One up, one down in Maryland’s backcourt pursuit

Maryland basketball has welcomed its four-man freshman class back to campus with summer workouts in full swing, but head coach Kevin Willard and the staff are on the hunt to restock the backcourt in 2024 and they’ll turn their attention elsewhere after dropping out of the mix for one target.

Maryland was expected to host a top target with St. John’s (DC) four-star guard Daquan Davis originally planning to officially visit beginning Monday, but those plans gradually fell through before the official visit was eventually scrapped, trimming the Terps from consideration. Assistant coach David Cox had led the way with the 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard throughout his junior year as Davis’ close through conference play solidified him on the board, but questions on both sides in his recruitment led to the eventual end to the pursuit.

Contact between the two sides waned over the last two weeks, one source told IBG, as the family’s growing preference was for Davis to leave the DMV. Part of the change in tune coincides with Providence and head coach Kim English in hot pursuit since his official visit back in May, while Davis has since made it to Mississippi State and Notre Dame before making his decision. While Davis began trending away from the Terps, he also saw his efficiency dip with Team Takeover that raised concerns heading down the stretch. With both sides questioning the move and a new commitment date set for June 24, the Terps now out of the mix as they’ll shift their attention elsewhere in backcourt recruiting this cycle.

Maryland is, however, squarely in the mix for four-star guard Jaeden Mustaf and has steadily risen into his top group. A source told IBG the four-star and his dad returned to campus for an unofficial visit last week where he was able to watch the Terps’ practice before connecting with the staff. Jaeden’s relationships with some of the younger Terps also carries weight in his recruitment, but the pursuit from Mike Jones has made the Terps a viable contender heading into July. I’m hearing Mustaf is planning to return to Maryland for an extended visit, this time official in mid-July or early August, with a fall commitment timeframe.

NC State and Indiana have already hosted Mustaf and are among the schools who have been in pursuit the longest, the family will head to Georgia Tech on Wednesday but Jaeden and Jerrod’s relationship with Mike Jones adds a dynamic to his recruitment that’s made the Terps serious players in his recruitment. Jones has been in touch with the combo guard since arriving in College Park back in early April, giving the Terps’ staff another layer to his recruitment.

The Maryland-native could very well be leaving Carmel Christian (NC) in favor of a new school for his senior season, and while a return to the DMV is on the table for next season, a source added Mustaf’s overall interest in returning to the area to continue his basketball career remains strong. “He loves the DMV. It’s home. He loves what this area is about,” one source told IBG.

Maryland also remains in the mix for Mount Zion Prep (MD) four-star guard Malachi Palmer with assistant David Cox picking the recruitment that Tony Skinn started.

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