Maryland played host to 2020 three-star point guard Aquan Smart on Monday and Tuesday. After just 24 hours on campus, the Terps extended an offer to the Illinois native.
Smart arrived Monday afternoon to catch the team practice. He spent all of Tuesday in College Park and watched the No. 7 Terrapins defeat Northwestern. Before the game, the Maryland coaching staff extended an offer to Smart, which marks his first high-major offer. The offer concluded a successful few days for the Skokie, Illinois, native.
“My visit has been really good,” Smart said. “I like the coaches, I like the players. The coaching staff is really a good coaching staff and the players are really cool so I like that.”
Smart has taken an unconventional path to becoming a high-major recruit. Smart committed to East Tennessee State in the fall, but after a blazing start to his senior season, Smart re-opened in his recruitment. This season, Smart has led Niles North High School to a 24-4 record with multiple games scoring 30 plus points.
But Smart describes his game as much more than a scorer, referring to himself as “a passer” too.
“I’m somebody that gets downhill and gets his teammates involved, ” Smart said. “Whenever we need to score, I’ll score. Whenever we need to get a stop, I get a stop.”
A year ago, Smart was seen as a low to mid-major player who was not highly ranked. But after his strong play, Smart has risen to the No. 3 player in Illinois in the class of 2020. He is a long, athletic guard that has a high basketball IQ. In Mark Turgeon’s system that emphasizes athleticism and IQ at the guard spot, Smart could be a good fit.
“The way they play, it already fits me,” Smart said. “They get up and down, they do a lot of ball screen action. I really like the way they play and I think I could fit in perfectly.”
With senior point guard Anthony Cowan set to depart in the spring, the Terps need as much help at the guard position as they can get. They already have three-star guard Marcus Dockery signed in the 2020 class but after the departure of the Mitchell twins, the Terps have roster spots to fill.
Smart’s recruitment is still ongoing. High-majors like Depaul, Texas and Indiana came to watch him over the winter. But nobody is recruiting him as hard as Maryland.
“TCU and New Mexico a little bit,” Smart said of who is currently involved. “But not as much as I am talking to Maryland.”
Things are trending for Smart towards Maryland. After the offer, Rivals national basketball analyst Corey Evans logged a prediction for Smart to Maryland. Maryland will have roster holes to fill next season and it looks like Smart may be one of those incoming pieces.
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