- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Maryland basketball secured a trio of four-star recruits Wednesday as the early signing period began.

Coach Mark Turgeon secured two Baltimore products — Julian Reese and Ike Cornish — as well as James Graham from Milwaukee.

The haul on the first day of the early signing period is a solid start to the 2021 class after a down year in the class of 2020, which didn’t yield an incoming forward and forced Turgeon to look into the transfer portal for answers. He secured center Galin Smith and power forward Jairus Hamilton, the latter of whom is immediately eligible as a junior.

Reese, a member of the 2021 class, could become another force down low once he arrives. The 6-foot-9 forward is the brother of Angel Reese, a current Maryland women’s basketball player. The St. Frances Academy product drew a comparison from Turgeon to former Terrapin big men Bruno Fernando, Alex Len and Jalen Smith for his shot-blocking ability.

“Juju is very talented and has a tremendous upside on both sides of the court,” Turgeon said in a statement. “He’s a great defender and shot blocker. Across the board we’ve had some pretty good shot blockers here at Maryland, whether it was Bruno or Stix or Len. Julian is going to give us that.”

Graham, a 6-foot-8 wing, might be in the mix to fill the void once senior Darryl Morsell departs. He’s ranked as the 18th-best small forward in the country by 247Sports, and Turgeon called Graham “one of the most talented players offensively I think I’ve ever recruited. He’s got game.”

Rounding out the four-star prospects Maryland secured Wednesday is Cornish, who’s a Baltimore native that attended Legacy Charter in South Carolina. He’s another candidate to fill in for Morsell on the wing, or the 6-foot-6 shooting guard could help plug a gap if guard Aaron Wiggins decides to leave for the NBA following his junior season.

“Ike is a terrific shooter with great size who is just coming into his own as a player,” Turgeon said. “He wasn’t at the Maryland level a year ago and he’s worked really, really hard to get to this level and will only continue to grow.”

According to 247Sports, the three signings give the Terrapins the third-best 2021 recruiting class in the Big Ten, and they slot in at No. 18 nationally. Turgeon and company are still in the running for a few other players, too, including a trio of five-star recruits: Aminu Mohammed, Efton Reid and Charles Bediako.


• Andy Kostka can be reached at akostka@washingtontimes.com.

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