VIP: fallout from Ian Martinez transfer, Florida DB, four-star update

Maryland basketball’s roster appeared set for next season—for about a week. News broke on Thursday evening that veteran guard Ian Martinez has elected to enter the transfer portal, his second transfer meaning he’s expected to sit for the upcoming season barring a waiver from the NCAA. On paper, the transfer, which came a mere hours before the portal window closed, came as a surprise to everyone projecting the roster and after connecting with a few well-plugged contacts, that belief extended to College Park. News trickled out late Thursday evening that Martinez would use his final two seasons elsewhere and now, the staff now turns to the drawing board to fill the final roster spot. Martinez’s camp has yet to respond in the wake of the news, but the veteran guard was expected to play a significant role in the backcourt and showed no signs of departing as the staff geared up to lean on the veteran through the summer.

With the vacant scholarship, Maryland could turn to the wing or stretch four to round out the roster. No immediate target has emerged just yet as the staff has and will continue to be careful do their due diligence to add a complimentary piece that won’t create roster instability. Now, the pressure on the freshmen class increases. Heralded incoming guard Deshawn Harris-Smith was already expected to step into the starting lineup as he’ll be leaned on and given chances to make plays with the ball in his hands, while there’s confidence in Jahari Long’s ability to give quality minutes behind Jamir Young at the point. But for a Willard-style team that leans heavily on its defense, losing arguably your top defender in Ian Martinez wasn’t in the cards this offseason. The freshmen will enroll in roughly one month as Willard looks to bring along the next wave ahead of the late July trip to Italy.

On the football side, Maryland saw Mainland (FL) three-star safety E’zaiah Shine on Thursday with outside linebacker coach James Thomas and defensive coordinator Brian Williams making their rounds through Florida. I expect the 6-foot-2, 180-pound athlete to make his way to campus for an official visit in June, possibly the same June 16 weekend as his close friend and top target Brandon Jacob. For now, he’ll officially visit UCF then Iowa over the first two weekends of June but he’s been bumped to ‘warm’ on the big board with a real chance for Maryland to reel him in this cycle.

Elsewhere in the Sunshine State, Maryland has been working on the fringe four-star prospect D’antre Robinson since the beginning of the cycle and signing three-star tight end Dylan Wade helped early in the process. Robinson visited campus back in March and has remained in touch with Maryland as outside linebacker coach James Thomas has trekked through the school thus far, but the Terps face an uphill climb to get him back on campus. Robinson has set official visits to Florida (June 2) and Texas (June 18) and is working on dates for both LSU and Ohio State with Georgia lurking as his fifth contender. Yes, Robinson along with the rest of the 2024 class can take more than the originally allotted five officials but it’ll take a lot to reverse course in this recruitment.

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