Gurdak with Virginia Tech and Notre Dame vying for pole position. Meanwhile, Kentucky and first-year head coach Mark Pope became the latest school to jump into the mix with Bullis (MD) top-50 prospect Eric Reibe. Whether the frontcourt grows into a bigger emphasis this cycle for Maryland remains to be seen with Derik Queen, Braden Pierce and Tafara Gapare all currently slated to return for the 2025-26 season, but Willard and the Terps will have a chance to move the needle with their backcourt recruiting in the coming days.

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