COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Sam Cassell Jr., a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Baltimore, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Maryland, head coach Mark Turgeon announced Monday.
Cassell, who played this season at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., is the fifth player to sign a NLI with Maryland during the 2011-12 recruiting season. He is listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN.com and Scout.com, with Rivals.com ranking him as the 34th-best shooting guard in the nation.
He announced his commitment to attend Maryland at the 2012 Capital Classic all-star game, where he scored 12 points and helped the U.S. All-Stars to a 105-93 win.
Combined with early signees Shaquille Cleare (6-9, C, Houston, Texas), Jake Layman (6-8, SF, Wrentham, Mass.), Charles Mitchell (6-8, PF, Marietta, Ga.) and Seth Allen (6-1, SG, Fredericksburg, Va.), Scout.com currently has Marylands recruiting class rated as the 15th-best nationally.
SAM CASSELL JR., (6-4, 170, SG, Baltimore, Notre Dame Prep)
Averaged more than 16 points per game for Notre Dame Prep this season
Had a 28-point game against Brewster Academy in the national prep tournament
Ranked 34th among shooting guards and was a Rivals150 selection nationally
Chose Maryland over USF, Villanova and Florida State
Son of former NBA guard Sam Cassell, who is an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards.
Turgeon on Cassell: Hes a great kid and a local kid. Obviously you want to stress the local area in recruiting. Sam is a combo guard with the ability to score the basketball at three different levels – at the rim, in the mid-range and from 3-point range. Hes got a great feel and understanding of the game and is passionate about basketball. Hell be a great piece to the puzzle and addition to the team next year.
Sam Cassell Jr.
On why he chose Maryland:
I just think Maryland is the place to be. Its close to home so all my family and friends can see me play, because Ive been away from home for the last two years.
On the coaching staff:
Coach Bino is from Baltimore so that played a huge part. I like Coach Turgeon, hes a cool guy and a cool coach. Id like for him to coach me. I felt comfortable with the coaching staff.
On the incoming class:
Were going to be tough. Were going to be a very tough team next year. From the guards with Seth [Allen] and me, all the way to the bigs with Shaquille [Cleare], were going to be very tough.
On what he hopes to accomplish at Maryland:
Everything. I want to win a national championship and become the best player I can be. I saw the potential the team has this year, but they just didnt have the depth to get over the hump. But when they get all of us in well be tough.
Carlton Bub Carrington, Nike Baltimore Elite (AAU) Coach: I know Sam has had an affection for the University of Maryland. He has a good relationship with Coach Bino [Ranson]. I know that they had identified him in the summertime, and they have been very, very persistent. Coach Turgeon identified him along with Bino. Once the head coach gets involved, its hard to get away."
Ryan Hurd, Notre Dame Prep Coach: He is a guard that can score and a guard that can distribute. He can do it all. Hes a ballplayer above all else. We had a whole new staff this year of assistants. They were coming in, saying I cant believe the shots he takes. I just laughed and said, wait until you see him do it in a game. Its unbelievable. That kid can score lying on his back. Its uncanny how he puts the ball in the basket.
Some quotes courtesy The Baltimore Sun