Maryland landed its fifth commitment of their 2019 class as 7-foot-2 center Chol Marial committed on Monday.
Marial will join Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott, and Hakim Hart in the 2019 class. Marial will take the scholarship of Bruno Fernando who announced last week he would be staying in the NBA Draft.
“I want to thank Coach Turgeon for giving me this opportunity,” Mariak said in a release. “Coach Turgeon and I have gotten along really well and I really enjoyed spending time with the rest of the coaching staff and players. Bruno Fernando and I have similar backgrounds and I saw how much he improved as a player at Maryland. I’m looking forward to getting better every day and playing for Terp Nation.”
With Marial on board, Mark Turgeon has one of the tallest and deepest front courts in the country. Returning starter Jalen “Stix” Smith is back along with Ricky Lindo Jr. who vastly improved over his freshman season. Joshua Tomaic also played scarce minutes at the forward position and both Mitchell twins classify as low post players.
Marial is ranked 132 by 247Sports and the sixth best center in the class. He was a former top ten recruit but injuries have caused him to miss time. Marial spent time at IMG Academy, a basketball powerhouse that produced Bruno Fernando, before finishing his high school career at Compass Prep in Arizona. Marial missed games with injury, but in the games he did play he used his 7’11 wingspan to average 9.4 blocks per game.
Expectations for Marial will be sporadic next season. People will see a 7’2” player with a smooth looking shot and expect him to dominate. But Marial is still very skinny and needs to prove he can stay on the court. Fortunately for Turgeon, the Terps have a lot of options up front and don’t necessarily need him to contribute right away. However, in a few seasons he could easily be one of the best shot blockers in college basketball and an All-Big Ten player.
Marial visited officially visited Maryland on April 26 and then Arizona State May 2, but ultimately chose the Terps.